Thursday, March 5, 2009

Black Tuesday

It's taken me until today to feel like I could write this. We suffered a HUGE loss to our goat family on Tuesday. Frankly it's a loss I'm not sure we can collectively recover from. In fact, even though its been a couple days I'm sitting here bawling like a baby just trying to type this up. I haven't even been back to the property since she passed. I'm not sure I can face them. Not only are we lost without her, so are they. There is a power struggle there as they fight for the queen spot. The natural second in command is totally lost without her mother and constant companion since she was born. She's never been without her mom.

And we've never tried to continue on without Peaches.

For 7 and a half years this doe has been a constant companion to my son. She's been his friend, confidant, source of comfort, constant shadow. She's been everywhere with us. Every move, every show, every kidding.

We don't own a goat that isn't influenced by her genes and for that I am eternally grateful.

She was strong and powerful and kind and a bully all at once. She could pout like no other. She hated to go to shows but trudged through them as long as Greg was at her side. S

Sometimes we made her look like an idiot.

And she never cared.

And sometimes they looked great.

The field will always be empty without out you PooterButt. No one will ever fill your special spot, not only in our hearts but in the field or the herd.

Rest in Peace Elk*Mt*Farms Peaches. 3-3-01 to 3-3-09.

Thank you for your final gift to us of healthy twin does. Know we loved you and will always miss you.

Monday, March 2, 2009

And then it was over

Our last kids for a long time were born today in the "break" in the storm.
Today equaled 2 does out of my favorite black togg doe (one black one), and one big black (Grrrrrrrrr) buck out of my ober.
We are officially done. I'm really not counting the one (or two) that are left because they were OOPS breedings.

So, that makes 12 kids, only three of them bucks. My buck rate is only 25%. I can handle that. My kid rate overall was way down this year, but that's good and manageable, so I'll take it. (Like I have much choice?)

I'm going to look back to see, but I think my togg bucks overwhelmingly make does. My togg rate is 9 does 1 buck. That's like 10% bucks.
I'm going to go look and see what those two bucks' rate was last year.
My ober buck is batting 0. 2 kids, 2 bucks. :-( No ober babies for us this year.

More on my rate when my husband isn't being all bitchy that we need to go milk, whens dinner, have you seen then timeeeeeeee, whine..... WHAAAAAAA. Oh man I can NOT take 2 more weeks lay off. I might KILLLLLLLL him. Really. Dead.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

There is a general rule with my herd of goats. We all stick together.

And they mean with EVERYTHING.

Take this morning for instance;
Since early this AM 6 does have kidded out 9 kids. Only two of which are bucks. Peaches (twin does), Charlotte (peaches daughter, 1 doe 1 buck), Shoshana (peaches granddaughter, single [black?] doe), Jade (totally unrelated, single doe), Capers (Charlotte daughter, peaches granddaughter, twin does), Shikari (unrelated/ different breed, single HUGE ASS buck). We only have 2 does left to kid, another Peaches daughter and one more of the other breed. Both have milk so? Anytime is my guess.

We call this 0-60 in two-point-two-seconds.

So lets go back to the fact that all of the "Peaches clan" are kidding together, which means in my mind they must be cycling together, is this genetic? Based on birth date?

Peaches and Charlotte kidded at EXACTLY the same time last year too. Not sure how that worked since they were bred to the same buck... Oh wait, they were this year too.

Frankly my bucks were damn busy 148-154 days ago.

Shohana has a very small udder with a tremendous amount of milk. For a first freshening first milking udder. VERY SMALL. Like.. I'm not even sure where that milk is coming from, her udder must be internal....small.

Jade has a very nice first freshening udder. I wish there was more GOAT here. She's short and short and WOW there is alot of HAIR on that goat! Her dam was short and short so it's not a great suprise but her sire was LONG and TALL. I'm not sure that part of her growth problem wasn't ME, so we'll see how this kid turns out. She and her daughter are my only purebred does left.

Capers I'm glad I kept one more year. Last year her udder was crap. This year her body has deepened, her udder is very much improved and smooth smooth fore. Well for now, I find that when they are first fresh their udders look great, and then the edema and swelling subsides and your left with Ehhhh.

The others arn't first fresheners and I know what to expect from them. Peaches will pout that I took her kids and stop milking in exactly 4 months and we don't care because as you can see from above we like everything she puts on the ground. Charlotte will milk like a cow and milk until I tell her to stop, but since this is the first year I've taken away ALL of her kids, she's going to bitch at me very single step of the way. She's also a little slow coming into her milk. Her udder was not full of colostrum like I was hoping. She's usually my reserve for the freezer. Shikari is milking very well and so far has a really nice udder for her breed. I'm not unhappy at all. She also reserved her spot in the herd for another year since she gave me a buck.