So much for sticking with one breed of goat. To date I have three purebred LaMancha goats: Rain, Penny and Luna; I also have Luna’s daughter, Dusty whom I will register and Penny’s buck kid, Casper who will ultimately be butchered. I just bought Champagne who is a purebred Nubian. I like different things about each of the goats so I can’t say I prefer one breed over another. The plan originally was to breed Champagne, Penny and Luna to a Nubian buck who belongs to the woman we bought Champagne from. I really liked both of her Nubian bucks and even though I’d end up with crossbred kids from the LaManchas, I have no plans to keep anything from either goat next year, but I might want to keep one from Champagne.
Well, last night at the auction, I was captivated by a pretty little Alpine buck. He looked just barely old enough to be weaned. I bought him for $30, which is a good price given his size. As it turned out, however, he’s just three weeks old! He’s huge for that age. His name is Basil and he’s bloodlines are from some of the nicest Alpine dairy goats in the country. The woman who sold him said we could have his papers if we wanted. At three weeks old, he’ll be just old enough to breed to Champagne, Luna and Penny in October and once he’s through with that, we could butcher him. That would probably work out best for all concerned as I wouldn’t have to bring in an outside buck or bring my does out to get them bred.
I’ll still have to find a buck to breed Rain to when it comes time, but we can work that out later. Perhaps I’ll breed her to a Boer goat in order to get chunkier kids to keep to slaughter.
This dairy goat business is a constant work in progress, always evolving and changing. I guess that’s the way a lot of things go.
I put the sheep up at Red’s on Wednesday and left them there overnight. When I got home from work on Thursday, I took Gel, Fern and Rose up to get the sheep and bring them to the ElectroNet. It was tough going to get down there because the grass is over the backs of the sheep and it was hard to see where they were going. Gel and Fern were not having any trouble knowing where they were, but they were intent on pushing the sheep way faster than I wanted them to go given the heat. We got everyone up and I headed back to the house to get everyone settled so I could go to the auction that night.
When we got home, we gave Basil a bottle of milk. I’ve never fed a baby goat before. It’s kind of neat. This morning, however, panic struck! I had washed out the nipple the night before and left it on the shelf to dry. When I got up to make up a bottle for Basil, I couldn’t find the nipple. I took everything off the shelf looking for it, but couldn’t find it. Great: one of the cats thought it was a toy and who the heck knew where it might have been. It might not have even been in the house. I told Wally and he came to help me look, but he was unsuccessful. Oh well, I told him, we’ll have to get one of the does to let him nurse. We decided on Penny and she was reasonably good about it. It took Basil a few minutes to figure out this new form of nourishment, but once he did, there was no stopping him until his belly was full.
After I finished milking, I went down into the garden and got the rest of the herbs planted and a few marigolds. I have several more packs of marigolds to get in and I’ll need to go back to the local greenhouse to get some more cucumber plants. The ones I planted several weeks ago didn’t survive the cold we had a few days ago. A few of my seedling tomatoes and basil didn’t survive either.
When Wally gets out of work today we’ll be heading up to Polkville to pick up my ATV which hopefully will be running better. That ATV has not run well since I’ve had it. I don’t know why. The model got excellent reviews. Hopefully the man who worked on it got to the bottom of the problem and it will be okay now. It has been gone a week now and I miss having it.
Until later …