Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Her latest failed attempt at planning came when she put me in with the buck for a few days a while back. The farmer didn't see me get bred but I knew something was up when she started examining my backside very carefully and taking pictures of my whoo-ha. I would have been okay with the visual exams but once she pulled the camera out I knew I had to do something. I knew the farmer was thinking that I was pregnant and that she was going to be posting my goaty-bits on Goatbook for all the world to see. I decided that it was time for a little shake up in the farmer's world. For maximum impact I waited until the farmer was muttering out loud about how I was pregnant and she could get rid of the buck because his job was done and blah, blah baby goats, blah. I came into a roaring heat the day the farmer started talking about future baby goat names.
I stood at the gate and carried on like a mad-goat. I ran to the buck pen and pawed at the gate. The farmer stood dumbly in the farmyard scratching her head and wondering why I was acting so funny. She checked me for a fever and examined my eyelids for anemia. She felt me up for tumors and looked for lice.
"Lucy, there must be a reason you're acting so strange this early in your pregnancy" she said.
"BAAAAAAAA!!" I wailed as I ran out of the barn and to the buck pen.
"I hope you don't have the start of bloat" the farmer wondered.
"BAAAA! BAAA! BAAAAAAA!!" I cried as I stood nose to nose with the buck.
"Well, if you want to be in the buck pen, I will put you in there. I don't think it will hurt for you to be in there since you are already pregnant" the farmer mused as she let me in with the buck.
"BAAAA!!!" I agreed as the buck bred me repeatedly.
About this time it must have dawned on the farmer that I was not pregnant because she just stood speechless watching me and the buck have a good time. "Speechless" is not a description often used in regards to the farmer which is why I think the message I was sending had hit loud and clear. She was also speechless because I think she had just realize that we had pulled the mohair over her eyes yet again and ruined another perfectly planned plan.
So next time you see the farmer please remind her that us goats don't appreciate planning and plans. And we really don't appreciate our whoo-has being posted on the interwebs!
Friday, November 2, 2012
Daisy came into heat today and I saw the farmer looking longingly at her. Daisy is only 7 months old but she is built like a brick goat-house so you would assume she is much older. She's almost my height and is definitely much bigger than the petite Primrose (who is also 7 months old). Oh well, I guess that's what you get for being a Saanen. They are such over-achievers! The farmer is trying to decide whether or not to throw caution to the wind and breed Daisy this fall instead of waiting until next year. Normally the goats get to mature to 1 1/2 years old before breeding. This is because the farmer wants us to be fully mature before breeding. Daisy is huge-mongous so the farmer is toying with the idea of breeding her now.
This happens every year around here. The farmer says all summer that she is only going to breed one or two goats. She'll squawk to anyone who will listen the advantages of having less babies to deal with in the spring and less goats to milk each year. She'll tell you that next year will be the big year for traveling and vacations. That she is going to have the least amount of animals on the farm so she has more time to spend off the farm. That she is going to take it easy because it's not worth all the work. She'll extoll on the virtues of not flooding the market with unwanted kid goats and how it is pious and worthy to be a responsible breeder and not overproduce. Well, then fall comes along and all of us girls go into heat, and the farmer losses it and starts breeding every goat in sight! Last year she bred three goats after vowing to only breed two. The year before she bred four does just for fun because she couldn't stop. This year she has sworn up and down that I would be the only goat bred because Gloria is too old, and Prim and Daisy are too young. The plan would be to breed me this year and then breed only Prim and Daisy from then on because she wants to keep the CAE negative goats as the only breeders once they are old enough for breeding. But I have seen her eyeing up Daisy and wandering through Craigslist looking at all the breeding age does for sale. Fall is far from over and breeding season has a lot of time left to it. God help us all!
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
The farmer has disgraced the goat barn by housing a group of smelly meat chickens in one of the pens. They weren't so bad at first but now they are 8 weeks old and very messy and there's 10 roosters in the pen! At first there was only one rooster. It was a Polish/Toulban/Frizzle cross rooster that the farmer got from her neighbor. It was supposed to be a hen and was supposed to live with two other chicks that came with it. Unfortunately the two chicks got loose from the hutch they were in and disappeared, leaving just the one. Then the one chick turned into a rooster. The farmer tried to put him out with the older laying chickens but they didn't like him one bit so they pecked all his top-knot feathers out and all the feathers off his tail. He was sad and bald and spent a lot of time in the corner of the chicken pen trying to hide from the big birds. The farmer took him out and put him in the hutch to live by himself. When the meat chicks arrived he was allowed to live with them as long as he didn't try to pick any fights. No fights have broken out but this rooster has taught the 9 meat roosters how to crow so the barn is a cacophony of noisy crowing. The Polish rooster has a normal sounding crow. It's loud and clear. The meat roosters, on the other hand, sound like they are getting strangled when they crow. One good crow followed by nine strangle crows is getting kind of annoying. Oh well, the farmer assures us that all of the meat chickens will be gone on September 15 when the chicken processing equipment rental is available. Depending on how the Polish rooster acts in the next few weeks will decide if he is included on the meat bird list on the 15th. He better stay on the straight and narrow if I were him!
