Where to start? I decided to take three milkers and one yearling. In retrospect I wish I'd taken my two year old milker Avalon. Rose; who I suspect may be my nicest confirmation doe, is due in a couple weeks so she couldn't go, so I took her daughter Zinnia, pictured above and bellow, and her granddaughter Bluebell.
I borrowed a couple different pair of clippers from a friend. Alas, as I've never clipped a goat before, it quickly became apparent that I was doing them no favor by putting swipes through their smooth natural coats, so I gave up on clipping, but have the intent to practice before next year's show comes around.
I've never seen lice on my goats and I have looked. I've never deliced them either. However, they make a really big deal about all your goats being turned away if the vet finds a louse during the vet check. I was certainly concerned that the vet might actually find lice so I purchased some diatomaceous (sp?) earth and brushed it into their coats a couple times over the week before showing. In retrospect it appears that I may have overdone it. I ran a warm soapy wet rag with essential oils over the goats before we went to the show. Yet at the show when I was petting or would pat the goats tufts of diatomaceaous earth would puff up. Oops.
I had concerns about showing Zinnia as she is my nervous ninny. She is really a sweet dear thing, but she get's scared easily. When she gets scared she lashes out with her teeth and nips or bites at whoever is closest. So getting bit in the show ring was definitely a possibility, and eventually a reality. What I did not expect is that she would be so nervous that she wouldn't fill out her udder. She produces about five pounds of milk overnight generally, and come the morning of the show her udder was only about a quarter of the way full. I thought about leaving her at home but I was interested in hearing what the judge had to say about the rest of her confirmation.
We were showing at an American Dairy Goat Sanctioned Show. There were enough Lamanchas, Nigerian Dwarf and Nubians to each have their own sanctioned shows. Everyone else was in shown in All Other Pure Bred classes. Zuri and Zinnia were in a three year old Lamancha milker class. Zuri took first place and Zinnia took fourth and last place because of her udder.
Xanadu, my well behaved five year old, took first place in her class, Lamancha milkers five years and older. The judge's words are all muddled in my memory now. But I recall she thought her teats were too long in comparison to her udder. She had good things to say about the rest of her.
Xanadu and Zuri, as best of their class, went on to compete in the overall Lamancha milker class, I'm not sure the proper title. Zuri got reserve Grand Champion. She is the black and tan doe I'm trying to position. Her topline is not as level as it should be, and that seemed to be the deciding factor that kept her from doing better. I was very happy with how they both did and looked. These are my two favorite does and I enjoyed hearing the judge have positive things to say about each of them.
(I hope that none of the ladies pictured here with their goats take offense that I'm posting this without their permission. I will take down pictures if asked.)
Bluebell was the only doe shown in any of the Lamancha Junior doe classes. As a result she took Lamancha Junior doe Grand Champion. Despite the lack of competition, the judge had many good things to say about her. She went on to compete against the best junior does from each other catagory. She got second place in the best of Junior doe show. The judge had me bring Blue back and line her up with the recorded grade doe at the end of the line. So, there were a few moments of excitement. The Recorded Grade ended up taking Grand Champion Junior Doe.
Overall, I ended up having a fun time. I am looking forward to showing again next year. I was hoping that showing might help me make some decisions in which goats to keep and which to sell. If I came away with any conclusions it is to keep the my favorite goats and sell those which I haven't bonded with as much. We have five does, two yearlings and two doelings right now. I'm thinking of selling the two yearlings. I'm having a hard time talking my kids into letting me sell the doelings, but I have a strategy; I'm waiting for my next doe to kid, they are suckers for the new babies. I'm also planning on selling one or two milkers this fall. So, hopefully I'll be down to four to six does in the barn this winter.