Much to Paul's dismay, I was browsing the online area classifieds on Monday and came across a listing for an orphaned female Boer goat. And I immediately ran (actually kicking a cat out of the way) to the phone and told the guy that I wanted to buy her.
We've been contemplating (ok, I have been contemplating) getting Boer goats to add to our homestead to provide some of our meat. I've been unsuccessfully soliciting the gal at the feed store who raises Boers for over a year now to buy a female from her. I've run ads in the paper and been scanning Craigslist and the Horse Trader magazine. It seems as if NObody wants to get rid of their Boers. Well, except for one or two somewhat-local Boer farms who are selling their purebred, papered, fancy Boer kids for hundreds of dollars. And we're not really in a position to fork over that amount of money for a goat for our homestead meat supply.
Now, don't get me wrong. I understand that there is value in purebred, papered, fancy-pants goats. I have one myself (Nettie is, although don't tell her that she is or she'll never get over herself) and think she was worth the $350 we paid for her. But like I said, we're just not in the position to buy a papered goat and I feel that we can eventually breed up and get what we're looking for if this gal isn't completely up to snuff.
I never wanted to bottle feed any of our goats. It's just too much of a hassle in my opinion. And unless you are practicing CAE prevention (where you have to pull the kid from the dam before she even licks it and then bottle feed it heat-treated milk) or for some reason you LIKE having to get up every 3 - 4 hours to bottle feed a goat kid, I see no reason to bottle feed and I leave our goat kids on their mothers. People also say that a bottle-fed goat is more friendly, but I've never had problems with any of our dam-raised kids being unfriendly. Maybe shy at first, but when they find out you've got raisins in your pocket or that your appearance means that they'll be getting a bucket of grain, they warm right up to you.
Oh, back to the bottle-fed thing. So, since this doeling was orphaned, she has been bottle fed since birth. She was given colostrum for two days and I am now feeding her milk from Nettie and Annette. I'll have to forgo some milk in our fridge to feed her and have to be up every 4 hours to do so, something I'm not crazy about but am willing to do.
Another thing I won't be looking forward to, but is ultimately something I knew I would require in our female Boer, is that she is still young enough that we can disbud her. Most Boer goats keep their horns. I'm not sure why, but I guess it's just a meat-goat kind'a thing. But since this goat will be living among the rest of our de-horned goats, it was one of the almost-impossible requirements I had for any potential meat goat on our farm.
I can clearly feel Pickle's horn buds now. So that means tomorrow is disbudding day for her.