• Family: Parents Vaughn and Carol Barsby
• Hometown: Crocker, Mo.
In Town: Careen Barsby retired from Pulaski County schools after 10 years in both Crocker and Waynesville school districts as a special education teacher, focusing on autism and behavior issues, working with students from pre-schoolers to students up to age 21. Today, she works for Literacy Volunteers of America as an Americorps member, an agency similar to a domestic Peace Corps.
In the Country: Careen has 20 Kiko meat goats on 10 acres in Pulaski County, outside Crocker, Mo. Her goats are a three-way cross of meat goat breeds, including Spanish and Boer. She also has a 12-year old Sicilian donkey named Frankie. Frankie, she said, basically raises and cares for the goats.
“I supply the land, the food and the water and Frankie does all the rest. When I moved there, it was all woodland and little by little, I’ve cleared it. When I bought it, the place was so overgrown. There was a pond on the place the previous owners didn’t even know was there.
“I got interested in goats really when we moved to Missouri and my parents bought a farm that was also overgrown. They brought in goats to help clear the brush so I did the same thing on my acreage.”
Careen is doing her earliest kidding season this year, starting Nov. 1 and ending around Christmas.
“I’ve always done it, beginning in February, the coldest time of the year, so I’m trying it a little earlier. The goats do really good, but I’ve been known to sleep in the barn, depending on the situation, just to make sure all goes well.
“I do all my own vaccines and other vet work. I feed an MFA Goat Ration and during the last two months of pregnancy, I supplement with hay or other pasture grass to give them a boost of extra vitamins and minerals. As always with goats, you really have to watch the parasites. I do a fecal test every three months and, depending on the results, I decide which and how much wormer to use.
“The other thing, with goats is you have to have good fences. You can get by with one or two lines of hot wire fencing for cows and horses but with goats, I use six strands of fencing.