Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tis The Season

The goats and the barn cats are quite attached to our youngest grand daughter who on warmer days gets out of the car and gives them lots of attention. As you can see Purrsey is loving it.

Even if she does pull his tail a might.
As for the goats. Our grand daughter each morning she is out, decides whether or not she's going to eat the vanilla wafers or if she's going to share with the goats. I'm never quite sure what her decision will be as each day it is different. You know what the goats are hoping. Though tall dark and handsome here has been with us a week, she has yet to share any with him.
Yes, it tis the season but I'm not talking about Christmas today. It tis the season to ensure the milking pail will be full of milk for another year.

This buck we've borrowed from Michelle to romance our girls into kidding this spring. What do you think we'll have, black, black, or black with a little brown? He's quite large for his age though I think he's only a month older than these doelings and they are good sized for their age. The buck's mama has an awesome udder from the photos I've seen of her and the milking line is impressive so I'm hoping for some really outstanding doelings.

This is our two doelings out of Chicory - Katrina, and Contessa. I wish I could get some better pictures but they either have their heads stuffed down into the feed or they are so close to me I can't lean back far enough to get a picture of anything but their nose.

Yes, the dehorning didn't go so well and we have some scurs that we've got to remove after the holidays. We're out of practice since for years we bred to Boer bucks and never dehorned as we just gave away the offspring in trade for the breeding fee or sold them.

With the quiet heat cycles of the Nubians I do miss my Saanens. Chicory when she came into heat barely acted any different than any other day of the year and I just happened to catch a discharge when I was milking after dark or I wouldn't have know she'd come in. With the kid's schedule, it means I'm milking after dark and Kirk and I had to laugh as we led her over to Michelle's to visit this buck that was in his own pen at that time. It felt like we were doing something sneaky since it was after dark. Oh, yeah, we'd talked often about breeding our goats to him with Michelle and wondered what we'd get but taking her over in the dark somehow seemed a bit sneaky.

Since Chicory is larger than the young buck, I put her down into a dip in the pen, just far enough that the buck would be standing on higher ground and then I stuck the side of my thigh into her chest like I was showing a market lamb and waited. Along came the buck and I helped him up a bit making sure he was high enough. I'd then let Chicory go for a few minutes while he romance her and lust over took the buck again and back we'd go into the dip once more. This is a method I've used a number of times in the past. It increases the likelihood that the doe will take on the first breeding. It does leave you smelling to high heaven taking part like that. But once again it appears it worked the first time as we haven't noticed Chicory coming in to heat again and taking her over to visit when she should be cycling, twenty-one days later, has showed no interest in her part.

I waited six more weeks to give the doelings more growth time and I handled them differently. They can be rather panic stricken having to deal with the rage of hormones for the first season and a stranger who is lusting after them so I placed the buck in the pen a week prior to when I knew they would come into heat so they could get to know one another, becoming comfortable. Late Friday night and really early Saturday morning nature took its course and when I arrived each time a different doeling's back was wet telling me he had been busy. Not to mention the frantic waving of the tails of the little does when he walked by.

How did I know when the girls would come in. If does have been housed together for a long period of time, they will cycle at the same approximate time. The dominant doe being the one who dictates when they will all cycle. Hence, I knew when Chicory came in so I knew about when the doelings would come in.

The whole production was without the dramatics of my Saanens and I missed them especially this last month. Their wild frantic eyed looks when they came into estrus were a comedy act as they screamed in a panicked voice telling me, "I NEED A BUCK AND I NEED HIM RIGHT NOW!" No having to guess when they were ready to be bred. When I opened the gate, it wasn't the milking stand they headed for but off in the direction of the most odiferous pen that could be detected on the breeze that is almost always blowing around here. If you made the mistake of holding on to their collar, you'd get jerked off your feet in their desperate rush. And letting them go meant you better have your running shoes on.

Those of you with goats know it doesn't matter if the buck is descented or not. He's added his own form of cologne and he stinks, REALLY STINKS!! Just less so than the non descented ones. Or shall we say the stink for fewer months of the year if they are descented. For yes, bucks, like elk, pee all over themselves. Yuck!!! It leaves the girls with no need for a road map to find them and those of us close to them wishing they'd come up with another form of attraction.

Yes, I posted twice today. Whatever has gotten in to me?

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