Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Buck Stops Here or Goat Pimpin'

As the most immature... modest.... person you could ever imagine, I'd much rather butcher something then be involved in the breeding and birthing end of farming. So you can guess my feathers are a little ruffled over becoming a goat pimp.
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.

Dahlia nearly lost her mind when she saw Too Short and acted like a fool. . A good lesson for teenage girls - don't chase some boy... he won't like it. Too Short walked back to Nibbles, who batted her eyes while Dahlia got mad stomped her foot.  

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 chump willing buyer who will purchase the buck once the buck is done with his  "chores" here. Of course, like all pyramid schemes at some point you run out of breeding season and someone is left holding the bag, as it were. But my pal, Bourbon Red is willing to have the buckling for a while and if he can't find a buyer then Too Short will go to the sale barn.

 The ladies checked out the goods. I'm not trying to be crude with this picture - just truthful  so's you know what to expect. But did you sing the song? "Do your what's hang low, do they wiggle too and fro..." *snicker*

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!


Robin said...

You are too funny! I hope that they all work things out for your sake!

Carolyn said...

I can totally understand your decision to keep Too Short just for breeding purposes and then sell / pawn him off on someone that needs him / got suckered. :)
We kind'a inherited our ND buck and he'll breed three or four of our girls each year, but I still honestly wish we had someone lined up with a buck we would WANT them to be bred to. I've also really considered just going to the sale barn & picking up a nice looking buck (is that possible at a sale barn?) using him, then sending him back to the sale barn. But then there's the whole big issue about disease. Ugh. The trials and tribulations of Goat Pimping, I mean, breeding.

Mr. H. said...

As long as everyones having a good time...that's all that matters.:) Seriously though, best of luck with all your goat breeding endeavors.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Robin - I cant wait for the whole thing to be over. I just cant handle this kind of thing!

Carolyn - I think there are a lot of us in the same boat. Someone I know in IN just took a prize buck to the sale barn today. You never know what you'll end up with. Of course there is always a risk. But if you have somewhere to quarantine new comers - it could work out.

Mr. H - I'm so embarrassed I could just die. Sheesh!

Michelle said...

Thanks for putting some humor into this breeding issue. I feel your embarassment & struggles with the whole program. So much to consider to get the girls bred!

JeffJustJeff said...

We should all start a list of "I never could have imagined in a million years that I would ever do this:" after becoming farmers. I don't know how many times I've said that since we moved to the farm. I think my number one would be hog-tying a buck deer with my step-dad to get him untangled from my electric netting fence.

Chai Chai said...

The pressing question around here is; Will the "kids" have no ears, two long ears, or just one ear?

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

You are a riot first thing on Monday morning :o) but it woke me up :o)

Rae said...

Now that I'm done laughing hysterically, and have wiped the tears from my eyes... I don't blame you for not wanting to keep him around permanently (and being grossed out about even the temporary stay). I never minded taking our stallion to tease or breed the mares. Goats though, ewwww. Bucks are so GRODY! Yicky.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks Michelle - I'd much rather just go out and find goat babies in a cabbage patch or have the stork bring them!

JJJ - its a whole other world, isnt it? Zoikes!

CC - One ear would be really something... ha! Nibbles came from a line of "one long eared and one short eared" babies. But no telling with the rest.

Its always something, Ginny.

Rae - I may not make it thru this for sure... bucks are grody to the max! ha!

Autumn said...

You know they are selling Pimp costumes at Halloween stores! ;)

In all seriousness, I know what kind of damage even a small buck can do, so I would suggest getting him hauled out ASAP.

IanH said...

Thanks for the course on Goats 101!

Mary Ann said...

Oh my goodness... I have been laughing for five minutes, and I NEEDED a laugh today! Thank you!

I still say he is a darn good looking buck!

David P. Offutt - The Gastronomic Gardener said...

Thanks for the laugh! Came in handy while stirring a batch of green tomato chutney!

AZdesertFarmer said...

WOO-HOOO!!!! I'm in the big time now. Got a mention in OFG's blog. Life is good!!!
The boy is doing his job. Got #2 bred today. At this point I take any wierd activity as a sign of heat and throw them in the buck pen. Hopefully we will have eveyone bred in the next couple of weeks. As for your mention of our herd growing, we aquire 2 more this week. Thanks again for all your help and advice.

Still not sure what we will do with him after breeding season.


Ohiofarmgirl said...

Autumn - A farm pimp would be hilarious!

Hi Ian! Great to see you!

Thanks Mary Ann, yep too bad he doesnt smell as good as he looks. ha!

Hi Dave, wait - green tomato chutney? I'm coming right over to see.

You're TOTALLY famous, Larry! ha! And really - great work getting the herd up and growing. You might have made a new friend in that buck. He might be able to 'earn his keep' by being a stud for hire. Or just send him along to the next person. Let us know, tho, what you decide.

Amy E said...

He's a cute little guy. FYI, we don't keep our goats penned apart. All of them run together. We have 2 bucks and 7 breeding females (2 females about 9 months old). They breed throughout the year, and we have babies in the spring and fall (our current crop due in November). Good luck with the breeding, pray they take! ;-)

Unknown said...

Very funny post, and a great solution to the dilemma of keeping a male on hand for his necessary, but "part-time" role on the farm. We raise cattle and have had the same debate about keeping a bull, who would be even more dangerous and difficult to contain. My husband is all in favour (apparently he sees the importance of a male as more than a part time job!), but fortunately we don't quite have enough land. Instead we had the vet over to AI our jersey cow, which I think has been successful.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Liz, AI is the way to go for cows for sure. Bulls can be bad business for sure.

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