Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Howdy, happy October!

The 2010 FiddleSong Scarecrow

Ten Goat Challenge

Admittedly, I don’t have a perfect set up yet for my does. My barn design needs some work. I have four good sized stalls that have doors, and I usually allow everyone to comingle. But sometimes, there are issues with the critters. Here is a good example of this problem:
Monday evening I arrived home after a HECK-ISH day at work around 6:00. It was already getting dark, and Rick had already had his dinner, so I decided to feed my stock before eating my meal. I turned on the big yard light, and the lights came on inside the barn.

I have seven does and three kids and one wether in this barn. (Yes, I know, I can count too, and that equals eleven. I’ll get to that.) I had put a can full of grain into a bucket up by the hay barn, so the three kids could “help” me feed. I let them out of their barn and they will follow me around until they get to the bucket, then all three are wrestling each other for the grain. This usually keeps them busy for a few minutes, but this Monday HAD to be different. I was tired and cranky, my head hurt, and I was hungry so I had very little patience.
Mistake one --I tried to carry two flakes of hay at once. When I pushed open the door to the barn, Whimsy dove under my second flake of hay and escaped. Crap. OK, it’s just Whimsy, I thought, she is easy to catch. So I entered the barn, dumping my armloads of hay into the feeders.
Mistake two—never trust a sneaky kid. Those three kids have learned how to push open the barn door from the outside to follow me into the barn. MONDAY, the littlest kid, Angel, ran up and pushed open the barn door and held it open for the other goats to escape.
Mistake three—I left the sneaky kid out, while I attempted to force the does back into the barn. Every time I would catch and drag two does into the barn, SNEAKY (I am changing her name) would open the door again and let them out. I really think she thought it was funny! By the time I caught on I was tired and cranky, my head hurt, and I was hungry so I had very little patience AND exhausted—BUT I was laughing so hard that they were all gathered around me looking at me like “SEE don’t you feel better?”

That is when I looked around and saw that Cooper, the yearling wether, was the ONLY good goat in the herd. There he was calmly munching on his hay, oblivious to the antics happening just outside the barn. I started laughing again!  When I came to my senses, I propped the barn door open, walked in with the cookie jar and politely fed Cooper cookies until EVERYONE was inside the barn begging for a cookie :)

"HA! I am smarter than TEN goats!"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Buck Poor...

I am buck poor. How many bucks make you “buck poor”, you ask? Four, which are three too many.

My favorite by far, Fiddler is the father of all kids born on this farm and is such a sweet and happy little guy. He is so lovable, he likes to snuggle. He never complains, he has a soft voice, no HORNS, but his three sons are quite a different story.

Nutty is the “singer” of the group. His love songs can be heard to Calaveras County. “WAAAAA, waaaaa, waaaa, WWWWWAAAAAA, waaa!!!!! He is quite melodious and has looooong curvy horns! He has never poked me on purpose, but he sometimes forgets that his horns stick out like RV mirrors.

Chocolate Brownie is quite a hunk—he thinks. His long, silky brown coat has touches of red in it. Brownie was a bottle fed baby, so he is gentle and friendly. BIG horns.

FiddleSong Cowboy is Brownie’s full brother. He is mostly black with a brown saddle. He looks like Mariposa, his maternal grandmother, who is an award winning member of the Rosasharn herd. Cowboy is very sweet, and when he was small he would stand up on his hind legs and wiggle his lips for me to give him a kiss. I don’t let him do that anymore, he pees on his own face. BIG horns. He is a nice looking little guy.

About HORNS-We don't want them, we don't like them. The goats learn quickly to use them to get their way. But there is a learning curve to disbudding. We are learning, but have not done it right yet. On the positive side, we have mountain lions in our woods, and coyotes. So good luck trying to make a meal of one of these tough little guys! The horns also make convenient handles :)

ALL of these bucks want to be THE HERD SIRE. They don’t care what kinds of does they are. They love to eat brush, but enjoy alfalfa and a handful of “incentive” goat chow in the morning.(Incentive~moves them where I want them to be without the application of the herding broom to their respective butts.) They don’t mind having their hooves trimmed, or being wormed, or even getting their shots. They would make good weedeaters, too.
Need a buck?