Friday, July 1, 2016

Where, oh where.....

.....has my little blog gone?  Oh where or where can it be? With its posts cut short and the intervals so long.  Oh where or where can it be?

I have no excuse.  I have either lost my muse, lost my mind, or a little bit (or a lot) of both.  The last post I wrote was about the bucks in the beginning of January.  Since then the productivity of those bucks has been confirmed and we added another twelve kids to the herd; six females and six males.   And three months after that, we subtracted seven goats from our herd, having sold the wethers / bucklings / buck to other people who wanted to have a goat for supper, a pet, a lawnmower, or for gawdonlyknows why.  The wethers from last year’s FFA project are gone as well.  Don (the one that got sick & stunted) was handed a winning lottery ticket and went to another family to be a pet, while his brother wasn’t so lucky and ended up on our supper plates. 
I guess I should probably log it in this blog who birthed who and when, but alas, I didn’t even write all of those dates down.  I guess I should just be happy that nobody has died unexpectedly (yet).
So here’s the 2016 Kidding Totals (or at least what I can recall):
Annette had two doelings (Amber & Angie)
Lily had two bucklings
Dilly had one buckling and one doeling (Pickililly)
MamaGoat had a single buckling
Pyewacket had two bucklings
Pickles had a single doeling (Sweet Pickles).
Clover had a single doeling (Blossom).
Maypop had a single doeling (Buttercup)
Lily didn’t have a very difficult birthing, but she ran a temperature, was passing bright red blood (not “regular” blood from kidding) when she pee’d and was really out of it for a few days.  I’m not sure if she tore her urethra and that’s what the infection / fever was from or what.  But I gave her a round of antibiotics, Vitamin E & B and all the other good stuff and she perked up to normal in a week days.
MamaGoat had a horrible kidding.  She had a single buckling who was not presented correctly and was large to boot.  One of his front legs was bent backwards so I had to push him back in and grab the leg.  She’s a smaller goat than the others and it was difficult to get my hand up in her, let alone try to hook a finger around the leg to pull it forward.  She was tore up pretty good, but has since mended up quite nicely and is back to normal.
I think that the rest of the kiddings went without a hitch.  In fact, I think that Maypop had her kid without any of us there at the time.  Paul went out to the barn and came back in saying she had a kid on the ground.  Bonus for me not having to have my hand up the backside of a goat.
Out of nine breedings, all but Daisy had taken.  I SHOULD know if she were pregnant because if I HAD kept good breeding records last year I would have known if her kidding date was past due, but because of my lack of goat-keeping-ness, I did NOT write everyone’s breeding date down.  At least not where I could retrieve that information.  Probably on a soda-stained, crumpled up, yellow sticky note just barely adhered to the bottom of one of my slippers crammed into the corner of my bedroom closet and hidden from sight underneath a bag of clothing that was supposed to go to the Salvation Army.  Hmmm……I think that last sentence pretty much sums up the last twelve months or so of my life here.
Pickles has been saved (at least for now) because her breeding DID take.  I would have bet money that she wasn’t pregnant; she didn’t bag up until a few days before she popped and she wasn’t big at all.  If she didn’t have a kid this year I was going to grind her up into sausage.....with a smile on my face.  As it turns out, she had a very stout, very healthy doeling that she is still doting upon.  She has absolutely no idea how lucky she is.  Now if I can just find some way to shut her howling screamer.  Her yelling is maddening. 
Dilly (Pickles first daughter) is a total asshat.  She pretty much rejected one of her kids last year (and the other one eventually died) and this year she just barely tolerated her two new offspring.  The doeling is still with us, but is basically ignored by her mother and she weaned her & her sibling short of six weeks.  I have her in the sale paper & if I ever get my butt going, I’ll send her to the sale barn.
Pyewacket’s two bucklings were sold a few weeks ago and I’ve been on again / off again milking her.  Mamagoat’s buckling is growing like a weed and I want to keep him drinking all that good milk to fatten him up for the freezer.  Once I pull him off her (to put him on our supper plates), I'll milk Mamagoat as well.  We only kept two males for the freezer; Mamagoat and Lily’s bucklings.  I was thinking about keeping Lily’s buckling as a breeder, but we already have two bucks.  We DID have three, but I sold the year old, black-headed buck, Moe-Lassas to a couple who wanted a pet & lawnmower. 
At first I was reluctant to sell Moe-Lassas to these people, but desperation and the need for some cash INcome won me over.  They knew he was a buck.  I even reinforced that fact several times, going so far as to remind them that he’ll be stinkier than all holy hell during breeding season, would try to breed anything not moving (or moving slower than he can) and that “buck” meant “intact male”.  Although if they didn’t realize that by the overly-large, fuzzy sack of testosterone and DNA material swinging from his backside meant that he was a buck, I don’t know what would have convinced them.  They never had goats before, but they knew what they wanted, and claimed that they knew what they were getting into.  I have my doubts, but who am I to question someone’s intentions and / or preparedness for having a goat?  Oh, and they said they have Pomeranians.  Not sure how owning a couple of fluffy, bug-eyed yapping dogs qualifies you to keep goats, but what the hell; I guess it shouldn’t DIS-qualify you from owning goats, right? 
So I convince Paul to go into the buck pen to get a lead onto Moe-Lassas’ collar when suddenly the husband buyer whips his shirt off and joins him in the pen.  Not exactly sure why the man felt the need to remove half of his clothing, but I will not be able to un-see the living “shirt” of curly, overgrown graying chest and back hair from my mind.  I would have packed sea salt in my eyelids just to burn that image out of my retinas.  So the sweaty, hairy, and according to Paul, quite intoxicated man is running Moe-Lassas around the pen.  Anybody with half a functioning brain cell knows that if you want to catch an animal you do NOT go running right towards it.  Well, everybody except drunken, hairy, Pomeranian-owning men, apparently.  l tell the man with a BAC of 1-point-something to just stay put and Moe-Lassas is picked up and put in the back of their SUV.  No cage.  No leash (WHY does NO ONE. EVER. Bring a leash or crate or cage?!?)  Just a blue tarp in the back of the vehicle.  Money exchanged hands, I wished everyone good luck, the wife (thankfully) hopped in the driver’s seat, and they drove Moe-Lassas away into the sunset.  I wonder how long it took Moe-Lassas to jump into the front seat, piss all over the leather seats, send goat turds rolling all over the floor boards and try to hump hairy Pomerian-guy in the ear. 
Goats may be a pain in the rear, but it sure does provide for some interesting blog fodder.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

If looks could kill.....

