My good mood went to hell in a hand basket after I finished milking. When I was bringing the goats and Buster out to the front field, all the way out, Buster was continually riding the goats until he knocked Billie (who is the smallest of the goats) down. Damn! I’m not going to risk my milk goats with a $20 calf. I separated him out from the goats, put the goats out and started down into the back field with him with the intention of putting him in with the sheep. The plan all along has been to put him down with the sheep where he can graze 24/7 as a cow should. I would continue to give him his daily bottle(s) until I no longer had milk available.
Well, we got part of the way down there and the calf decided he didn’t want to go. He turned tail and ran back up to the house. Gel tried to stop him, but he kept running up over him.
It seems Gel doesn’t have enough bite in him, but that calf was determined to get back to the goats and I don’t know if he was stoppable no matter how hard the dog bit.
We tried several more times to get him down there, but it wasn’t happening so I got the goats and brought him down with the goats, put them in the ElectroNet and sorted the goats back out and brought them back up. I’m sure he’s not going to be happy about being left down there, but as I said, I’m not risking injury to the goats by the calf or Rose. I know little about cows, but I expect the riding behavior is perfectly normal for them. Riding other calves wouldn’t be a problem, but he now outweighs the goats by about 100 pounds. I know Liath will be happy to have the calf down there. She likes cows.
Rose: she’s going through another growing stage. The episode with the sheep was evidence of that and I’ve caught her running the goats a bit since she’s been up here. When I caught her running Champagne, I put her drag pole back on her. Unfortunately, it isn’t working as well as it should so it will need to be modified. I wrote up a post on the Edgeworth Sheep Forum describing the issues, but ended up deleting it. I am sure that it’s nothing more than maturity and that I’m handling it in the best way I can. I hope that in another six months, Rose will settle down and be a reliable guard dog. Until then, if I have to tie a cinder block to her to keep her from running, I will. On Sunday morning while I was milking, she was wrestling (yes!) with the buck and I think she might have got tangled with him with the chain that’s attached to her pole. She was squealing, but by the time I got out there, she was away from him. Maybe that taught her a lesson.
So, given that my mood is now crappy, I might spend the rest of the day cleaning the house and can training for the day.
Until later …