Sunday, February 27, 2011

Poppie, "they are your goats not mine" yeah right, My goats. lol

When we lost Mama goat and Butterfly, as I said before Poppie was devastated. I was saddened but I was not attached to them. I knew I wanted more but at that stage it was more for Poppie and the girls. We receive Tink and Belle from our neighbor, and eventually lost one to goat birth and one we gave to the neighbors as a pet, she ended up being a free martin. She was neither truly female or male, which , I have read, happens in about 5% of the population in goats. I, over the winter, had read about boer goats and decided that I would like to get one and see if I liked them with the thought of creating a heard of diary and boer goats, milk from the diary and better meat from the boer. Goats have to have annual babies to keep in milk, it can be done other ways, I know, but it is much harder work to keep a nanny producing milk with out refreshing with having babies. I had also found out that buckling. like in the cow dairy industry. are not a prized consequences of birth. Dairies, cow or goat, cull the boy babies. I really didn't want to eat them at birth, chicken size, and even weanling's aren't a lot of eating meat, and to keep them longer cost alot of food without a lot of meat in the end. We have not real pasture so feed hay and pellets daily. Boers on the other hand are more like feeding, a beef calf as apposed to feeding a dairy calf, more meat for the lb of food fed. We decided we would have a mixed herd. I went forth with this plans in mind to buy my first does.

My friend Belle, had looked on craigslist and found a quality two year old doe and her granddaughter that was a newborn cross breed saanan/boer. The seller was a girl that had had them for 4-h but was going to go into dog mushing and no longer had a need for the doe and doeling, about 120 miles away. While Belle had found these goats I had found some boer cross goats about 85 miles away. The lady had a bumper crop and was trying to reduce her herd. Belle and I compared notes, both finds were worth looking at, as my intent was to end of with a herd of 6 does and a nice buck. The lady I had found had lots to choose from and the girl Belle had found had a high quality doe I was interested in. We decide to make appointments about a week apart to go to see and buy goats.We got in my truck, and as I own a big dodge ram, to save diesel and get better fuel mileage, I never drive faster than 62.5 miles an hour, the optimum mileage for my truck, so I am told. Mokie is used to my driving patterns, Belle was polite and never said a word but I think I drove her nuts, she travels a lot and I know she gets there faster than I do. Anyway, we started out on our hour plus trip, I had the directions and soon arrived at the place. I had expected it to be a big nice goat farm, as we drove through the nice subdivision, we were in the kind of area I expected to be. We drove over the last hill and into the little canyon ,off of the subdivision, we were faced with a sight.

The lady, we were to buy the goats from, had lived there 28 years, long before the subdivision with quarter of a million dollar homes had been made, we were faced with what can only be described as hillbilly hollow. Barb, her real name, is an implant from Texas, lost a her only daughter 20 years ago and sought solace in her loss in raising goats and dogs. She is, in my opinion, a true animal hoarder, and I am sure the bane of her neighbors existence. She is right on the edge of legal or they, in their nice homes, living right next to her, would have gotten her place condemned and her out of there a long time ago. I loved her the moment I meant her, as did Mokie, I am not sure that would be Belle's opinion, but we all understood in a moment she knew her stuff about goats. She had quality AI equipment and knowledge she had brought with her from Texas. Mokie and I have since visited her on numerous occasions and always come away with more knowledge and input from her odd life.

We were taken to a warren of goat huts and pens, in the middle was a large Boer buck chained to a car axle that had been planted into the ground. Poppie had run a junkyard on our property in the 90's so I knew how strong that post was. She said he was a lovey but I still had to wonder why he needed the steel post. His son was free ranging in the herd, he was nearly as big but not yet filled out. She offered me either buck, I thought long and hard, the older buck had paper, which I really want, and the young buck was 1/8 alpine, so a percentage goat, but she had not papered him, in the end I couldn't get around the steel post and went with the younger buck. He is my wonderful Caesar, she had called him junior, I don't know if he knew his name then but he does now and he is a much bigger buck that his father was. All my bucks are named after great men from history, whence Caesar, I also ended up with Zeus, and Rommy, short for Pharaoh Ramses the II.

Barb also, had does, one that I now suspect is Caesar's twin but she was cloudy on lineage at the time, Cleo, as in Cleopatra and her half sister, Joan of Ark, which I no longer have, she ended up being smaller than I wanted in my heard, so she is now a pet at a new home. I also came home with Cleo's twin bucklings and Joanie was pregnant, Mokie can home with a set of bottle twins. Belle did not buy any goats, and hasn't gone with us again to Barb's when we went back.  Mokie bought Flicka, Joanie's twin latter in the summer.  Barb always sends little withers she doesn't want to eat with us. She is a character, she is lonely and a bit of a sad soul, but she is a kick in the pants every minute you spend with her.

The next week we went on a road trip again.  Belle nicely offered to drive this time, I am sure to make the trip faster,  but in the end we took my truck. She had the directions and ultimately, we were glad we took my truck, as the destination ended up being at the top of a mountain in Idaho. We, after our trip the week before, were ready for any kind of odd place that we might arrive at. I have since found the alot of Goat ladies are odd souls and that is why so many are referred to as Crazy Goat ladies. I guess, Mokie, Belle and I are three of them.  The girl, selling the goats, and her family were lovely people, they had a lot of the Saanan goats, as the mom was raising them but not really into the Boers for her family. She also  home schooled her children so Belle, who does the same, had a lot of common ground with her and they got on quite well. We loaded up Rosie and Calico, Belle was getting the granddaughter for her own herd, and headed home. We stopped for lunch on the way back, Belle's treat, but we were home shortly. Incidentally, at the time I didn't know it, but it is illegal to transport any livestock across state lines with out, permits, quarantines and paperwork, my bad.

Rosie was my first purebred boer goat, and Cleo my first goat, they belong to me...... just ask Poppie, as he is talking baby talk to them and itching them in their favorite spots.... next time.

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