I dried up Nettie early because of her bout with Mastitis. I also continued giving her grain rations, although not quite as much as when she was milking, in order to put some more weight on her. Having mastitis, kidding with triplets and milking heavily just took a nasty toll on her this year. But she's been filling out again and her coat is also much, much softer than it was earlier this spring. I wasn't going to breed her this fall unless she had shown some improvements, but I'm pretty happy with her gains in just a few short months.
Nettie was in heat on Friday. A goat's heat cycle is usually around 18 - 21 days apart, so I wasn't actually expecting her to be back again so soon. Not sure if I just misread her back end last time, or if she went into heat again early because of the recent overpowering ode' de-goat-piss in the air. Last time she was just pink & puffy behind, but this time she was pink, puffy and tail flagging. Oh, and yelling. The. Entire. Morning.
I guess I shouldn't complain though; there is no real guessing when she's ready for her date. Nettie gets sex on the brain and there's not much else she's interested in. Well, except maybe raisins. And even then, she's probably thinking about eating raisins while being mounted. The other goats are much more subtle in their "do-me" clues; Oh, I guess we could visit Pan. But maybe after we have another helping of grain. And some of those oak leaves. And after you've scratched the top of my head again. And, you know, I kind of have a headache. Why don't you just give Pan a goat-porn magazine and put some tissues in his hut and we'll try again tomorrow.
Nettie and I hoofed it down to Pan's pad (actually, Nettie practically drug me down there) where, upon seeing us, Pan immediately started that buck-snorting thing and prancing around like a nutjob. I just opened Pan's enclousure as there was no way in hell he was going to run anywhere, and he immediately went to wooing Nettie. Pawing at her back. Snorting in her ears. Pissing on his face (yes, they do that and it apparently drives the girls wild). You know, those acts of foreplay that we can only dream about. (That is what you dream about, right?)
Although I don't think Nettie cared one iota about the wooing. She was there for one thing and one thing only. She didn't even crane her neck down to munch on the green grass. Although after three successfull hits, she made it apparent that she had enough and was leaving Pan. "There's ten bucks worth of grain on the nightstand. Don't bother calling, the number I gave you is for a dry cleaner in town anyhow."
Of course, Pan was not too keen on this idea, but I finally got him back in his pen. Where he continued snorting and pissing all over himself.
So if all went smoothly, we will have our first kidding of 2012 on February 16th. If not, in about three weeks Nettie will be asking to borrow a ten-spot and bum a ride to the red-light district down in the back yard.