Friday, February 6, 2015

Sorting out the Goats from the..... Goats

The fencing around the grove and the paddock boundaries is completed enough to let the goats back in. Now there is a chance to sort them out and get them into herds that can and should be bred together when they come into heat in autumn.

Pearl, Posy, Queenie and Cedric explore their new quarters

Cedric is our Boer buck. He was a poddy so he is small and mostly friendly. As bucks go he is not too gross and only pees on himself and sucks himself when really provoked. There is often the delicious aroma that only a buck can produce wafting around him but he does the job when required. He is to be the king of the newly fenced paddock and the does that are to accompany him are those that are not his daughters and who don't have good dairy genetics.

Posy was our first goat and hence the tamest and most opportune. If there is a chance of food or a gate is opened a crack Posy is the first there. Her Toggenburg heritage provides her and most of her offspring with distinctive toggles on their necks but none so far have gained the grey/brown coat.

Pearl is only goat we have ever milked but her udders were a little small and her time as a 'wandering' semi-wild goat makes her cautious around humans. She has a decent goatee and some darker shades to her white coat.

Queenie was Pearl's kid that came with her mum when we got them. She must have gained some Toggenburg from her father's side as she shares the toggly neck with Posy.

These three does and the buck were separated with a little bribery and a certain degree of brute force (in Pearl's case). The magic red bucket of food proves very tempting and is enough to make most of our animals start to run towards us in the hope that it is for them.

The does left behind their kids so this evening there is plenty of noise and pathetic bleating to pull on the heartstrings. We will feed up the kids once they have got used to this arrangement while the mums and dads have to make do with the grass in the paddock until winter. Not unsurprisingly Posy's kid made it through two electric fences to her mother but by dusk the other two kids were still bleating. The weaning begins.

 It is a sad but necessary part of growing up for us all.

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