Saturday, February 11, 2012


....the last bit of milk from Thursday evening's milking of Ishtar:
Yup, that's all that's left.  Technically there wasn't much anyhow (only a quart) as she's at the end of her lactation period and I was going to stop milking her once Nettie kidded and I had more milk again.  But that really IS it.  No more milk.

Because I sold Ishtar yesterday.

I've been going back and forth on what to do with her.  Although she's a great milker, I don't particularly care for her attitude.  Yes, I know there is a pecking order within a herd, but she's the Herd Queen that rules with an Iron Hoof.  In my opinion, one does not have to be a total bully to be Herd Queen.  Butting lower goats on the totem pole is acceptable, as is expecting to be fed first, petted first, led out to green pasture first.  But Ishtar took her position as herd ruler just a bit too far.  Maybe I was just being too motherly about it; can't everybody just get along??  But when Nettie was Herd Queen, there wasn't nearly as much pushing, shoving or head butting going on.  Last year I even saw Ishtar pick up one of Nettie's week-old kids by the scruff of the neck and fling it across the goat yard.

So I decided to put an ad in the freebie online paper and got a call on her that afternoon.  They came and got Ishtar that evening (darnit....maybe I should have asked for more $$).  I wrote up all of Ishtar's information including date of birth, dam and sire, breeding date, anticipated due date, and list of shots she's had and dates when she'll need others.  She will be part of a larger herd now; about a dozen other Saanens, Alpines and dairy crosses.  They don't sell the goat milk, but use it to fatten up calves.  

Although I feel like I should be saying that I'll miss her, I don't really feel badly.  Feeding time last night was very calm and orderly.  I didn't get trampled by Ishtar going into the milk parlor for her grain.  I didn't have to sweep up the "undesirable" goat food pellets that she spits or flings out of her food dish and onto the floor.  When I forked fresh hay into the feeder, there was no pushing or butting and I didn't have to scream "ISHTAR!!" at the top of my lungs.  

So not only am I savoring the last bit of milk (at least for another few weeks), but I'm savoring the relative peace and quiet that has finally come to the goat pen.


  1. I know how you feel! We have our own Ishtar...named Gertie! She's a real stinker with horns, and she knows how to use 'em! I'm thinking of sending her to some unsuspecting sucker, I mean, a nice farm far, far away from here, but first I need to find her daughter a buddy. Can't have just 1 goat!

    Enjoy the peace!

  2. Oh, you did the right thing! (Not that I'm any kind of an expert.) Why put up with Ishtar's antics if you don't have to. Not only was there a chance she could seriously injure or kill a goat kid, but a good hard head butt in another adult goat's side could cause internal bleeding and all kinds of problems. And what about your daughter being in the wrong place at the wrong time (like between Ishtar and her food)? Wise move, very wise move. And on to a milkless diet for another couple of weeks. :o(

  3. Yes, that pecking order can be a challenge with the "top dog" in the bunch.

  4. Hi Carolyn Renee,
    I enjoyed this post!

    Just wanted to stop by and let you know that I have selected you as recipient of the 'Versatile Blogger' Award! Please stop by my blog to accept your award :)

    Lisa at

  5. Sounds to me that you made the right decision - for everyone involved.

  6. I bought an adult hen, who started terrorizing my other 2, even while she was quaratined. After 2 weeks, and a bloody comb on another, I gave her away. Never again in my small flock! Mine are hand raised, very gentle. She was just mean!

  7. Kim, It's hard to admit that one of our own "kids" may not be what we want to keep around. Today and tonight was another calm & quiet day in the goat yard and it was wonderful!

    Mama Pea, admittedly there has already been an "incident" between Ishtar and Rhiannon, but luckily she just ended up on her bum without much crying. Man, was I PISSED! So yes, I'm glad she's gone.

    Kristina, I understand the need for a pecking order, but she was just too mean. Mean things don't last long around here.

    Lisa, Thanks for the award!

    Tina, It was hard at first, but now that she's gone, I feel better....and so do the rest of the goats!

    nancypo, there's really no reason to keep mean livestock IMO. Just went over to your place and looking forward to reading your previous posts!

  8. Good for you, especially with little Rhiannon around! You are right, there is no need to keep mean goats when there are sooo many nice goats out there!

  9. I don't know anything about goats, but any kind of a bully in the animal kingdom causes unnecessary problems. I think you did the right thing.

  10. Sorry you had to make that decision, but "calm and orderly" is definitely a goal on the homestead, you have enough balls to keep juggling without those antics!

  11. Candy, we're not very picky and it's not like we expect every animal to come running up to us when we go to the barn (well, maybe that would be nice), but extreme meanness won't be tolerated (for long).

    gld, I know I did the right thing, even though Paul said, "I though you were going to use her for meat goat breeding stock next year". Just couldn't zip his mouth. But I'm still glad she's gone.

    Erin, although we're a far cry from a "normal" person's
    Calm and Orderly, I'll take any improvement I can get!