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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The open gate

Goats are wonderful. Just when you think you know what they're going to do, they fool you.

Yesterday evening, around dusk, I drove the tractor out the gate from the pasture.  The goats were in, so I didn't bother with the gate, figuring I'd get it the next morning.  Well...I forgot about it and let the does out for their respite time.  About two hours later, I walked out to the barn, glanced at the gate, and with a sinking feeling,  saw that it was wide open.  Somewhat perturbed,and a little abashed, I looked around.  Where were they?  Garden?  Nope.  Lawn?  Nope. Pasture? No, not there either.

I carefully closed the gate as I scrutinized the area.  Then I saw them, under the barn, sauntering and gazing in my direction.

I am still astonished.  My does take great delight in escaping from the pasture at every opportunity.  Why didn't they notice the open gate?  Was the challenge gone?  I chuckled to myself.  Who can figure out goats?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bringing it all up to date

     Wow!  I can't believe it's been so long since I posted.  Since then, we have three new kids, all purebred Saanens.

Neptune's Fantasy
     Beatrice kidded with one doeling on May 8th, which I promptly named Neptune's Fantasy.  She's very correct, and will probably be on her way to Pennsylvania by early August.
Fantasy Greenears after tattooing.

     Leah had two kids, a doe and a buck, on May 23rd.  I was undecided about going to the HOMDGA Spring Show in Windsor, but Leah made the decision for me.  She was in full labor early morning, and quickly gave birth.
Franz, aka "Frankie".  Dandelion is in the background.

Fleur de Lys, eating from her perch.
Frankie, Fantasy, and Fleur.

All three kids were immediately separated from their CAE+ dams and are bottle fed on a combination of raw goat milk from negative does and raw cow milk.  Leah's doeling, Fleur de Lys, will stay, and the buckling, Franz, is for sale--but will not be wethered if he doesn't sell quickly.  He's too nice to be a pet or meat, and his bloodlines are valuable.

 The two wethers, Euan and Dewey, have been sold, since I don't need to keep them as company for Mime.  In the meantime, I have three Sable bucklings sharing his space.  And what a space it now is!  A neighbor took down some fencing and asked if I could use it.  Could I!  With the help of the Mormon missionaries, the buck pasture has now been doubled, and includes a lot of browse.  They're in goat heaven.   As soon as I open the gate in the morning, they come running out and head for the trees and undergrowth.   It's amazing how quickly goats can clear the understory.  Where before it was hard to see beyond the closest trees, now I can see where they are during the day. 

Fabian under the trees

French Mime (Frenchie) clearing the undergrowth

In the afternoon, they usually move out to the more open area, but there's still browse on the edges.
Fabian still likes the browse, even if everyone else is eating grass.

And Finn McCool is so tired that he lies down to eat.

Finn McCool, Frenchie, and dear old dad on the right.

Grit-N-Moxie (Mime) and Fabian