Family Portrait: Meet the Conleys

Family of five lives in Kensington with two pygmy goats, two ducks and five chickens

Left to right: Millie, Debbie, Nora, Jack and Tim Conley with goat Oreo and one of their chickens. Photo by Liz Lynch

Debbie and Tim Conley live with their children—Jack, 6, Nora, 4, and Millie, 1—in a brick rambler on a suburban street in Kensington. But step into their backyard and you’ll find two pygmy goats, two ducks and five chickens. Debbie, 28, a stay-at-home mom, and Tim, 32, a vice president of wealth management at Morgan Stanley, say they always wanted pets, but never imagined it would look like this.

Getting goats: Last July, Tim took Jack and Nora to a client’s farm in Brandywine, Maryland, where Nora fell in love with a baby pygmy goat named Brownie. Feeling spontaneous, Tim decided to surprise Debbie by purchasing Brownie and another goat, which Jack named Oreo for its black and white hair. When they got home, Tim helped the kids sneak the goats into the backyard. “At some point, Nora said she was going outside to see the goats, and I thought she was just using her imagination, so I said, ‘Yeah, go play with the goats,’ ” Debbie says.

“When I finally saw them, I couldn’t believe it. I was so angry.” She quickly came around to the animals, so much so that in February the family added five chicks and two ducks.

One big happy family: Debbie says Brownie and Oreo are inseparable. “We’ve caught the chicks standing on Brownie and Oreo’s backs, sometimes three at a time,” she says. “It’s hilarious because the goats don’t even seem to notice.”

Winter madness: During the blizzard last winter, Debbie was worried that the goats would get stuck in the snow, so she brought them inside. “They were so scared and literally pooped everywhere,” she says. “We finally opened up the big shed out back and lay down hay for them. I was out there for hours digging through the snow, but they were so much happier after.”

Perfect pets: Unlike dogs, farm animals don’t need to be walked. “You get the best of both worlds,” Debbie says. “You get the love and affection of the animals, and the kids love them, but you don’t need to spend all your time caring for them.”

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

The Long Shot

Maryland Congressman John Delaney has spent much of his life taking risks that paid off. Now the Potomac resident is taking his biggest risk—he's running for president.

‘Nobody’s Dying Today’

Nursing assistant Katelyn Losquadro stopped to help an injured driver of a single-car accident. That decision changed both of their lives.

Get Away: A Baltimore Festival, Plus Two Places to Stay

Plan a trip to one of our picks

Bethesda Interview: Pascale Lemaire

The wardrobe and prop stylist from Silver Spring talks about reality TV fame, dressing Jill Biden, and why her job isn’t always glamorous
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »

Beautiful and Spacious

Potomac $1,450,000

Custom Dream Home

Bethesda $2,695,000

Renovated and Expanded

Bethesda $1,425,000

Lovely Home in Chevy Chase View

Kensington $1,949,000

Stunning River Views

Potomac $2,770,000
Edit Module


Your Guides to Leading
Local Professionals

Edit Module

Talk With Us

On Social Media


Edit Module
Edit ModuleEdit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags