By KEITA ICHII
English teacher Mr. Martin Stibolt is an eccentric man.
He’s lighthearted as a teacher and often makes quirky and witty jokes at any opportunity; he’s the club advisor of the Dungeons and Dragons Club and is an avid player himself; he also dons a fashionable goatee and uniquely, takes care of goats at home.
Although there are rumors that Stibolt owns two goats, these are false.
He actually owns three.
Taking care of goats at home is a rare hobby and requires more than just a normal house since he also maintains a barn for the goats.
Stibolt lives where he calls unincorporated Orange County in the eastern city of Orange.
He explained that as an older area, his house is zoned for livestock and “… came with a fully functional barn in the back.”
“The two goats that we originally got are Adair and Deirdre,” he said, “and then Adair came to us pregnant, so she had goat kids, and we kept one of them and named her Molly.”
Stibolt explained that his wife “… went down South to Temecula… and bought them from two different people that she somehow discovered on the internet. One of them was a professor at UCR. She was getting rid of her goats because of time and the other one, I dunno why she was selling her goat. She just happened to be getting rid of it.”
Stibolt and his wife got the goats on St. Patrick’s day, hence why they have Irish names.
According to Stibolt, taking care of goats isn’t actually very difficult.
He said, “Goats are pretty easy to take care of; they’re fairly self-sufficient. Give them food and water and they should do the rest.”
Although easy to take care of, Stibolt doesn’t find them as endearing as his German Shepherd.
He thinks that “… they’re funny and cute and everything,” but he sees them “… mostly as a nuisance” because “…right now [the goats] don’t have much of a purpose.”
However, he wishes that he could “…start milking them again because [he] definitely enjoyed that part of it.”
Like other animals, if not milked regularly, goats stop producing milk.
Stibolt stopped milking them with the birth of his second son because of the time commitment required.
He explained that his family is now stable enough to find time to start milking them again, and that “…having that fresh milk and turning it into goat cheese and everything else is amazing.”
Although he has had goats in the past, Stibolt says that he learned a lot from taking care of Adair, Deidre and Molly.
He says that he “… didn’t know about the mineral supplements…” and how goat owners “…need to maintain their [goat’s] hooves.”
Stibolt explains that their favorite supplement is dried seaweed.
He said, “they go crazy over it. They fight each other butting heads to try and get in and get the kelp.”
A misconception he had that he feels many other people have is those goats eat everything. Stibolt adamantly stated that “… anybody that tells you that goats are not picky eaters and they eat everything are lying to you.” He wishes they would eat “…the weeds that are growing around [their] house…” instead of going straight for the fruit trees when they escape.
Although Stibolt owned goats when he was a child, it was ultimately his wife’s idea to get the goats.
When asked about his wife’s intentions behind purchasing a goat, he responds that he has absolutely no idea.
“I think she had this beautiful, like idealised version of what it was like to homestead and like be self-sufficient and didn’t appreciate like the work that went into it and that yeah, goats are not the answer to everything.”