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

goat and barn envy

I visited another VAGMA board member's farm this evening. He lives in PA and raises white angoras. For the past couple of years he's won at least one of the top three slots in senior buck kid and yearling doe (I think). He has two senior doe kids that are just the sweetest little things, and one of them already took 1st place in Ohio last month.

I am completely unsurprised that he is breeding winning goats. The softness and fineness of the kids was unbelievable, and that is the overwhelming majority of points in a white goat show. His goats have complete coverage all the way down to their toes (more points), and are quite calm and friendly. Basically, they look like tribbles with horns, and like to nibble on your elbows, jeans, what-have-you. He handles his goats a lot to make them calmer during shows and when he needs to do maintenance on them. The only flaw in his goats is the horn structure. Some of his kids -- mostly the males -- have outward flaring horns that wouldn't be out of place on a cashgora or some other blend.

Not only are the goats to die for, but the barn was really a solid piece of work too. The main barn is built into a hillside, so the hay loft is at loading-dock level for unloading the hay truck. The lower level is 18x36 divided into an aisle along two walls, two large pens that can each be sub-divided again, and four covered (an elongated part of the barn) shoots out into the pasture. The floor of the main pens slopes out towards the pasture just a bit, and the shoots slope even more strongly, which makes for easy cleaning.

The "high pasture" barn is a repeat of the same hillside style, but is much smaller and does not have the elongation on the one side. It's about 18x18, and is divided into two stalls with a small aisle in the middle.

The external fencing is 6-foot-tall no-climb on round oak posts. Inside of these fences are 4-strand portable electric fences that keep whatever groups separate as he chooses. Currently, he has four divisions -- adult males (four bucks and a wether), adult females, senior kids and small yearlings, and junior kids. I saw at least three pasture areas that were unoccupied -- he likes to move the goats when he de-worms them, so he can mow the old pasture to clear the uneaten weeds and let it "dry up" to cut down on worm loads.

Interestingly enough, he does not have any cats. The dogs were real sweethearts, though.
Tags: angoras, vagma

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