Friday, July 27, 2012
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Friday, July 13, 2012
Second, the farmer took Figaro, Prim, and Daisy to Goat Night at the local feed store. Those three got to ride in the car, visit with all sorts of new friends, and get apple treats all evening long. I had to stay home and eat hay. Figaro, Prim or Daisy do not have their own blog, they don't make delicious milk, the don't have shiny copper red fur and they aren't ME! The farmer said I couldn't come because I was too big to fit in the Jeep with the other goats. Well, that's not my fault. It's the farmer's fault because she should drive a nice goat van so we can all go places with her. The only place I ever go anymore in the Jeep is to speed date in someone's driveway in the fall. That's sure is an interesting time, but I would rather go to Goat Night and get apple treats.
If you feel that I am valid in my cries of injustice, please support me! You can support my fight against injustices by sending large boxes of apple treats addressed to Lucy. Be sure not to put anything generic on the box like "The goats" because the farmer isn't very bright and likes me to share my treats (or give away all my treats when I am not looking) so she might get the wrong idea if the boxes aren't sent directly to me.
Monday, June 25, 2012
Daisy is very shy because she wasn't bottle fed. The farmer works with her every day by giving her lots of hugs and treats. Since being shy gets you hugs and treats, I think it won't be long before all the goats come down with a case of massive shyness!
Friday, June 15, 2012
Crystal, my little doeling died last night. She was doing great and then she was dying. The farmer thinks it was enterotoxemia due to antibiotics and grain overdose. Crystal was going to be the next breeding doe on the farm. The farmer was so happy that she was so beautiful. She was the best of both worlds -- my sweet personality and Zeus' top quality genetics. She wasn't supposed to be. She was supposed to be an Oberhasli buck. That's what the farmer was betting on. When she came out in all her pure white glory, the farmer started betting on her being a top-notch breeding goat. She died, so I guess that's why they call making bets "gambling". We are all devastated.
Friday, June 8, 2012
For adult goats, there's just me, Gloria and Figaro. Gloria and I are giving milk. Figaro is giving fleece and he's the farm mascot. I will be bred this fall. Gloria is retiring from breeding. At 9 years old she deserves it. The farmer wants to end on a high note since Gloria did well freshening this year and looks good.
For kids, there's Crystal, Prim, Brun, and Bro. Ice, my Saanen buckling, was sent to the neighbor's so she could rehab him from his serious case of coccidiosis scours. He's doing better now. He'll be staying there to be a buddy to her house-sheep. Yep, a sheep that lives in her house... Crystal and Prim will be staying as breeding does at the farm when they get old enough. Brun is going to be the breeding buck this fall. Bro is getting wethered soon and will be a buddy for Brun for when he gets relegated to the buck pen. Both Bro and Brun will become cabrito and chevon after breeding season is over.
The line-up is three adult goats and 4 kids. The farmer is already dreaming about what she will be putting in the empty pen that the Nubians vacated. I heard the word "pigs" the other day. I hope that's not true!!
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
I am second in line and I produce a respectable 1/2 gallon of milk per milking. My udder is quite lovely but the farmer curses it because my teats point forward thus forcing the milk machine tubing to be twisted around in order to get the sucker cups on my teats. I reward the farmer's hard work at situating the machine by stepping on the tubing or flicking the sucker cups off with my back foot in mid-milking.
Gloria is last but definitely not least. She produces about 1 gallon per milking with her huge udder. Most people have to comment on the size of her udder when they see it. The best comment was when the farmer's neighbor said that Gloria's udder was bigger than her 20 year old daughter's butt. I guess that is a big udder (or a small butt?).
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
Gloria lulled the farmer into complacence by following the rules for one day. She reasserted the cause by barging out of the barn and running off. Cookie tried reverse psychology by getting on the milkstand with only limited protesting. Her efforts paid off when she straddled the milkstand crosswise in the morning and wouldn't budge.
