Any West Virginia homesteaders out there? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hi, Just wondered if there are any forum members out there from West Virginia. I've lived here all my life but have just recently decided to try raising goats. My worry is that my property might be too steep for them. I live between two really steep hills that are covered by a mature forest. The deer thrive here so I think it's probably ok for goats but I'd like to know before hand. I'd hate to have injuries because I was careless. On another note, property here is cheap by todays standards-wonder why nobody considers WV for homesteading?Thanks for listening! Would love hearing from any and all!

-- Kathy Linger (, January 13, 2001


Well, I'm not exactly a homesteader, but I do live in West Virginia. I don't think that any hill is too steep for goats. My sister used to raise goats in the mountains (Tucker Co.) and they did great. I used to have goats too, and they were boogers to keep in a fence. They are very much like deer, they can go over, under, or through most fences. A fellow that had a farm near us used 4 strand electric fence and ran a herd of 40 to 50 goats to specifically clear the overgrown farm up. After about 2 years you could see a big difference. No underbrush, and the trees were trimmed up as high as a goat could reach to eat. It looked nice. The price of land has really raised in the past 5 to 6 years here in the western part of the state, even though compared to most other places in is still relatively cheap. There are hunting clubs buying up old farms to use for private hunting. In a way it's a shame that the old farms can't be used as farms. Many of them in this area even have free gas. Well it's nice to know that I'm not the only one in WVA that reads this forum.

-- Marianne (, January 13, 2001.

I'm here in North Central WV. Every time there is a post on where to homestead I jump in with info on WV. It is hard to conquer stereotypes.

I don't have goats but many folks around me do. The seem to do just fine in our weather here. Do you get the Market Bulletin from the state? Someone is always selling goats there, and in our Bulletin Board. Call them and ask to see their set-up. I did this when I started with chickens and it helped to see how many different ways to house them.

-- Anne (, January 14, 2001.

Hi, Kathy - I think there are several of us. I live south of Elkins. Good luck with your goats! Can't always tell where folks are from, and that's the first thing I want to know; that's why I always sign my posts...

-- Sam in W.Va. (, January 14, 2001.

Hi, Kathy. We are definitely not homesteaders, but our goal is to be someday. We live in Preston Co. on approximately 45 acres. We do not raise goats so I can't help you with that. The extent of our raising animals is...3 dogs, 3 rabbits, 9 cats and 9 fish. This is plenty for us at the present time. My husband would like to branch our into livestock eventually, but none of our acreage is fenced in and we have no barn. We do enjoy raising a garden, and do a good deal of gardening and canning in the summer and fall. Good hearing from you fellow mountaineers.

-- tammy (, January 14, 2001.

Hi Kathy. We live in Greenbrier County. I currently have 14 goats of mixed heritage. 5 are due to kid any day. We have a woven wire fence and have not had any trouble keeping them in. They have a 16 acre pasture. The steepest place I have ever seen goats was on the highwall of a strip mine in Kentucky. If they can walk on that, they can walk on anything!As far as people considering WV for homesteading: lets all be real quiet and maybe the rest of the population will leave and we can have it all to ourselves. Seriously, negative stereotypes go a long way. Best of luck with your future goats.

-- Terri Perry (, January 16, 2001.

Another born and bred West Virginian here. I love this state it is all that I know and I have no desire to go any where else. We are not homesteaders but it is our dream/goal. Countryside is the only magazine that I subscribe to? Where are all the rest of you WV's located? We are in Putnam County.


-- Lisa (, January 16, 2001.

Hi Kathy. I just found this site and am already loving it. We moved to WV from California (I was born and raised there, but I met my husband while he was in the military and his whole family was born and raised in WV.) We have just over 40 acres. We bought half of an old farm that was split in a divorce. The other half is empty. We would love to buy it too but the guy swears he will never sell :o(

Anyhow, we built our own house from rough cut lumber, used "parts" (windows, fixtures, etc) and now have been here 2 years. There is sooooooo much work we still have to do. I just quit my job (after my husband finally found a decent one) and I'm going to really start getting a lot more done. We have a few calves right now, chickens, etc. We had 2 goats for a while, and yes, they are hard to keep in, although ours stayed in an electric fence 2 strands about 1 foot and 3 feet high. But boy, if that fence went off...look out! They never ran away, and we considered just letting them roam around because we have no neighbors, but then they started "dancing" on the hoods of our cars. I have no doubt there is probably not a hill too steep for a goat, as the younger one seemed to favor the very vertical hood of my aerostar van :o)

Anyhow, I'm in Upshur County. I'm so surprised there has been such a big response from WV. It's great to know there are others out there trying to homestead. I have found in WV there is a wealth of information about surviving on the land, especially if you are blessed enough to make friends with an old timer or two. I also believe it's one of the United States best kept land, an abundance of natural gas and resources, plenty of game, timber very cheap and abundant. Hmmmm....maybe we'd BETTER keep our mouths shut!!

I'd love to share ideas and experiences with all of you.


-- Nancy in WV (CelticFrau@aol.coom), January 20, 2001.

Kathy. and others that answered - I wasn't born in W V , but I got here as fast as I could! I have 2 + acres on a cliff side, raise dairy goats & chickens. When not gardeningor milking (also do cheeses & yoghurt) I lecture on edible & medicinal plants, mushrooms, & trees.I'm a shortwave listener.

-- Elizabeth Quintana (, November 02, 2001.

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