You’ve all been patiently waiting to hear more about my goats. People can be amazingly patient about that – so patient you’d think they’d rather talk about something else. There were other things I had to do. There are always other things to do, such as this goat rodeo. Mrs. G’s black glossy coat is getting brown patches and Libby’s coat is rough. This is a sign of copper deficiency. Like most simple problems this one has a simple solution. Copper deficiency is corrected by convincing the goats to swallow these pills, called boluses, which are full of copper shavings. The goats are not supposed to crunch these, and they can’t take them with water or they’ll go down into the wrong stomach, one of the hazards of having four stomachs. One just walks up to them, pushes the pills into their mouths with a little pill pusher gun and it’s all done. How hard is that? Sophy Wackles crunched hers right up. Mrs. G tried to spit hers out. Libby was very tricksy, I carefully placed the bolus into the back of her mouth, held her chin and stroked her throat until I heard her swallow. I let her go, and then the crunching began and went on and on. Blasted goat, my un-swearing repertoire needs some new additions.
Sophy is the ‘baby’ she’s un-bred and a little undersized, she’s catching up and we’re hoping to get her bred soon, as in maybe this weekend.
Goat breeding isn’t quite as simple as it seems when you don’t own a buck.
Mrs. G looks like a lady but don’t let her fool you. She was supposed to be bred to a nice young Nubian buck named Java. She just didn’t like him, and he didn’t seem too fond of her. I cruelly left her overnight to his mercy. Next morning it was still a no-go as far as any one knew. Fact: If you want goat milk, you have to have goat babies first. I told the owner to throw her in with the other buck, an Alpine with a husky musky beard. She liked him much better. ‘Who’s your daddy?’ babies on the way.
Sophy and Mrs. G are both papered girls. Libby is a grade goat, which means no papers, and a background vouched for by her previous owner only. On a good day she wouldn’t have been coming home with me. It’s usually not difficult for me to tell people, no-, my life with four children affords me a lot of practice. It was a day of weakness and compassion the day I purchased Libby. The poor thing was having her floppy ears chewed off by her herd mate LaManchas. Nubians are the nicest goat breed, other breeds are nice as well, Alpines, Toggs, Sannens, Oberhaslis, all are friendly healthy looking animals. LaManchas are relative newcomers on the scene, it’s hard to trust them, I suspect them of being horse thieves.
Libby is the fat girl who nobody loves; it’s a terrible thing to see in a goat. She puts her head in the manger and makes soft moaning noises, as if she’s never tasted such good hay before. I can hear her asking “Is this hay sun-cured?” It’s embarrassing to watch the way she eats with pure unabashed, unrestrained, untamed greed, as if one of the seven deadly sins is on flagrant display. The other goats persecute her mercilessly, Mrs. G chases her out of the barn and Sophy shuts the door on her, you can almost hear their goaty laughter. Libby is bred to a LaMancha buck. Will her babies have ears? Is Mrs. G. having Nubians or Nupines? Will we get Sophy bred anytime soon? These are the questions that currently rock my little world.