Power to the GOATS!
Thursday, April 26, 2012
So now we will go to where this story begins. The beginning began when the farmer made the milkstand many years ago. Her first milkstand was attached to the barn wall and we had to mount it from the left. This made us all left-hooved goats. If we have to do something over and over from the left then we will consider ourselves left-hooved and do most other things from the left. Last fall, the farmer's mom came to visit and was given the task of renovating the old milkstand. The FM (farmer's mom) made a beautiful free-standing milkstand with attached head stall and everything. Unfortunately the gorgeous new milkstand didn't fit in the same spot as the old milkstand so the farmer had to rearrange things. This is where we have a problem. The farmer moved around the milking area and now she expects us to mount the milkstand from the RIGHT!
If any of you have ever met a goat before, you will know that goats do not take change laying down. This is not to say that we are afraid of change (like those sissy sheep who turn tail and run at the slightest deviation from the normal order of things), but it is to say that we think change is not necessarily necessary in all cases. We enjoy the right to evaluate the necessity of the change and voice our opinions to its purposed plan. If we deem the change not favorable, we simply ignore the change and go right on doing things the way we have always done them. This is our greatest tool against the injustice of frivolous changes. If we herd together and continue to go about the routine as if no changes occurred, we stand great chance of being successful in getting things set back to the way they were. A stubborn goat is not stupid and incapable of learning a new rule. A stubborn goat is in fact simply exercising her right to protest by utilizing her greatest weapon -- civil disobedience.
Back to the story, the farmer changed the milkstand last fall which means that Gloria and Cookie were not currently using the milkstand because they were not making milk. This spring when Gloria and Cookie freshened, they were suddenly expected to become right-hooved goats on the new milkstand. A newly freshened goat doesn't want to do anything except eat and sleep so being thrown into the milking routine is about the last thing we want. On top of that, being thrown into a new milking routine with new changes is downright criminal. We have just pushed multiple kids out of our goaty-bits and now you want us to jump up onto a new milkstand while you mush and push our sore teats into submission?! PLEASE don't act shocked when there is an uprising in the herd due to this.
Gloria was first up to try the new right-hooved contraption. Being a huge lactator, she was eager to be milked and hungry for her milking time chow down, so she was a little more open to evaluating the change. She came out of her stall and went to the milkstand without prompting. The farmer thought smug thoughts at this point because all was going along as normal. Gloria took a quick minute to assess the situation and jumped on the stand as normal -- left-hooved. This created a problem because she was now facing backwards with her udder in complete juxtaposition away from the milk machine. The farmer wasn't so smug as she pushed and pulled Gloria into a U-turn and then man-handled her head into the head stall (did I mention that we hadn't used a head stall with the last milkstand?). Gloria was not too happy about being forced to do anything. That night she kidded a little plan to show the farmer exactly what she thought about the new milking routine. From then on, every single time the farmer opened Gloria's stall door for her to walk to the milk stand, Gloria would come out in the correct direction and then simply keep moving until she was out the barn door, down the yard, and standing at the pasture gate. This forced the farmer to run after Gloria and bring her all the way back to the barn. If the farmer let go of Gloria's collar for even just a second before she was on the milkstand, Gloria would seize the opportunity for a little non-violent protest and charge out the barn door and back to the pasture gate. So far Gloria has kept up the fight for the cause and charged out the barn door during every single milking time for a week and half.
Next up to learn about the changes was Cookie. Cookie is a Nubian (purebred, at that) and if anyone is not prepared to deal with a change, it would be a Nubian. Cookie came out of her stall the first time and wandered around aimlessly for a while as if to say she didn't understand what milking was about at all. The farmer brought her over to the new milkstand and tried to convince her that it was time to jump up there and get milked. Cookie first noticed that the new milkstand was brown and not green, then she saw it was 18" off the ground and not 20", then she saw that it was 1 3/4" shorter in length than the old stand, then she saw the head stall, then she saw the attached sitting bar, then she saw that it was right-hooved and not left! After noticing every detail that was different, Cookie decided that this would not be tolerated and simply refused to go any closer to it than 3 feet. She planted her hooves into the ground and refused to budge. The farmer pushed and pulled but to no avail. The farmer then picked Cookie up and crab walked her closer to the milkstand. Cookie reacted calmly to the abuse and channeled her inner Ghandi to go in a trance-like state. She wouldn't budge, she wouldn't move, she was a statue. A statue that weighs 150 lbs. The farmer finally was able to pick her up and push her onto the milkstand. Of course Cookie was able to subvert this effort by mounting the milkstand from the left, even when being pushed from the right. Cookie was on the stand but she was backwards. The farmer had to force her into a U-turn and then get her to put her head into the head stall (150 lbs Nubians do not do U-turns, in case you were wondering). When presented with the head stall, Cookie simply jumped over the top of it and wound up dangling off the front of the milkstand with her head stuffed into the corner of the barn. This required the farmer to pull Cookie backward. If any of you have ever tried to pull a goat backward, you will know that our strongest instinct is to push forward against the pull with all our might. This was a mighty battle of wills but finally the farmer won and Cookie was on the milkstand in the proper position to be milked.
