June 8, 2011

The "Billy Boys"

I've recently given you an update on Jasmine, but figured goat blogging would be incomplete without updates on the twins, and Pygmies too! I have to say that when speaking of goats, I ordinarily disdain the all too common "nanny" and "billy." These are in common usage around here, but there just seems to be something unflattering about them. Female goats are does and male goats are bucks. That said, it may seem ironic that I've taken to the term "Billy Boys" when referring to our bucks.

McGruff AKA Gruffy
The Pygmies have adjusted beautifully, especially Gruffy. Compared to the small buck area he was used to, he now has close to a full acre of grass, bushes, and trees. He's one happy guy. He set to eating the moment he arrived, and hasn't stopped since, except for some occasional rest and rumination. He's friendly and loves to have his head and neck scratched.

Chipper has had it a little tougher in the adjustment department. He spent his first few days bleating pitifully to be let in with the does and twins. Being 3 months old, that is what he was used to, and he had no intention whatsoever, of following an "old" buck around. About day three though, he started to stick with Gruffy, the only problem being he had trouble keeping track of him. Seems McGruff didn't know he was supposed to answer when Chipper called him. Chipper would be hollering his heart out until we'd show him where Gruffy was, and then all would be well.

Unlike Gruffy though, Chipper absolutely does not want to be petted or touched. Yet. The only time he allows it is when he's got his tablespoon or two of sweet feed in the evenings. He's so busy eating, that he doesn't seem to notice he's being petted.

We call Gruffy and Chipper our "big" Billy Boys, which is not exactly accurate in some ways. Although they're older than The Twins, they're not exactly bigger!

The Twins are growing well, and will be beautiful bucks I think.

Surprise & her bucklings
They were six weeks old last Sunday, so in two more weeks, will have to be separated from their mom. That's about the age they are capable of breeding, so obviously, we have to take measures to prevent that. At that time, they will go to live with the "Big Billy Boys," while I try to sell them.

They are good little guys. I've trained them not to jump up, to which they caught on quickly. Everytime they would jump up, I would raise my knee to prevent them. After all four feet were on the ground, I'd lean over, and scratch their necks, telling them they that good boys don't jump up and put their dirty hooves on people. Now they run up and stand there looking at me expectantly. I have to remember to give each of them a scratch to reinforce the not jumping behavior. They know the evening drill too, that after Jasmine's evening milking, they are put up in the kid stall until after morning milking. Everyone fussed about it at first, mom included. They would run to Surprise to get down those last gulps of milk before being put up. They caught on quickly though and now settle right down in their stall to munch on hay.

The Twins & Auntie Jasmine

At six weeks old they still love to nurse, but are becoming more interested in solid food. The other day I let Surprise in with them after her morning milking, but they were more interested in the handful of grain I tossed into the pan, rather than rushing her udder. It's amazing how quickly they grow up.

The "Billy Boys" © June 2011 


Benita said...

In two weeks, there ought to be lots of commotion going on there when you separate the bucklings from their mama. How soone before you rebreed Surprise? Are you going to try breeding Jasmine again, too?

Sherri B. said...

Oh my, it is hard to believe that it will be six weeks! I still can't get over how cute they all are and well behaved too!

Marissa said...

When you have pygmy bucks, you have every right to call them Billy Goats! Especially with one named Gruffy!

I too usually shun the "commoner" terms like that. While looking at some Nubians awhile back, the guy informed me "Well, people on their high horse call them teats, but I just call them titties." Let me tell you, it was hard to keep a straight face!

Anonymous said...

As always Leigh...love seeing the goaties! So wonderful..thank you! Hugs!

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

I love the picture of Auntie Jasmine and the twins. So cute. I am so glad I dont have goats. I would waste a lot of time just watching them. Adorable.

Cat Eye Cottage said...

I would love to have goats one day! But in the meantime, I'll enjoy reading about yours.

Leigh said...

Benita, good question. Nubians go into heat in the fall, like most dairy breeds. Still haven't reached a decision about Jasmine. She's recovered well, and the vet didn't disqualify breeding, but we haven't made that decision yet.

Sherri, time flies! I recently learned of another training tool, a squirt bottle. Works very well!

Marissa, LOL. Yes, Gruffy is the perfect "Billy Goat Gruff." That's so funny about they guy and the goat teats. I've never heard them called anything else for goats. People, that's something else. ;)

Pam thanks!

Jane, it's true. They're fun to watch. On the other hand, they truly do earn their keep. :)

Candace, they can be a nuisance, but they are a lot of fun too. I do hope goats are in your near future!

DebbieB said...

Oh, they're all so cute! I must admit, though, Gruffy is my favorite. :)

Mama Pea said...

What a delightful post. Thanks for catching us up on your goats. The pictures add so much!

If only all goats were taken care of and given the attention yours get!

What Pigs Don't Know said...

Wow! I had no idea boy goats could start breeding at 8 weeks old. Yikes! -Carrie

Megan said...

I just love reading the posts about your goats! They have grown up so quickly! Thanks for sharing!

Toni aka irishlas said...

Gruffy sure is handsome!

The Apple Pie Gal said...

I've been told goats can be a good pet like dogs! Now if only the knee raising had worked on our Lab. Maybe we should trade her for one of your boys...

Leigh said...

Debbie, maybe I should start a Gruffy fan club;)

Mama Pea, thanks! It is a shame that not everyone takes good care of their animals, especially when the rewards are priceless.

Carrie, amazing, isn't it? They've been going through the motions for weeks now. Fortunately the does won't go into heat until later in the year.

Megan thanks!

Toni, yes Gruffy is a classic. Great personality too.

APG, I bragged too soon. Yesterday I went out and the older twin jumped up and got mud on my skirt. He just wanted a pet, but all former learning had vanished! The other thing that works (I'm finding) is a squirt bottle. :)