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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Midsummer goat update: general status and thoughts about shows and sales 
16th-Aug-2016 10:48 am
Summer
It's been a while since I've done a public post. Hi! I'm still here. And so are all of the goats. Sancho and Jessie continue to greet the mornings with their geriatric aplomb. Ok, not really. Jessie has been biting Elsa into submission. And Sancho is still beating on the yearling boys. I can count his ribs, but he insists he's still got the heft to take 'em.

The goat babies are getting big and fluffy. I think shearing them in the spring was the right decision, because their hair isn't tangling like memory says it should about now. I don't know if the loss of an inch or two of hair has helped them stay cool, though. They are pretty well-covered by now.

Due to continued email exchanges, I'm getting more confident that Padric and Clancy are going to be sold. Actually, it's not a "sale" per se. They are going to be swapped two-for-two with two reverse badger doe kids from a lady from New England. We'll be making the handoff at Rhinebeck. ::so excited!:: I am well aware, however, that a swap does not actually lower my headcount. So I still need to move some other goats along.

I would like to get rid of some of the other boys as well, specifically Richie, Simon, Ivan, and Reese. Richie isn't doing me any good at all right now. I'm hoping to get him registered by inspection at SVFF so that I can sell him in good conscience, or breed him with purpose (to Anna). Simon is such a pretty boy that I'd love to keep him, but I don't need yet another boy in the same line as Ari and Diego. Ivan is just kinda there. He has nice hair, but doesn't compare very well to Simon. If he doesn't sell this year, I'm going to neuter him and sell him as a wether next year. If Dahlia throws another reverse badger boy next year, then I'll probably sell Diego and keep that kid, just to get some spacing between Ari and his successor. Reese is a big boy with good coverage and excellent personality, even if his horns are a little wonky. Hopefully someone will fall in love with him.

As far as girl goats go, I'm going to put Corene, Hope, and Misty up for sale as a group. "Buy the rainbow!" I don't have a special attachment to any of them, and I'd like them to go where they have friends. And if Ari is going to continue siring everyone, then Corene and Hope don't have much of a future here. I'd like to sell Tia, too, but it will have to be to the right place. She's small and shy and I don't want her beaten up forever. If I keep her, then she and Soma can hang out and then be in charge of next year's kids. I'm keeping Soma because she is so amazingly soft even if she's knock-kneed, has no curl, and is half the size of the other yearlings. If she ever grows big enough, she's going to make incredible, Anna-soft kids with Ari. Madeline... I'm on the fence about her. She's four years old and never bred. She's a fine goat, but she's still on the bottom of the list for the breeding lineup. I'm trying to give Lily away to DragonRidge Farm. She's a nice goat, but again, I don't need her for anything and I have Ginger, Taffy, Fiona to fill all of the redhead niche.

The breeding lineup is a mishmash of preferences that I have. The factors include: the age of the doe (how many more years of kids), the possible type of kid from the doe (reverse badger, redhead), how close is the doe related to the buck (Anna shouldn't stand with her son Ari). So the current list of possible breedings, in order of preference - if Richie is in the mix - looks like this:

Dahlia x Ari - let's have some more reverse badgers!
Anna x Richie - see what his curls can do with her soft hair.
Fiona x Ari - let's see what she can do for her first time.
Ginger x Ari - Simon was pretty good, but maybe a girl this time.
Madeline x Richie - this is her only chance for an unrelated buck.
Emma x Richie - maybe this time she'll throw color.
Taffy x Ari - Reese was a good first attempt. Let's go for better horns, though.

Seven standing does is a lot, though. That's an estimated ten new kids. For the sake of hypotheticals, I've made the mental math easy: I will need to sell/lower my numbers by 1.5x the number of does I breed. So if I sell six, I'll breed three... maybe. We'll see if greed outweighs sanity.

In the meantime, goat summer camp continues. Lerris had a bit of excitement last week due to some back foot issues, but it appears that all is now forgiven. I expect that the eight campers will continue munching and crunching over there until after Labor Day. While they are gone, I'm renting a backhoe to clean out the barns and then putting down the first run of fall grass seed. My goal is to have the barns clean and to reinstate grass along the fence line between Dahlia's pasture and Jessie's pasture, and along the interior fence in Jessie's pasture, before the campers come home.

Current goat population, by location and age:
Campers: Dahlia, Anna, Lerris, Ginger, Pan, Fiona, Taffy, Lily
Up front: Sancho, Loki, Scout, Ari, Richie, Diego, Ivan, Simon
Back left: Madeline, Emma, Hope, Corene, Misty, Soma
Back right: Jessie, Elsa, Reese, Tia, Padric, Clancy (and Hercules and the chickens)
Comments 
(Deleted comment)
16th-Aug-2016 11:49 pm (UTC)
Since I'm showing, I'll likely be there from noon until evening on Friday, all day Saturday, and all day Sunday. I know that's not terribly helpful, but there ya go. If you end up needing a friendly face or a support network, you can find me in the goat barn for all but about two random hours when I dash out to say hi to all of my vendor friends.

What's it like - it's small. It's a smidge bigger than Montpelier. You can see everything, catch a few demos, socialize, and still have lunch without feeling like you rushed. A lot of the venue is shaded. There are real bathrooms augmented by portapotty stations. There is a gourmet coffee place and fabulous apple cobbler.

Edited at 2016-08-16 11:52 pm (UTC)
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