And then there were ten … again

Got in from doing my afternoon chores yesterday, really quite pleased with myself because I got a lot done during the day.  While Wally was in the bedroom getting changed out of his work clothes, I checked the Hickory Craigslist and saw the goats that I sold on Saturday listed for sale!!

I about flipped out!

I called the woman I sold them to to find out what was going on.  I talked to her that morning and she said everything was fine!  She told me that she couldn’t catch them; that I used my dog (Gel) to catch them and her dog (also a Border Collie) couldn’t help.  That isn’t true, I don’t have to use Gel to catch them to milk, quite the contrary, I have to use Gel to keep them out of the milk parlor!  I told her that we’d be at her house within 30 minutes to buy them back.  Luckily we had not spent the money she paid for the does on anything!

When we got there, I saw her Border Collie in the “pasture” with the goats.  Both of my goats, especially Faith, were alarmed.  I asked her why the dog was in there.  She said, “you don’t leave your dog with the goats?”  Of course not!  I asked if the dog was in with the goats when she was trying to catch them.  She said yes, that he was “helping” her.  As small as the pasture was, I didn’t see how she would have had any trouble catching the two adult goats.  Catching the babies, well, that probably would have been a problem because from what I could see, her “barn” was a small pole barn with no sides; I don’t know where she was planning on putting them up so she could milk.

Way back when I was first getting into goats, there was a local dairy that refused to sell me a goat because I did not have a barn.  I hated her for it, then; now, I understand.  If I had gone out to look at where the goats were going to live, I would not have sold them to her.  I’ll see this woman when the Hickory Farmers Market opens and I plan to let her know that now I understand why she wouldn’t sell me a goat.

I had not listed these goats for sale, the woman who bought them asked to buy goats from me when she was at the house buying rabbits.  I only agreed to sell Bella and Faith because they are hard for me to milk.  From now on, if I sell any more goats, I’ll go to the house where they will live before selling them.  I’ve worked too hard getting these goats to where they are to sell them somewhere where they are not going to get adequate care.  Granted, there may have been more shelter or pasture than what we saw, but I think this was a classic incident of putting the cart before the horse.  The woman said that herself several times.  Apparently, at one time, she had 10 dairy goats in that area.  She told me that they needed upwards of 16 gallons of milk a week to make cheese … I don’t know … that’s an awful lot of milk and if she was as busy as she seemed to be, you’d need to milk a lot of goats to get that much milk even in a week.  From my ten goats, if I milked them all, I’d probably get four gallons a day; only milking ten, I get about three gallons a day.

Luckily Wally is supportive of my management of the farm.  If it were him, he would not have gone back to get the two goats.  When they left here on Saturday, we banded the buck kids’ testicles.  When we got them back here, we cut the bands off.  If there is tetanus on the property, I don’t want to leave any open wounds of my doing and risk contamination.  Plus, I’m pretty sure if we leave them intact, they’ll grow off quicker with more muscle.

While I may have difficulty milking Bella, she’s got two nice, big buck kids on her and that will eventually equal income for the farm.  Almost all of the bucks are slated to be used for meat.  There’s a girl that I’m friendly with at the Farmers Market.  She just had two goats processed and her first Saturday selling the meat, she paid for their processing.  If we can do that, we’ll have essentially free meat.

Hopefully, I can get past this and remain friends with the woman because we had a lot in common.  I’ve seen this before: a young woman with a husband who works a lot of hours trying to home school and grow as much of their food as they can.  I don’t know how they do it.  Two of her children were old enough to help her, but I don’t know how much help they were.  A lot of children these days don’t know how to work.   Heck, one of my first jobs during the summer was picking strawberries and cucumbers.  Loved it!  Not!

Rabbits are all doing well.  I’ve got two does where we hardly see the babies out of the nest box.  I’ve reached in and checked them and they are fat slugs.  Their mothers are feeding them so well, they don’t have to be out.  I’m making note of the mothers with babies who are out early (only one of them right now); I am thinking they are not getting fed as well and are out looking for food.  This one doe is already on the cull list because she only had three babies (only two are alive now); she’s got three from two other does that she’s raising, one of them a Silver Fox.  I hope that one makes it and that it is a doe.  I’m going to pick up a young Silver Fox buck this morning.  The Silver Fox doe is due the 21st of March.  I hope she does better this time around.

It’s FREEZING this morning!  I forgot to put the heat on before we went to bed and when I got up this morning, I about froze to death!  It’s 24 degrees right now.  Not looking forward to going out to milk.  Yesterday evening, Gwen was down in the lower pasture grazing, so I just left her down there.  That will be good so I can get the goats milked first.  Gwen doesn’t wait well.

I guess I better get ready to go out and freeze milk.

Until later …