Thursday, December 13, 2012

Will there be any goat babies in five months?

You know the breast cancer scare last week?  And the flu going around in our house?  Well, on top of all these lovely things, I had to deal with a goat in heat.   Goats are seasonal breeders and come into heat every three weeks in the fall.  So they can only conceive babies when they are in heat (and I need goat babies, since this is the only way to get milk from the mama goat).  This is what we are aiming for:

Goat babies and human babies mix really well

It seems easy to get these adorable babies.  Just breed the mamas, get babies, get milk.  Piece of cake, right?  Wrong.

I used to own two bucks, housed on our neighbors' pasture.  It was a perfect solution, since I only had to walk my girls over to the bucks for a hot date, and five minutes later, they were bred.  The problem with housing bucks on your land is that they stink.  And I mean - they STINK!  Billy goats might be some of the more disgusting creatures in this world, in terms of olfactory contribution.  So after a couple of years, my neighbors (who are some of my favorite people ever) kindly requested to get rid of the guys, since their smell embedded itself into my neighbors' hair and clothes every time they went down to the pasture to feed their chickens.
So I sold my studly bucks to a "neighbor" down the road (a seven minute drive), and just chauffeured my girls to their hot dates.  That worked out okay, except it involved a trip in the minivan, which can be stressful to the goats.  After hanging out with the stinky buck, the lady goat will take on his odor and transfer that to the minivan.  It is impossible to get the smell out of the car, so whenever anyone dares to stick their nose into my vehicle, they abruptly and swiftly pull their head back into the fresh air and proclaim that they don't need a ride in my van, after all.
The other problem with having to transport a goat for breeding is that it can be hard to pinpoint the exact time when the lady will be receptive to breeding.  So if the goat comes back into heat three weeks after she was bred, another trip in the minivan is in order.  When my distant neighbors sold their bucks this year (outrage!), I had to locate a different date for my girls.  We found a handsome, perfectly stinky, pure bred La Mancha dude 20 minutes away from us.

Back to my original story of how hard last week was.  The goat in heat was the beautiful Coco, who paced the fence line and yelled her heart out.  Now, you need to understand that I already had spent a total of three trips and two hours in the van with her and her after-date aroma.  The first time I thought she was in heat, but she ran away from the billy goat and didn't want anything to do with him.  The second time, she successfully flirted with him and got the deed done, or so I thought.  The third time, she came into heat again, which means the first breeding wasn't successful.  Same thing happened three weeks after.  So when I heard her yelling at the fence (which is a sign of heat) again, I didn't want it to be true.  I washed the dishes in the kitchen, which faces towards the barn.  Coco stared at me accusingly and cried.  My already frayed nerves fried, and I yelled at her, threatening to turn her into hamburger.  She yelled back, "I want to get laid!!! I want to get laaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiid!!!!!"
I could hear her through the closed window, with the music blasting on the stereo.  After talking with some of my experienced goat owner friends, and with their encouragement, I left my feverish baby girl in my husband's care, loaded up the horny goat into the already smelly mini van, and brought her to the buck.  Again.

I  irritably locked the two love bugs inside a fence together to ... you know...  As I settled down and watched impatiently, my irritation slowly gave way to amusement.  There is nothing like watching a billy goat parade in front of his date, trying to make her see that he is the Brad Pitt of the goat world.  He tries to convince her of his manliness in many different ways, all of them either very gross or very funny.  He paws the ground in a stallion-kind of way and snickers.  He curls is lip and shows his teeth, staring up at the sky.  He - please pardon me for this detail - pees into his own nostrils and thinks it's the hottest thing ever, and then he will enthusiastically stand by and quench his thirst when the lady goes potty.  The goat lady, of course, looooooves this.  You get the picture?

So I don't know what to tell you about Coco.  I don't know if she now is pregnant, or if she won't have any babies this year, because for some strange reason she won't be bred.  All I can say is I am clueless, and I am done driving this goat around.  I will know in five months if there will be any babies.  I'll keep you posted!


  1. I had to go back to your very first posts. I was curious how this whole thing started out. You are on a very different roll now than when you first started out. I understand it and admire you for your dogged persistence to support your family in the place you have chosen and have some fun along the way. We are starting out on our own place. We're not 30 somethings but that's OK. We will do it in the way that we can do it. In the meantime I am enjoying your old posts which were less instructive (as in "how-to") and more insights into your life on your homestead. I just read in The Sun one writer's opinion: My task is to bare my soul to the world. I think that's part of the reason why your stuff resonates with your audience. That and you make good cheese and sauerkraut! (among other things)

    1. Ha! Aren't you a sweetheart! Thanks for you continuous cheering on! I love that you are so into my blog! It makes me feel like I have real fans!

    2. Are you kidding? You have real fans. Yahoo, Corina!

      But tell me this: why were you being so mean to your husband? I'm sometimes mean because I didn't sleep well (Me: I'm going to try not to be a grouch today. He: Should I go somewhere?)Sometimes I get so frustrated when I think he's being lazy and we have so much to so (Me: give it a rest, girl, it will all get done.) It's almost never him. It's almost always me. Neh?

    3. It's complicated! But I think every relationship has its ups and downs. In the big picture, I know I'm married to the best man on Earth, so it helps.
      Also, it helps when PMS is over with!

    4. You know you're absolutely right about that. Now there are two best man's on Earth! And, yes, you will be more than happy when you're over all that female stuff. It all actually gets better. That's what I think anyway!


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