Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summertime goat pictures

 The goats start looking their best this time of year. They've shedded out their long shaggy winter coats - with the exception of Xavier (top left). Their summer coats are glossy and smooth. The goats are happy and stress free. Winter takes it's toll on all of us, and I will be the first to admit that the cold weather and long dark winter's are stressful on the goats.of the herd. Above and below are our three bucks. We keep thinking we should narrow it down to two bucks, but I enjoy having choices when it comes time for breeding.

                         The boys just want to be pet, loved, rubbed and fed greens or other treats. While they look a motley crew, they are big softies underneath. All three are very sweet and good tempered. Although, Zanzibar still plays hard to get when it comes to tying him up for grain or hoof trimming.

 All five does still have their kids nursing off them during the day. We milk in the morning and then let the kids out for the day. So, udders are tight and full in the morning, and fairly drained and saggy the rest of the day.  Zinnia is turning to look at me. Xanadu's bucklings on right.

                                 Above Zinnia with her two doelings on left. One of which is for sale.

                         Asia, dry yearling. I'll be breeding her this fall. She is out of Xoe and Xavier.

Avalon is our other dry yearling who will also be bred this fall. She is out of Xanadu and Xavier. We are starting to handle these two more often, putting them on the milking stand and giving them grain and brushing them. 

 Xanadu's whole family. Her oldest daughter Avalon in addition to her three kids from this year, Bali on the left. It is about time for wethering (neutering) the bucklings. I've been debating whether to leave one intact for another month or so. I have a feeling as soon as I wether all four, someone will want a buckling. I think Xanadu's broken chamoisee is probably the nicest buck out of the four, very handsome and sweet.

 Bali, is hard to get a picture of as she runs to jump on me and see what I'm doing the whole time I'm in the pen.

 The family groups really stick together. In the top picture are Rose, her eldest, Zinnia, Rose's new doeling Bramble on left and Zinnia's two doelings from this year. Rose is our meekest and mildest doe. She needs all the family support and backup she can get.

Zuri on left. Xoe on right with one of her two bucklings. We never have enough feeder space. Dustin just built a new feeder out of scrap lumber that was sitting around. The new feeder is awesome, and a big help. I still need another feeder that is away from the stall and free standing with a roof. You can never have enough feeder space. I hate throwing hay on the ground as a lot gets wasted and it is not good for the goats to eat off the ground. They are more likely to have higher numbers of parasites.

Well, that is our herd. Eighteen goats. Xoe is for sale, with or without sons. We have two doelings for sale. I'm waiting for someone else to make up my mind for me, I think Blue and ...? and Bramble? or Bali? Ergh! This is my first year not stressing about selling wethers. I'm tired of trying to decide who will make a good home for them and worrying about whether they are being taken care of properly. So, I'd rather eat them myself and know that they had a good life and were killed quickly and humanely. Writing it, and actually doing it will be a whole different thing, but that is how I'm thinking now.


Plain and Joyful Living said...

I love reading about all of your goats. I am interested to know how your babies do in terms of being friendly when they stay on their moms. I am considering which way to go next spring with our two does.
Warm wishes, Tonya

Emily said...

Tonya, I'm a huge supporter of leaving kids with their moms for the first few months at least. This year our kids are the friendliest ever. It has all to do with how much time we spend with them their first few days and weeks. We haven't been spending as much time with the goats this last month as there are other things to do and play with outside. So the most recent boys have not been handled as much. But surprisingly the older kids are still very friendly even though we haven't been sitting and petting them everyday.

So, if you still want friendly dam raised kids, you have to still be around, hold them multiple times a day- from day one. Once you see how much the dams love their babies, it would break your heart to separate them at birth. And it is so much work to heat milk and sterilize bottles multiple times a day. But that is my opinion, Emily