11 November 2014

Love is in the Air

It is Fall on our Groovy little farm.  Late Fall.

The leaves have all come down except for a few stalwart holdouts on the Maple out in the front yard.  The grass is still green, but it's fading and we haven't needed to mow since September.

We've cleaned up the garden and planted the garlic.  We've mulched the strawberry bed and brought the garden hoses in so they don't freeze and crack at night.

We've filled in the low places in the goat pen so they won't swamp up on us next Spring when the snow melts.

And Love is in the air - Goaty love!  After 2 barren years, we have pulled out all the stops to make sure that each of our goaties finds true love and gives us children.  And milk.  Don't forget the MILK!

We don't own any bucks.  However charming they may be the rest of the year, bucks are stinky during the "love" season (aka "the rut").  Bucks pee on themselves (and on their owners if caution is not taken.)  Bucks make gross noises and act really, REALLY weird.  Bucks are hard on fences and hay racks and feed troughs.  Owning bucks would require us to build another pen and another shelter.  Owning bucks on our current piece of property would probably necessitate giving away alot of delicious goat milk cheese and goat milk fudge to stay in the good graces of our neighbors!

So, needless to say, there will no bucks on the Groovy farm anytime in the foreseeable future.

Thus, when our does appear to be "hankerin' for a man", we take them on brief dates to farms that DO have bucks.  So far, only one of those dates has ever resulted in kids.  I may have caught the girls too early or late in their cycle.  Or I may have called the breeder at the right time, but they wouldn't be home until the next day.  And then, when their next cycle (the goats' cycles, not the breeeders' cycles) came, I didn't recognize it and missed the chance to rebreed them.

This year we are taking no chances.  I charted their cycles.  I kinda thought Annika, our Nigerian Dwarf, might be in heat and I rushed her over to a local breeder who was  - oh thank the Lord - actually home and available.  Annie was, indeed ready for love.  But to clinch the deal she stayed with her handsome beau, Two-Faced, ALL day!  That was 2 weeks ago - and I think it may have worked.  I should know for sure within the week...

Here's Annika and I:

Our 2 LaManchas, Ditza and Electra, have to go much further away to a breeder; 45 minutes one way.  I thought Electra was in heat, drove her out there and...Fail.  The buck was VERY interested, but she was not.  NOT groovy!

So I formulated a plan to save us gas and save me stress.  I dropped Ditza off at their farm last week a few days before she was supposed to be in heat.  "Call me when she's bred." said I.  And then I just focused on other things.  I got the call (Huzzah!!!) and went this morning to pick her up and simultaneously drop Electra off.  I'm figuring that the small amount we pay for boarding is absolutely worth the decrease in my stress level!

Here's Girly-Girl and Ditza:

I didn't think Electra's heat was until this next weekend, but she's hard to read.  She was showing some possible signs when I did chores this morning before we left and I got an email this evening that she may be ready to party with one very handsome (if you look past the his pee drenched face) Mr. Man tomorrow!

Here's Silly-Head and Electra:

We have prayed earnestly for the Lord to increase out herd.  So please join us in praying for a healthy outpouring of baby does in the Spring!

I will keep you updated - probably ad nauseum - as I ruminate about my ruminants, but I'll add in cute photos so you won't get too bored.  ;-)

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