Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Goats Have Entered The Building

It is official: we have goats! Yesterday we worked long into the night installing a fence for them since we couldn't get started til around 1pm, and finished around 10pm. That included pulling up our neighbor's old T-posts that he said we could use and collecting a butt-load of bird netting that he said we could have too. We tied into the two existing border fences on the back corner of our lot. I went through the brush/woods checking the old fence for holes etc. and patched one big one and repositioned a bunch of sagging barbed wire. The only real fencing worry is the barbed wire fence on the north side that is overgrown right now. When they eat it off they might be able to sneak under it, but we'll cross that bridge later I guess.

What kind of goats did I get you say? Well I got the two Lamanchas I was originally going for plus three others. The Lamanchas are supposed to be around 10-11 months old. They need a little grooming and better feed I think (which I should be able to provide). One looks in pretty good condition, and the other is supposedly bred and expecting soon, but I'd say she's got a month or two left to go. The bred doe looks a bit scraggly, so that is what we are calling her for now: Scraggly. She has some eye water issues right now, but I'm hoping it will clear up since she isn't in as dusty an environment now. Everything I have been able to find seems to suggest that it is probably just irritation or such, and not pinkeye or something serious, but we shall see. The one on the right is Scraggly (this picture was taken at the seller's animal compound). I debated on whether to buy her or a pygmy doe and 2 kids. Both the Lamanchas have nice looking udders as far as I could tell, but they are a little on the small side. I don't know if they aren't fully grown yet, or if they are part pygmy or dwarf because their "ears" are a little bigger than they are supposed to be I think. I am no expert though.

The three others we got were all kids, just weaned I believe. He said they were still sucking when given the opportunity but were eating feed as well. They didn't keep very stringent records so I don't know how old they are, but they are fairly young. Two of the three are Boer/Kiko crosses; both are doelings. The third is purportedly a full blooded Boer buckling. We got to see all the dams and the Kiko sire of the two crosses and they looked acceptable. The Kiko buck* didn't have a majestic rack or anything, but he was still growing and it looked pretty good I guess. One of the cross kids looks kind of like an Oberhasli in coloration anyway. The other is solid white pretty much. *The linked picture isn't the sire, just an example of a Kiko Buck.

I will put some pictures up tomorrow. Josh brought them home from my dad's house where we stopped for Easter lunch, and Lindsay and I went to her uncle's a couple of miles up the road for her family's Easter lunch. Finn did pretty good with his egg hunting. I was surprised. He racked up on miniature Elmo figures and got a Super Grover too. Last night dying eggs we had a minor scare when he grabbed an egg that was still cooling down waiting to go into the dye. He immediately threw it in the floor screaming; mainly because he was super tired and we fussed at him but partly because it was freaking hot. It wasn't super hot, just hot enough that you didn't want to hold it for more than about 10 seconds. Again, Pictures coming soon.

After we left there we swung through Cullman and picked up the last of a group of Pyrenees Pups*, a little girl that Lindsay has named Daisy, and brought her home to meet the pugs. It largely consisted of her hiding under Finn's playpen while they sniffed vigorously from both angles and Finn tried to pet/grab her tail, but everybody settled down. I'm going to introduce her to the goat herd tomorrow; tonight she gets to spend the night with the pugs in the laundry room. She is actually 3/4 Pyrenees 1/4 Australian Shepherd, but she looks just like a GP. Her daddy (half shepherd) looked faintly like a collie or something, but mainly he looked like a GP also. She's been raised with brush goats and seems to like playing with them so that is good. *Again, the pictured puppy isn't ours, just a representation of what ours looks like until I get a picture up...

The fence is done except for the installation of the gate and the miniature gate. We fenced over both of them for now, and have a few 4x4s to cut off even but we did an okay job on at least half of it (especially considering so much of the installation was in the dark). We did manage to get one of the web-wire panels upside down since we didn't realize it had a right side up. We may have to run some additional strips of wire to make sure the bottom squares contain our kids.

Lindsay has already named half the goats: Geraldine (boer/kiko brown and black doe) and Tolstoy (boer buckling). Josh and I named the others on the fly: Buttercup (the white kiko cross), Scraggly (the scraggly lamancha), and Glowbug (the other lamancha, an homage to the lamancha of the same name on the PBS series Frontier House). I told Lindsay we won't eat any of them; fingers crossed that Tolstoy turns out to be a good fertile sire...

1 comment:

  1. Correction. We ate(are slowly eating) Tolstoy. He was too much of a headache. We had too many boys. And he was the best candidate...


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