After milking Cookie consulted with the rest of the herd and came up with an idea to protest the changes. From then on, every time the farmer brought Cookie to the milkstand, she would simply get to 3' from it and lay down. A laying down 150 lbs. Nubian is much harder to manhandle than a standing 150 lbs. Nubian, in case you were wondering. Also Cookie still mounts from the left no matter how hard the farmer pushes her from the right.
This is were we stand in our protest to milking routine changes. Gloria barges out of the barn and Cookie lays down. So far our resolve is strong. Perhaps with enough frustration the farmer will give in and change the stand back to the way it was. We will keep you posted on our progress.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
My mom, Gloria, had her babies on Saturday. Gloria being 9 years old and on her 6th pregnancy had the farmer in a tizzy. On Tuesday the farmer came home early from work to watch the goat. The farmer was absolutely sure that perhaps it was possible that she might kid that day. Well, Tuesday came and went and no babies came at all.
The farmer looked at her notes from breeding season and saw that Gloria was bred on two different days, 4 days apart. The buck came in on Tuesday and Gloria let him breed her that day. Then the buck left on Saturday but not before Gloria let him breed her again. So the farmer didn’t know if Gloria was due on Tuesday or Friday! The farmer did the math and saw that Gloria has kidded 4 times in a row on her 153rd day of gestation, in the afternoon. Thus the farmer was sure that Gloria would kid on Friday afternoon since she didn’t kid on Tuesday (which would have been 153 days from the first time she was bred in the fall).
The farmer went to work on Friday morning and worked as fast as she could so she could go home early to watch Gloria kid. At 11am the farmer got home and started watching for babies. Gloria decided to take full advantage of the audience and did all the things that would signal that labor was starting. She yawned and stretched and pawed the ground. She lay down and breathed heavy with her head down while staring off in space. She rolled around and acted uncomfortable. She even gave a little jiggle to her sides now and then which looked like contractions. By 1pm the farmer had called her friend to come and watch the babies be born. The farmer and her friend stood at the stall door eagerly awaiting the birth. They stood and watched and stood and watched and stood and watched…… FOR 6 HOURS!!!
Finally the farmer’s legs had started to ache and the weather had gotten colder and it was dinner time, so she told her friend to go home and the farmer would call her if anything happened. The farmer then spent the entire night getting up every two hours to watch Gloria. Gloria did all she could to keep up the suspense the whole night. By Saturday morning the farmer was exhausted and still not seeing any babies. Of course, surely, those babies had to come out some time so the farmer kept up the two-hour vigil throughout the day.
By 1pm Gloria added crying to her routine of pawing, laying down, getting up, yawning, and stretching. This worried the farmer so she ran in to call her friend to tell her to come out to the farm because the babies had to be coming soon. By the time she got back to the barn, Gloria’s water had broken! The farmer felt around inside to make sure that the kid was presented properly. She could feel two hooves and a nose. The kid started to come out and the farmer saw that what she thought was two hooves was only one massive hoof! The farmer helped pull the giant buck kid out to give Gloria a break. He was a beautiful Oberhasli-type buck. After a couple of minutes of licking her new kid, Gloria started to work on getting the second kid out. The farmer went in and felt for the next one. All she could feel was a weird blob with some unidentifiable parts in it. When the kid finally started to come out the blob was the sack of fluid. The sack was really tough and the farmer had to use her fingernail to cut through it to release the kid. The second kid was a gorgeous Alpine-type doeling. The farmer got both new kids cleaned up. By this time the farmer’s husband had come back with a load of hay. The farmer stopped birthing kids and unloaded the hay. She thought Gloria was done having kids. Just as she was ready to take the two new kids into the house, Gloria lay down and started pushing again. The third kid was another pretty Oberhasli-type buck. Gloria had two bucks and a doe. Shortly after the third kid came out, Gloria started pushing out the afterbirth so the farmer knew that triplets were all that was there.
