2001-Wed May 23 07:15:52 EDT 2018
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Laura Howard-Gayeton gives new meaning to the expression “get your goat.” The former Hollywood producer went from living a fast-paced life in Tinseltown to running a five-acre Petaluma, California, goat farm and a successful boutique ice cream company, Laloo's Goat Milk Ice Cream Company, which sells delicious and fanciful flavors such as Strawberry Darling with a balsamic reduction.
So what would convince a woman to trade in a life of glamour for one spent day in, day out with goats? A horse, of course. We sat down with Howard-Gayeton to talk about what it's like to work with divas of another kind: farm animals.
A: Laura Howard-Gayeton: "I have always been a horse person. In fact, I had one when I was living in L.A. named Joaquim, who I rode in Griffith Park. And I love being outside and the idea of a more rural lifestyle. Plus, I was kind of at my wit's end in terms of sitting in traffic. I'd gotten into yoga, and through that, I learned that I wanted to live a happier life in every way."
A: "I drove all over Northern California and stopped whenever I saw goats in the fields. I actually knocked on doors and talked to all these farmers — a lot of which were women. It was just fascinating.
I'd had my heart set on Healdsburg, but then I realized that most goat farmers were in the southern part of wine country, like Petaluma and Sebastopol. I found a five-acre farm to rent, which cost less than the mortgage on my L.A. house. I packed up my horse, moved up north and started learning about how to make a pasture for animals. My first goat started as a companion for my horse."
A: "I was trying to relax and get healthy, and one thing that was recommended to me was to cut down on traditional dairy. So I did some research on other ways to make ice cream, got a handful of goats and started to raise and milk them myself. Laloo took off quickly because no one else was doing this at the time, so I bought a bigger property, right next to another dairy."
A: "In the kidding season, we're very busy milking the girls. On a daily basis, we need to feed the animals twice, and bring them in at night. Their barn gets cleaned out about once a week, but we have to do it more often in the rainy season, which is nearly upon us! We also need to give the goats a pedicure every few months, which is a challenge — especially for the boys!"
A: "My goats! I love them. They’re part of my family. My husband and I have about a dozen, most of which are Nubian. We also have one Alpine and one LaMancha goat. We also have a second horse, chickens (and fresh eggs every day!), a cat, a dog and even a rare bird that flew onto our property. We couldn’t find its owner, so it lives with us now. We have quite the menagerie."
A: "Oh, yeah. They’re buddies. We took in two twin baby goats named Sugar and Spice last spring from a neighboring farm after their mother died in childbirth. Our horse Mo would lie down for them and they'd just climb on his back!"
"It’s great. I have four employees now, and we’re distributed nationwide in Whole Foods stores. We’re bigger than the average local ice cream shop, but much smaller than Ben & Jerry's. Most recently, we launched frozen yogurt and ice cream sandwiches, but we’ll have some announcements to make this spring about new flavors! It should be exciting."
A: "A lot of goat farmers remove their goats’ horns. But we leave the horns natural, so the goats get into a fair amount of trouble!"
For more tales of what it's like to work with animals, check out these other Vetstreet-exclusive stories.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.