Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Goat Dates Finished

Even though I've been lax on my blogging lately (not quite sure why), I haven't been as lax with my goat plannings and (mis)management.

Merv the Perv went home right before Thanksgiving.  I had him breed three of the smaller does (MamaGoat, Olivia and NewNew) and when none of them seemed to go back into heat I called his owners up and told Merv, "Smell ya later!".  Met the owners half-way, transferred him from my truck to his truck and waved bye-bye until next year.  I have no doubt that as long as I can secure a decent rent-a-buck every year that I will not be looking for a permanent dairy goat stud for our farm.  Merv was here for just barely over a month.  Only thirty-five days to water, feed, care for - and smell - a buck goat as opposed to doing so for 356 days a year.

My two larger does, Nettie & Annette, went on their date at another farm not far from us earlier this fall.  Although it was a little more difficult (for Paul, that is) having to haul them back & forth three times, it's still easier than having to care for a buck on-site.  The only problems we had was that I apparently didn't gauge Nettie's heat cycle well enough and we had to take her back twice, and that since the girls didn't really "know" the buck, they weren't as receptive to him as they would have been to a more familiar buck.

Now that I've yammered on about how nice it is to not have a buck, I have to admit that there is still one at our farm.  Herman, the Boer, is still here.  Not that I really expected to get rid of him already.  If things go as planned, we do want to have a sizeable meat goat herd in the near future so having a buck on hand would make more sense.  Although at some point we're going to have to change bucks if we're going to keep his offspring as breeding (and not eating) stock as to avoid too much inbreeding.  So I've got some time to work on that.

In the interim, I have goat babies to plan for.  This year's breeding schedule is pretty much messed up.  Nettie was bred two separate times, both Boer gals were bred two separate times.  My first potential kidding date is only eight weeks away, my last kidding date is just under four months away and I just this morning picked up a "probably-pregnant-not-sure-when-she'll-pop" goat to our herd:
Penny, our newest Boer doe.
Yes, Paul knows.
More on her later.  I have to get outside and start with the Storm Preps this afternoon.  Ice is forecast for Thursday and there's a lot to do (that should have been done already).


  1. She is a cutie - although are those horns I see on her noggin?? Hope the ice storm misses you. I'm curious - what do you do with all the milk you get from those five does? That is a WHOLE lotta milk!

  2. We have gone the rent-a-buck way as well. We had a permanent buck for awhile...but....ack! His temperament, his smell, etc...yeah. We sold him.
    SO much easier to rent one!
    I am so looking forward to all the goats milk...making cheese again....goats milk soap, cajeta...

  3. We have a small flock of sheep, and did the rent-a-ram thing, first year brought the ram here, stressed about something happening to him. Second year, took the ewes to the ram, the owners moved him out for a few weeks and didn't tell us, so babies were later than planned. So we bit the bullet and bought our own. Two years later, breeding is successful, just don't ever turn your back on him. He has no respect for personal space. I pack a squirt gun. Luckily, sheep boys don't smell as bad as goat boys. Stay safe from the weather.

  4. Susan, yeah-yeah. She's got horns. So much for my hornless goat herd, hugh? But her's are small/ thin enough that I think I'm going to band them. She's not a milker, and I've only got one doe milking right now...only about a quart a day. Gonna miss the milk :(

    Lamb, I'm already missing the milk and we're not totally dried up yet. But won't miss milking when it's freezing outside.

    Ruth Dixon, I agree with you about stressing out about having someone else's animal here. I would check on him like fifty times a day to make sure he was still there. I can't imagine having to tell the owners that he escaped or got hurt or eaten by something!

  5. Great post Carolyn, one that can be appreciated by goat owners everywhere! I hope you weather the storm with no damage.

    Also, please check out my blog for why I'm so excited! Plus, perhaps I can entice you to enter my book giveaway. :)