All three kids and Gloria are doing well. The farmer has started to catch up on her sleep but still feels a little zombie-fied.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Well, the farmer finally got tired of trying to figure out if I was pregnant by looking at me and squishing on my belly. She took a blood sample from me and sent it to a lab for the goat BioPRYN test. This test will tell you for sure if a goat is pregnant or not. Guess what? I am pregnant! The farmer is kind of bummed about it because she says I will be due the same weekend she was supposed to go to a conference for work at a casino. I have never heard of someone having a work conference at a casino so I think the farmer’s “conference” is really an excuse to get out of town and gamble. Humph! Us, goats, are smart enough not to gamble. We save our pennies for the truly important things – like more animal crackers!
The farmer is glad she did the pregnancy test because now it explains why I have been in such a bad mood lately. I have been beating up my roommates and have been very obstinate about getting grain and hay all to myself. The farmer believes any goat that gets grumpy in their last two months of pregnancy must be carrying only male kids. The testosterone of the male kids messes with the mom’s hormones and makes her angry and ready to fight any goat in her path. I believe that I am grumpy because the farmer has me rooming with a sheep that swears he’s a goat (he says he’s an Angora goat) and a Nubian who swears she’s an Alpine (she’s only ¼ Alpine so that doesn’t count). Anyone would be grumpy if they had to live with those two! I guess I will have to grin and bear it until I get closer to kidding so I can get the kidding pen all to myself.
I will keep you updated on when my kids come!
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
1. T/F: CAE is a virus.
2. T/F: CAE can be cured.
3. T/F: CAE causes abscesses.
4. T/F: CAE spreads through milk from infected dam to kid.
5. T/F: CAE can be spread through breeding infected bucks to uninfected does.
6. T/F: CAE is largely subclinical so you don’t need to worry about it.
7. T/F: You can tell if a goat has CAE by looking at it.
8. T/F: You can vaccinate for CAE.
9. T/F: CAE affects the milk and infected milk shouldn’t be used by humans.
10. T/F: Negative animals only need to be tested once.
1. True – CAE (Caprine Arthritic Encephalitis) is a viral disease.
2. False – There is no cure for CAE. Once a goat is infected with the virus, they will always carry it and be able to spread it to other goats. Holistic or herbal remedies may boost the immune system and stave off active infection but a goat that has the virus will always have it.
3. False – CAE is often confused with CL (Caseous Lymphandenditis). CL is a bacterial disease that causes large abscesses both externally and internally on a goat. CAE is a viral disease that doesn’t cause abscesses.
4. True – CAE is most commonly spread through colostrum and milk from infected does to uninfected kids. The only way to stop the spread of CAE is to pull kids from their dams at birth and then feed them colostrum replacer or cow colostrum and then heated treated milk or milk replacer. Kids must never receive raw milk from infected goats.
5. True and False –There is much debate as to whether CAE can be transmitted sexually. Due to CAE being a blood borne virus, it is possible that it can be spread through breeding, especially if the goats have open sores or lesions. CAE is spread less commonly through nasal secretions and sputum, especially when the infected goat is suffering from colds or pneumonia. CAE can spread through unsanitized milking equipment.
6. False – Although it is true that CAE is often subclinical in infected goats and shows no symptoms for many years, it still needs to be worried about. It is a known infection that can spread easily from doe to kid, thus all goat breeders need to be aware of it and ready to prevent it in their herds.
7. False - The only way to verify a goat’s CAE status is through blood test. Most of the symptoms of CAE are similar to other goat ailments, thus it is impossible to tell just by looking at a goat if they have CAE or not.
8. False – There is no vaccination for CAE. There is a vaccine for CL. Many people confuse the two diseases and think their goats have been vaccinated for CAE when in fact it was the CL vaccine.
9. False – CAE is a goat only disease. It does not affect the milk or its quality. It does not hurt humans to drink infected milk or handle infected goats.
10. False – Negative animals should be tested annually to make sure they remain uninfected. The only time it is possible to stop testing a negative herd is if you never, ever bring in goats from outside sources or expose your goats to other herds (which is almost impossible especially if you need to bring in new genetics). Since testing is the only true way to tell if your goats are infected, it is good practice to test your herd once a year.