Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bucks and Boys

Well, let's talk boys or bucks or billies. 

Because we felt like the girls should be over a year old before we bred them and we planned to breed in August or September we found ourselves with plenty of time to look for bucks. We needed both a Nubian and a Mini-Mancha. It wasn't as easy finding one as I thought it would be. 

We searched and searched and finally put a deposit down with a lady nearby in hopes her one doe would have a buckling. When her Lamancha doe kidded though, no boys. She was expecting a family from TN to come and pick up another doe and suggested that they might have a buckling. I contacted them and they happily delivered Ben, one month old and still on the bottle. 

We bonded over that bottle and he is quite the Mama's boy. He was such a pip squeak it is hard to believe that he grew into this "big," ol' stinky boy. Ben-Ben is a sweetheart and even at the peak of stinky-ness I let him give me his Ben-kisses. Officially, he is 64% Nigerian dwarf, so that means he is small....maybe 2 feet tall....maybe.

Ben: Mini-Mancha Buck
Jasper: wether

Because Ben-Ben was going to be all alone in a barn and pasture by himself, we contacted our friends and got this little wether to be his companion. Jasper was just weaned and a little shy at first, but he is the goatiest goat we have now. By that I mean, Jasper is the goat most likely to sniff, touch, push, or taste weird things. He's eaten a plastic phone company flag and painted his own nose red checking out the fence posts. He's friendly and curious. He's also the goat mostly likely to get your attention for petting, even if it means pulling your hair. Even though Jasper started out with the boys he is currently living in the big barn with the girls. 

Rhett Butt-ler: Nubian Buck
A few months after Ben and Jasper came to the farm. We went and picked out Rhett B. Rhett was dam raised on a large farm/ranch. He had only been handled when he was vaccinated and then when he was culled out of the herd and penned to sell with the other bucks. I chose him for his stunning good looks and his willingness to eat leaves from my hand when none of the others would even approach me.

When we got him home he was still very reticent.  It took months of work to get him gentled down. Now, he is still a little more jumpy than the others, but we can handle him fairly easily and he is even leash trained.

As I think about the differences between Ben and Rhett, I am reassured that the choices we have made about raising kids are good ones. While Ben is almost overly friendly and Rhett is still standoff-ish and skittish, our kids from last year fall somewhere just in the middle.

Now, that just seems like a perfect segue. So, next post....the 2013 kidding season.

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