Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chaos on the Farm

I am so not into the drama and all but some days it seems all I can do is pull my hair, roll my eyes, mutter and dive in! What could cause all that? It's simple.... so very very simple! The does are in heat, RAGING HEAT, and the boys are in rut, stinky, bickering and ready to serve the farm and does in "need"!

Oh, you better grab a cup of coffee, ice tea, pop or what ever and sit back to enjoy your visual observation!

It all started one morning.....

Buckley was being a baaaaad boy and he and Nipper no longer can stand the looks of each other, let alone that the other exists and ESPECIALLY here with the girls they each claim as "ALL MINE"!! Nipper is smaller so I left him in the buck pen (dog kennel) and Buckley is tied out. Buckley also had less of a problem being tied out.

Buckley is no dummy! That rascal figured out how to untie his rope! He's also STRONG and broke a couple collars. Well, he untied himself and went to the barn to say hubba hubba to the does of course. Then he turned his attention to Nipper and the boys and decided they needed out of the kennel and he'd convince them that he's "the man" and they aren't welcome around his "women". That bugger busted up a kennel panel so fast it was jaw dropping. He also had to tangle his horns into the chain link so he was stuck and had nothing better to do than ram it and try to get released. Released is what happened to the boys in the kennel and all the chickens too. :(

Tip of the day:
IF you use dog kennel panels with your goats, don't expect those wire clips they use to hold the chain link to the frame! They are soft wire and they'll pop right off as clean as a whistle on the first good head butting. Reinforce them before they get rammed.

I really was smart about putting that pen together. I made sure the cross pieces were inside the pen to support the chain link against the frame for any rubbin on, etc. I have a couple fence posts outside to help with support. I didn't account for a loose buck on the outside ramming into it, not to mention a loose buck who was ramming into Buckley wanting a good fight over the ladies!

You know, you can't confine the loose critters (6 bucks from the pen and 20 or so pullets with a couple roos) until you get the culprit untangled, retied where he belongs, and the fence fixed. (I should have been milking, a nice quiet job that gives me time to "relax" and ponder my goat plans.) So it didn't help with all the loose critters, that someone went and managed to open the gate leading to the barn aisle where there were about 7 or 8 does with some in heat! Just so you can enjoy the whole visual, ALL the boys found their voice! So Buckley is back to his tie out area hollering, and the other boys are chasing the girls doing their hubba hubba and trying to mount any girl they can catch up with. Meanwhile, Nipper is trying to tend the girls in heat and he knew exactly which those were. The other boys, being 2010 boys are still needing to inspect and hope they are "lucky". So the boys are yelling or whispering goatie mating talk and the adult does in the barn are now screaming "LET US OUT with the boys"! We WANT them!

I got the doelings rounded up and back in the barn, made sure I didn't have any boys rounded up in the fray as they were determined to be the "man of her dreams" and tied a couple boys. PHEW! They all wanted to run from me so they could continue with their own agenda. No one was coming for my calling and clapping which usually brings some of them running to the barn. WOW! CHAOTIC!

I eventually got things under control, repaired, and chores done. Boy was I tired! The boys weren't interested in dinner either. They were chasing each other around the pen yapping. There were pauses for some head butting and power strugles of who could push the other off his pose by their heads.

Then yesterday I was doing chores and all of a sudden I realize the commotion in the pen while I was pounding in a couple more fence posts to better secure it wasn't Nipper keeing the boys away from me being he's top buck. WHIZZING BETWEEN my legs goes a black goat.....Yes, there are 2 black boys in that pen, Nipper and Justin. Again a black goat whizzes between my legs (hay, I'm pounding a fence post into rocky land and have my legs a bit separated bracing myself).... and a 2nd whizzes by my legs, followed by Nipper who is yelling at them! Low and behold, JOLENE is in the buck pen and, yes, she is in heat!!! I had just seen Burglar humping "Justin". HA that must have been Jolene, not Justin. So I hurry and grab Jolene who wants caught but is being chased by all the boys.... Out of the pen she goes. I had let the 6-8 from the barn aisle out into the yard while I was working on the fence. I stand back up and start to go back into the buck pen and notice a couple "brown" goats "going at it" and ACKKKKKK.... That wasn't Buttons and Cinnamon sparing! Bandit was out of the buck pen and he LOVES Buttons and the feeling is mutual. I highly suspect the deed was done! DARN... she's not very big (mini Alpine) and he's a full-fledged Alpine. I'm not one to want to breed a larger buck to a smaller doe or any other species. I prefer the buck be the same size or smaller and the expected kids to be small enough in the head to kid out easily for the doe and kid. Now I have to take care of this!

My next problem is I don't know how Bandit got out of the buck pen. There is an old commercial dishwasher out by the barn in the buck pen (great for the hens to lay in) and Bandit has been getting up on top of that (a good 5'+ high). He has busted the fiberglass "window" panel on the barn which goes into the asile of the barn. I had put some woven wire up there but it's now mashed down! Did that boy get into the barn and when I let the goats in the aisle out he was with them? It's possible!

If so, a couple in that aisle are in heat and it includes his "love", Buttons! Do I have a couple doelings serviced? Remember the theme of this post, CHAOS? Ohhh boy!

I'm almost afraid to face today's chaos! Why did I think I'd wait til next weekend to start matching up the breeding groups? Maybe because I'm also trying to get a new shelter in the buck pen for winter first and because I don't want kids born during the worst weather being our winters are severe. Of course I didn't want to breed any who would be first fresheners until December and then I wanted to spread them out a week or 2 apart.

What's that line about the "best laid plans"?

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