|Alphie and the gate.|
Going into our fourth season of goat breeding, I'd like to be able to say that things are going smoothly, especially after the last two years.
Our first year was relatively problem free, with the exception of Jasmine's stillborn doeling. The following year was a disaster. It was my year to try for Kinders and neither Nubian doe was bred by my Pygmy buck. We ended up with no kids and no milk.
|Gruffy, our Pygmy buck, with Sam trying to sneak up from behind.|
Last year I bought a Kiko buck to breed the Nubians. His name was Elvis. I planned to breed Ziggy, my Nigerian Dwarf doe, to Gruffy, our Pygmy buck. Well, she would have nothing to do with him! She only had eyes for Elvis and he jumped two fences to get to her. And get to her he did. She had quads, three of which survived.
This year I bought another Kiko buck to replace Elvis and broaden my genetic base. The plan was to breed my adult does, the two Nubians (Surprise and Lily) and Ziggy to Hooper, the Kiko. Notice I said, "Plan was...."
|Alphie, Gruffy, and Hooper|
Earlier this month when Surprise went into heat, she had a visit with Hooper. I put her and Hooper in one pasture, and the other two bucks in another. Next, Ziggy went into heat so I put her in with Hooper.
Several hours later I went out to make rounds. I first went to check on Ziggy and Hooper. As I stood there, scanning the pasture, Ziggy ran by. Then Hooper ran by. Then Alphie ran by. Lastly, here came Gruffy, running as hard as his stumpy Pygmy legs would carry him. What happened???
|Some of the girls: Ziggy, Daisy, Surprise, and Lily.|
Turned out that the gate was slightly open. Hmm. I was positive I'd latched it properly, but apparently I hadn't. Now I would have to wait to see if Ziggy went into heat again. If she didn't, then it would be another guessing game of "Who's The Daddy?"
The other day, Lily went into heat. She and Gruffy were standing at the fence, and she didn't even want to come for dinner. On a whim, I thought, hey, maybe I could get some Kinder kids after all. I couldn't actually call them "Kinders," because the term has been trademarked by the Kinder Goat Breeders Association, but it's the qualities I'm after. Hooper and Alphie were busy off somewhere else anyway, so I put Lily in with Gruffy.
|Alphie, Sam, and Gruffy (partially hidden by the post)|
The next morning I step out onto the porch and look for Lily and Gruffy. First Lily runs by. Then Alphie runs by. Then Hooper runs by. And lastly, here comes poor old Gruffy, huffing and puffing to catch up.
I let poor Lily back in with the does and went to inspect the latch on the gate. Not only was it open, but some of the bolts were loose. Somebody had figured out how to open the gate! And the evidence points to -- Alphie! He was the one goat that was on the "wrong" side of the fence both times.
|Not the most secure type of gate latch, to be sure.|
So, now I have to wait and see who goes into heat again. I know both Ziggy and Lily wanted nothing more to do with the boys after their ordeals. If that lasts, then I know that I don't know who sired their kids. If they're interest picks up again, then I'll know I have another shot at my plans. After I fix the gate latch of course.
More Misadventures in Goat Breeding © November 2013