Don't be fooled.  That is a glare of total and utter hate.
.....I would be dead.  If an autopsy were to be preformed from whatever remotely recognizable heap of torn flesh that the state medical examiner could scrape off the ground, it would have to be put into one of those triple-walled heavy-duty trash bags and the fat, muscle, grizzle and tissue that was once my body would be littered with the hay, grain and goat shit from whence I met my demise.

But lucky for me, I was able to convince Pau to help prevent the above gruesome scenario.

So what could have transpired that something so horrible could have happened, you ask?

Herman's head gear fell off....and had to be put BACK on.

Herman is the Alpha Boer buck goat.  With horns.  And the goat fence is constructed from cattle panels. We chose cattle panels because they are very sturdy, movable, re-usable....and, well, we had them.  The only downside to using the panels is that if one has a horned goat, that goat will stick it's head through those panels and not be able to un-stick it, therefore requiring assistance from the goatkeeper (that wasn't supposed to have any horned goats on the property in the first place) in order to release his head.

To remedy this situation, one attaches a pvc pipe across Herman's head with copious amounts of duct tape thusly ensuring that he can not get his noggin through the squares in the panels.  This worked like a charm and I was delighted to NOT have to go out there fifteen times a day to get him out.  Unfortunately the duct tape eventually gets rubbed off and we're back to square one with him sticking his head through the panels. I think he rubbed his last pvc & duct-tape noggin contraption off almost two months ago.  So every day since then, several times a day, we've been having to get the dickhead's skull out from the cattle panels.  One would think that a goat, even a stupid goat, would eventually figure out that if he shoves his head through something and gets stuck EVERY SINGLE TIME, that maybe, just maybe, the urge to shove your head through the fence would subside.  But no.  I believe Herman's sole purpose on this earthly plane is to test my resolve and to teach me to contain the disturbingly violent urges which swim like slippery, needle-toothed eels through the murky waters of my subconscious.

Every subsequent time that Herman's headgear needs re-attaching, it becomes more and more difficult. The time before last we took turns straddling Herman and holding his horns while the other wrapped (and wrapped, and wrapped) the duct tape over the pvc pipe and horns.  The last time neither or us were able to get on Herman and by brute strength and luck alone we were somehow able to manage the task.  Each time Herman is stronger.  And meaner.  And hating us more and more.  And he is on to us.  Paul was almost castrated by Herman's swinging horns the last time we were in there.   A pissed off buck goat with pointy horns at groin level is something every man should rightfully fear.

So this time we had a plan.  Actually, Plan A was to sucker a friend or three into coming by and helping, but nobody was that stupid.  So plan B was for us to wait (the whole fifteen seconds) for Herman to get his head stuck (again) into the fence, incapacitate him, THEN put the headgear on.

Plan B actually worked.  And no one was disemboweled or gored.  My jacket and barn chore pants however, reek like, well, a buck goat in all his sticky-piss glory.  Once Herman was stuck, Paul went into the pen and tied Herman's front and back legs and we yanked his head out of the fence.

Let me tell you that I had to use every last ounce of willpower to not give Herman a few good swift kicks to the backside while he was down.  Oh, how I wanted to lay into him.  I'm telling you, if OhioFarmGirl lived anywhere near me I would have invited her over for tea and biscuits and we would have had ringside seats when she released The Dog Horde on Herman's tied-up ass and I would have been grinning from ear to ear as the flesh was torn from his body in a blur of bright white gnashing and crushing canine teeth.  I'd be standing up and cheering on her Fighting Uruk-Hai as the blood from my most hated goat spattered across my face.  I'd wipe the still warm and sticky blood from my cheek and taste the iron-rich victory on my tongue.

Wow.  Got a little carried away there.  Uh hugh.  Anyways........where was I?

Oh.  Paul had Herman tied up and on his side.  I sat on top of the asshole (the goat, not Paul) and grabbed his beard (the goat's, not Paul's) to keep his head still while he wrapped the pipe over his horns.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't purposely put all my weight on Herman (maybe even bouncing once or twice for the full "Ooomph" effect coming out of dickheadgoat's lungs).  I'd also be lying if I said that I didn't feel sorry for Herman.  For an eighth of a second.  Because as soon as I did feel a pang of pity for the peckerhead, he started whipping his head around to BITE us.  Yes.  He was trying to bite us now.  Eventually we ran out of duct tape on the roll and had to make our way out of the pen.  Paul untied Herman's feet while I was still on top of him (which, now that I think about it, probably wasn't the best of ideas) and on the count of  "Three!" I jumped off and ran for the gate, leaving Paul behind to fend for himself (serves him right, why exactly, was it ME on top of the goat in the first place???)

Once we were out and Herman was up, he immediately started rearing and taking his frustrations out on the nearest tree.  He also started trying to rub the headgear off so gawd only knows if it's still on him now.  I hope so, because I am not looking forward to doing this again anytime soon.

I will, however, enjoy NOT having to get his stupid head out of the fence in the middle of the freezing night.