Allegheny Nesting: Raising kids and animals together in the PA Wilds

Allegheny Nesting: Raising kids and animals together in the PA Wilds
March 12, 2024 22 view(s)
Allegheny Nesting: Raising kids and animals together in the PA Wilds

My Year in the PA Wilds: How raising kids and animals together in the PA Wilds has been going...

By Jill Forquer, Allegheny Nesting

I cannot tell you the amount of life lessons and memories that all 3 of my kids have made since we started adding animals to our homestead which is nestled in Elk County right next to the Allegheny National Forest. Responsibility, hard work, problem solving, where food comes from, where babies come from,wWhere milk comes so many lessons. 

We originally started our little herd with two Nigerian dwarf wethers, castrated males, and now own 4 Nigerian dwarf wethers, 2 milking Nigerian dwarf goats, 4 alpacas, and ten chickens. Since neither my husband nor I grew up with farm animals we all have truly been learning how to raise them together. I figured I would share today a few of the most memorable moments so far owning animals. Several of these moments have actually been filmed and can be found in videos on my Facebook page.

Does anyone remember the time...?

* All of our alpacas and goats got out and ran away? It was terrible and laughable at the same time. Thankfully a man stopped when he saw them cross the road and ran up to our house to get me. I have no idea how I missed these large animals running away but I did. So, there I was with my two sons (ages 4 and 2 at the time) running after alpacas, sweating, panicking and laughing. I was in sheer panic mode thinking what if they get hit by a car, cursing how fast they actually are and yelling at Flynn Ryder who was stubbornly lying in the grass looking up at me. Now I look back and laugh with Peter who remembers the moment.

* Jack and Allison learned how to milk Annabelle? Similar to my first-time milking her milk was spraying everywhere, we were all laughing and Annabelle was purely annoyed. 
I had to explain to my kids why the Dad goat stays behind. Talk about life lessons about blended families. " Sometimes Dads do not live with moms, sometimes kids do not know their dad's or their moms, and sometimes kids have the same Dad but different moms, and sometimes they can live together. "conversation all started with a goat. 

* Luke Bryan (one of our alpacas) choking? Talk about terrifying. The first week we brought our alpacas home, I put the feed too low to the ground and Luke ended up choking. His head and neck were flailing everywhere and I had no idea what to do. I was yelling at him to "stay calm" and Allison was crying. Thankfully I grabbed his neck and just started rubbing up and down and that worked. Whew! Crisis averted. 

* My husband, kids, best friend and I delivering baby Penelope! What an amazing experience and moment I will remember forever. We were all sitting in the barn and awaiting sweet baby Penelope to arrive. We were right there when Annabelle delivered Penelope and all of my kids got to watch. They learned quite a lot that day!

* Collecting eggs daily. It sounds simple but it is one of my kids' favorite chores. It is so rewarding to put your hand in the laying box and find an egg... or 12! We then get to eat those eggs and know exactly where they came from.

The memories go on and on but these are just a few that stuck out to me. We are not experts by any means at homesteading, parenting or running a small business HOWEVER, we sure are having a fun time learning, growing and figuring it all out together. 

About the author, Jill Forquer:

My name is Jill Forquer and I moved to Kane, PA almost ten years ago. I did not know many people when I first moved to Kane so I made it my goal to build myself a “nest”. A “nest” to me is a collection of all of your favorite things and the place you feel the most comfortable- a home. Over the next several years I worked within the community, explored our area, added onto our home, met new friends, added 3 kids to our family and started our own homestead. We now have goats, alpacas and chickens. I can proudly say I have truly made “my nest” in Kane. I now stay at home with my children and own my small business Allegheny Nesting. I make seasonal home decor, handmade goat milk soap, engraved charcuterie boards , dough bowl candles and wooden jewelry. I have recently published a tour book about Kane, PA and also have an Alpaca Coloring Book coming out soon! Follow my Facebook page and my Blog on my website for new products, local business spotlights and updates on my Alpaca Coloring Book which is titled Allegheny Alpacas: The Real Stars of the Forest

Find Allegheny Nesting on the PA Wilds Marketplace

You can find Allegheny Nesting products (including the ones below and many more) at their PA Wilds Marketplace storefront here!