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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
The Matriarchy of Jessie-goat 
21st-Mar-2014 10:09 am
Jessie has an opinion
I was contemplating on how successful Jessie's line has been at my farm, and thought I should put it all down as I thought about it. Jessie is still very much alive and biting, so this is a pleasantry rather than a eulogy.

Clover Hill Jessie was born on March 23, 2002. She joined the Giant Cricket Farm team with her twin sister Goldie on New Year's Day of 2003, already pregnant with her first kid. She was a very successful mother, alternating single kids with twins for ten years. She was a good mother regardless of number of kids; she birthed and raised every one of them successfully on her own. (Yes, I helped with the hairdryer on cold birth mornings.)

Jessie was a naturally hornless strawberry blonde, while her matching-colored sister had horns. Except for redheaded firstborn Aerin, Jessie had every kid with Lavender Hill Jared, a partially-belted grey buck who grew a majestic set of horns along the way. All of Jessie's Jared-sired kids were either very faded red - so light as to appear white - or along the grey scale. Two of their kids had horns (Nylan and Zoe), while the rest did not.

In 2006, Jessie had twins Anna and Jenna. Anna was a little hornless grey fuzzy mop with the softest hair I had yet to feel on a colored Angora. As a kid, she placed second at the VAGMA show in Lewisburg. Despite being a roly-poly hornless freak, I kept Anna because I thought she had good things going for her in both inherited motherhood (hopefully) and fleece. She grew up to be a barrel on legs, and kept that fleece quality. In an effort to put some lock structure to that fine, fine hair, I started breeding Anna to Kid Hollow Farm Cookie in the fall of 2008.

In 2012, Jessie had her last kids, a set of mixed twins Krys (faded red) and Zoe (grey). Like her older sister, Zoe was a little fuzzy mop with big dreams - and horns - who made us proud that fall at Rhinebeck with her first place in her class, and then her ultimate Reserve Champion show placement. That very same show, Anna's son Ari placed second in his class. This set of girl-and-boy wins from the same line was the proof that I wanted. I now had outside validation that I was finally on to something good in my breeding program.

In 2013, Zoe rested on her cute little laurels and refused to grow. Due to her small size, Zoe got herself invited off of the truck for the fall shows. However, all was not lost. On the other side of the pasture, Ari quickly became the biggest boy in the GCF buckling group, with beautiful horns and a curly tail. At a year and a half old, Ari won Champion Buck at Shenandoah and place first in his class at Rhinebeck.

Due in part to Ari's fabulous success and part due to selling six goats the week of the Shenandoah show, I let Ari stand stud to my two best unrelated does: Firethorn Farm Dahlia and Kid Hollow Farm Ginger. Both of them kidded singles this spring, one boy and one girl. Both kids have fabulous color, if not that fine, fine, flyaway fleece. I'm very pleased with Ari's first results, and I plan to let him do it again this coming fall if the numbers work out.

It's interesting to me to contemplate the date spread. It took Jessie a few tries to have Anna, and Anna a few tries to have Ari. I honestly don't expect that Ari's very first kids are going to be the champions for which I am looking this time. On the other hand, I have confidence that these will be good kids, and that Ari will have other chances to make his grandma proud.

While I am reasonably sure that there are other kids out there passing on Jessie's genes, it's not quite the same as having them here. It's really neat to me to know that Jessie is enjoying her retirement while looking at her great grandchildren in the next field over. And with those colors, the chances of both kids reproducing when they are older are very high.

Jessie -> Anna -> Ari -> Diego/Viola
2002 -> 2006 -> 2012 -> 2014
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