The ladies lined up to check out the fresh meat
Saturday we drove several counties over to get Too Short from a pal who was in the same position we are with the lady goats.... we both have several dairy does who need to be bred so they can freshen next spring. However, the cost for taking several gals to a breeder is almost on par with just buying a buck. Having heard the oohing and aaahing of how cute he was and a promise that he wasn't too stinky we decided that we'd try bringing a buck here. To be sure, he's more like a buckling - that is, a young, intact male goat.
First, Too Short stepped out with Debbie
Our decision making went like this: Debbie normally would go to a professional herd for about 3 weeks or so for basically the cost of a tank of gas. We have a great relationship with a La Mancha breeder so my home canned pears were all that was required for payment instead of paying a fee (about $50 - $75). However, his prized buck died tragically and the breeder was scrambling to find a replacement. And we'd have to dry Debbie out as there is no way we could expect our friend to milk her for 3 weeks. So we always consider the loss of milk as a "con" for taking her to the breeder.
Then this Romeo chatted up Nibbles, who played hard to get for exactly 10 minutes. Hussy.
Nibbles usually would go to a prize winning, second generation mini-mancha buck about a tank of gas the other direction... and depending on her performance would either be there 3 weeks or about 30 minutes. Her fee usually ran $75 - $100 depending on how long she was going to be with that herd.
With just those two it made more sense not to have a buck (adding in time, energy, and stinky factor). However, Dahlia is our wild card. We've been on the fence about breeding her. Some folks think that you should wait another year to breed a doeling, but others follow the "8 months or 80 pounds" rule. So we werent sure - and our mini-mancha buck owner told us that she had never had good luck breeding a doeling.
Then my pal got a deal on a buckling.... so we figured we'd jump into the seedy underworld of goat pimping. It goes like this - Person A gets a buckling and keeps him long enough to breed her lady goats then sells him to Person B. Person B keeps him long enough to breed her lady goats then finds a
I have to admit that Too Short is kinda cute - so some folks are asking me why we don't keep him? For the same reasons we never wanted a buck in the first place: everyone here has to work and keeping an animal full time who has one "part time job" just doesn't make sense for us.
We don't have the space or the patience to set up another living area and housing on the far side of the property for a buck. And in truth, he'd probably need a friend. So then we'd have two goats standing there doing nothing but stinkin' up the place, eating all the hay, and getting on my last good nerve. And possibly being coyote bait because they'd have to be far enough away from the dairy goats that their milk wouldn't be ruined by the buck smell. Around here "far enough away" would be pretty far away from the house and out of my line of sight so we couldn't keep them safe as we'd like.
There are plenty of bucks available around here (check your local craigslist) so we don't think there will be a shortage any time soon. However, if you are really remote, have a not-so-common breed of goat, or just have the room to house a buck separately - then go for it. My pal L is having good luck with his buck - and wow his herd is growing! However, L had to build a separate, reinforced pen for full sized buck.
I'm also not wild about having an intact male anything in the barnyard - except for the poulty. I'm not a big person so the barnyard crew will only take me so seriously. And I'm realistic about this. Sure I can make a grown man cry but if a full sized buck got sideways with me I'd be in a heap in the yard. As it is, Too Short is getting a little sporty with me. Sure he can only really ram me in the shins...but I know some folks who where hurt this way. And I really hate it when he rubs his pee-covered face on my legs. That alone seals his fate to move right along to the next barnyard.
I don't expect him to get out of line, but when he got here Too Short learned the rules:
1. There's the hard way and my way.
2. My way is the easy way.
3. That dog aint lickin' you friend, he's tastin' you.
Its been a little crazy out there in the barnyard anyway with the full moon coming on, the ladies all having the vapors, and now them all showing off for the new man. So when none of the goats wanted to go into the goat house last nite I just went and got the dog. Bringing Dog#1 into the goat yard usually sends the ladies running for their house. Too Short thought he'd test my limits and lallygagged. But it didn't take long for Too Short to realize that dog wasn't his friend and to run headlong for the shed and hide behind Nibbles. Good dog.
So far we think that Too Short has had his way with Nibbles. Pretty soon Dahlia and Debbie will come into heat and then we'll see how that goes. You may be thinking to yourself, how's THAT gonna work? You can see from the pictures that Debbie is pretty tall and Too Short is.. well.. short. Apparently they are gonna work it out.
Yours truly will be out there holding Debbie still in front of a hay bale where Too Short will be able to climb up and.. um... er... golly..... "cover" her. If that happens I will have to hide under my kitchen table and wear a bag over my head for possibly weeks. I'm hoping they will just work it out. And no, in my whole life I never thought this could possibly be on my agenda. I'm just not suited for this at all. In fact yesterday watching Nibbles and Too Short go at it - disgusted, I turned on my heel, threw down my bucket, and told The Big Man that there was no way I was milking Nibbles after THOSE goings on. I went in the house and showered in bleach.
Too Short, by the way, is named after Too Short Raul - a rapper from the 80's and 90's. If I were you I wouldn't click here for the discography... I'd just Respect the Pimpin'. That's me. Goat Pimp. For heavens sakes.
Happy Monday everyone! Now get out there and pimp that goat!