a preponderance of punctuation marks (reedrover) wrote,
a preponderance of punctuation marks

State of the goats

I'm waiting on delivery of a temporary goat, who is coming out from Maryland for breeding to Cookie. She was supposed to be here a few weeks ago, but life got in the way of her owner making delivery (snow, family emergency) so I'm still waiting.

Sashimi and Constantine are still on the farm. They are pending a CAE test to leave for points south. .. I think. I haven't had contact with the potential new owners in over a month, as I don't have the CAE test done to report to them yet. I can't get that CAE test done with any honesty until the temporary goat (above) shows up, so that I can get her tested too and prove that everyone is healthy. I totally respect that the commercial dairy owner wants proof of CAE-negativity before bringing new goats onto her farm, and since no one is in a rush, I figure I'll get it done sometime... later...

If I can nail down their shearing date for this week, I plan to have Goblin and Gimble wethered on Friday. While they are both good boys, and Gimble's fleece is particularly nice, neither of them is spectacular enough to keep as a replacement. More to the point, I refuse to field five adult bucks all winter and into kidding season. Three is plenty, thanks. And as soon as those boys are cut, I'll be bringing Jared into that field for the annual smackdown between him and Loki. The sooner those two are in the same pasture, the sooner Loki will calm the heck down.

The new field that we fenced in from our purchase of next door is working out very well. I can push goats into it from either side of the back barn fields, so I can alternate which groups get to go play in the new area. I've been reluctant to let the Loki / Alys / Goblin / Gimble / Talla group back there because of all of the thorn bushes tearing up the three long fleeces. Once the shearer hopefully shows up this week, I'll be able to let everyone back there without too much worry until the weather gets bad. (I don't want them stuck out when it gets cold and wet. Jared already spent one night stuck out there earlier this fall with his horns tangled in the thorn bushes!) Of course, this morning when I called him in for breakfast from the new field, Hercules-llama was sporting 10 feet of blackberry bramble like a flag off of his rear end. I had to distract him with breakfast and then pin him to the fence to work the bramble out of his fur. Thankfully I had my good leather gloves with me.

Loki gave me a reminder this morning about why I have Summer-goat quarantined up front where the gates don't swing towards her. He bashed his head against the gate between his group and where I come in with the food until he snapped the double-ended clip holding the chain in half. He didn't break the clip off at the joint where the slide retracts into the metal. He snapped the metal shaft itself in half. There was no real good reason for it, either. He was just impatient for breakfast. But that kind of behavior is why I don't want Summer anywhere near a fence or gate that can fail. She is not getting knocked up this year. No way, no how. So she is up in the front pasture where the gate swings away from her, so if Cookie takes it into his head to smash against it, well, we'll have a flattened gate just like the one that Loki and Jared did in two years ago.

And speaking of Summer, I am planning to purchase a new white doe, preferably already bred for color, this winter. Summer-goat's fleece is no longer all that fine, nor is she producing quite as much of it as she was. I want another young white doe to bring white back into my fiber offerings and to improve my colored breeding lines as well. I think I've gotten over Penny's death, and I'm pretty sure I know how to avoid repeating those mistakes. On the more practical side of it all, I'm trying to get this transaction completed before December 1st. The show rules include ownership of a goat for six months before showing it. The show is Memorial Weekend, so that means a prior-to-December purchase if I want to show the mother, and a before-kidding purchase if I want to show that kid.

As far as expecting kids, everyone who is supposed to be pregnant should be by now. Anna is definitely pregnant, and looks like she is carrying a baby hippo in there. Talla is a fluffy round ball, but is also carrying five months of fleece, so I won't really know what's going on until she is shorn (hopefully this week!). Alys, Mona, and Dahlia look plump, but not like they are hauling a scout troop each, so either they are late, high, or singling this year. Sashimi always carries high, so I can't tell if she is going to double or single this year. Jessie is carrying low and forward, so she looks both skinny and like she is carrying twins all at the same time. That's not healthy, so I have put her in with Summer so that I can feed her a bit more and keep her dry and safe from the younger, more dominant girls.
Tags: angoras, breeding, expanding_the_empire, fencing, goats, llamas, summer-goat

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