November 4, 2013

More Misadventures in Goat Breeding

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.


Carolyn said...

The best laid plans of goatkeepers and goats......

Woolly Bits said...

hm, sounds as if a love sick billy goat is just as inventive as lovesick tomcats and male dogs...:)

Willow said...

There's no stopping determined male goats it seems .lol Why am I now thinking of that saying "As randy as an ole goat " lol

Gill - That British Woman said...

don't mean to laugh but that was amusing. Hopefully we'll be able too "Guess who the Father is!!"

Nina said...

Goats are clever, sneaky and easily underestimated :) I hope though you get wonderful babies, regardless.

Lynda said...

I'm laughing...I kept a show herd of Nubians years ago...those goats really kept me on my toes...had to get rid of them once my kids became teenagers...way too much trouble to raise the both! ;)

Cat Eye Cottage said...

I guess the early bird gets the worm? The heart wants what the heart wants? A fence that won't hold water won't hold a goat? I could go on but I won't. If they are already bred, you can be thankful for the milk and try again next year.

Leigh said...

Carolyn, ain't that the truth, LOL

Bettina, apparently so! The boys are more of a challenge to live with when they're in rut. Rule #1, never turn one's back on them!

Willow, so many sayings are rooted in farm life! I'll have to add that one to my list.

Gill, I can't deny, it is funny. When trying to get animals to do what I want, I've learned never to take things too seriously!

Nina, they are determined to have their own way! And they don't give a hoot about the consequences. :)

Lynda, I'm sure you have plenty of war stories!

Candace, LOL. It is pretty funny. And I'm glad I gave up trying to become an actual Kinder breeder. Too much work. This way, I can enjoy the outcome even if it isn't as planned. :)

Theresa said...

LOL, now wouldn't it be easier to just haul the ladies out to someone's standing buck? 4 bucks on one small farm is about 3 too many. I will tell you my little kinder wethers are sweet as can be, seem hardy so far, not terribly troublesome and compared to the Pygora girls, easy care. And heck, I know who their Daddy is! ;)

Mama Pea said...

Yep, keeping a buck (or bucks) is always a three-ring circus. Sometimes funny, sometimes not so much.

When we had our small herd we didn't have much of a choice (living so isolated) as to whether to keep our own buck or not. We never had more than two, but that necessitated making a l-o-n-g journey down into Wisconsin every couple/few years to get new bloodlines. I do understand why you have the number of bucks you do. You have a good attitude . . . think of it all as entertainment!

Sandy Livesay said...


It sounds to me your goats had other plans, lol

DFW said...

That's a lot to keep up with! I'd have to create a spreadsheet or I'd get myself confused.

Smart goats.

Quinn said...

This is the one of the reasons I take the rent-a-buck approach..with only one visiting buck, the only question is whether or not a doe is bred. And last year they really kept me guessing.
I love the picture of Sam sharpening his claws...those stripes are beautiful!

Frank and Fern said...

You never know how things are going out. The best laid plans can disappear quickly at times. It makes for interesting record keeping anyway.

Sue said...

Goats are a lot like cats. Doors (and gates) are to be on the other side of. I have ties on all my gates to make sure they stay shut. Doesn't prevent all the escapes, but it works most of the time.

My goat girls are off at a friends, visiting her Angora buck. Since 2 of the 3 are first-timers, I figure I can give up a little bit in the way of meat to have easier deliveries, and I'm hoping for some pretty pelts out of the deal too. Of course, her Angora does are totally miffed about the arrangement.

Farmer Barb said...

Ah...pheromones...I imagine the other answer is to only hold one buck at a time or buy a chastity belt for the girls.

benita said...

Oh my gosh! I am laughing so hard!!! Poor Gruffy - those short legs and he always comes in last.

Lindercroft (Linda) said...

That was totally funny! But of course you probably don't think so... that's for the updated link to your blog!

Lindercroft (Linda) said...

Oops, I meant thanks, not 'that's'... sorry!

Leslie Kimel said...

A very cute story! Goats are pretty smart!

Leigh said...

Theresa, well, it might be easier but I wouldn't have all these stories to tell. :) Kinders are supposed to have great personalities. I think it's the Kiko in mine that keep things hoppin'.

Mama Pea, eventually I want only two bucks. I actually never intended to keep Hooper, but it's like you say, bloodlines!

Sandy, goats are predictable. What ever you want them to do, they'll invariably do the opposite!

DFW, I'm curious as to what will happen next heat cycle, if there is one!

Quinn, they can keep you guessing even with a buck on the homestead, LOL

Fern, if either of those does is bred, I may never know did it! Unless it's Gruffy, 'cuz then the kids will be short. :)

Sue, I hope your experience is better than mine and your plans work out! (Never know with goats though, do we)

Barb, as long as the one buck isn't like Elvis. He was a fence jumper and would have bred everyone by now, even the little doelings!

Benita, the only way to keep animals is with a lot of patience and a sense of humor!

Linda, so good to hear from you. I know you know goats!

Leslie, thanks! (I don't know about smart but I know they want what they want. :)