Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Goat Addiction

I've sure got it and I've got it BAD - REAL B A A A D!

Want to go on a road trip with me? I'm guaranteed to lead you astray and maybe get you in trouble! When it comes to goats, I can easily lead myself astray!

I LOVE Irish Whisper Farms and the goats are just awesome! Sue has Saanens, LaManchas, and Nigerian Dwarves (ND)! QUALITY goats and goat herder. Make sure to look her up if you're looking for goats or just looking to be lead astray! Yes, she'll sell you a quality goat, but she'll also "be there" for you after the sale and later! She's more than fair and she cares. (I don't know if she'll read this, but if so, I'm sure she'll be "blushing".) She's an enabler too but wants your acquisition to be healthy and enjoyable. We all know we need more good people like this!

I tell you, there were a WHOLE lot of goaties being Spring and kidding season! I could have loaded my mini van full and still wished I had my trailer along! I saw SEVERAL (ok, quite a FEW) really nice doelings I'd have gladly bought! In fact, I didn't see any I wouldn't have bought! Sue has done some heavy culling of her high quality stock and it shows! She has a barn full of beautiful udders and desirable teats! You won't complain about the teats on ND's! She knows her goats and she knows breeding! She's also a wonderful person and goat herder who is doing a wonderful job! Her goats really like her and are definitely glued to her hip! When she goes to walk across the yard between the house and barn, a good 20 goats or more come waddling or running and fall into line. Off goes the parade (which is pretty cute from behind with the swaying bellies!. Being a large herd, they could just go on their merry way and do their own goatie things. But, no, they relish and honor the time they have with Sue with desire to fall into place and mosey along. I wish I lived closer!

I only (you feel sorry for me here of course) went to get the new buckling (ND) and I had gotten forewarned he had a buddy who needed to come along with him. (I can't say no to Sue!) Tiny Tim was doing great along with "Sugar Ray" but the rest of the boys are LaManchas and he was having trouble getting lost in an amongst sooooo many goatie kids and the piling up they do to sleep! Plus, he's sooooo tiny he has to really REALLY reach for the lambar nipples with the bucket on the floor (instead of the stand). He can and does walk right under the YOUNGER LaMancha kids! (Plus, I think Sue likes to send kids off with a buddy as this isn't the first time I went for a buckling and came home with buddies!) He's also so tiny he squeaks instead of crying!

While there, playing with and admiring the kids still in the house, I instantly fell in love with Tiny Tim and his tenacity! What a cutie and hoot he is. In spite of being shorter than the underbelly of the LaMancha kids in the house it's no problem though. If he needs to head butt someone to get his point across he only needs stand on his hind legs and go for it! They drop their heads to listen. Sugar Ray knows his place in the herd to - BELOW Tiny Tim! The kids in the house were all just ADORABLE, being newborn kids, BUT the ones in the barn are every bit as adorable. Plus, they are all GORGEOUS little goats with a LOT of good promise! (Lots of doelings too!)

I wasn't a whole lot of help, but "we" got in a goat feeding (kids on the lambar), a lot of goat visiting along with human visiting! Here I'm going to confess that I've never been much of a "BIG" fan of LaManchas. I have a hang up over loving LONG ears like on Boers and Nubians. I absolutely LOVE those long ears that hang lower than their chins. I love the flap of them in the air behind them when they run. It probably came from my childhood with watching Dumbo the elephant. (Do you remember him?) I also have a thing for Eyeore and his long ears too! LaManchas have always just looked like they are missing a vital part of themselves, an appendage. Then I first met Sue's LaManchas a couple years ago! I was, then and am now, very impressed with their gentle, calm demeanor and they didn't seem to get in a tizzy for anything. They even included visitors into their world and asked for a good petting. They had the "life is very VERY good" attitudes that exuded a personal confidence and comfort from within.

Ok, I fell for it. So now you can probably guess just what is happening here, can't you?

The LaManchas managed to "grab me"! I'm now wrapped around their hooves! Sue also convinced me that I WANT and NEED a LaMancha! And thus, the "Why don't you take her!" with a point to this ADORABLE little girl standing in the kitchen with us. "Her", a cute light brown and white doeling with a face that sucks you in, quickly becomes "Maple Sugar" of course. After all, I had a house gift along and it had a bottle of REAL, LOCAL, pure maple syrup in it and it's Maple Syrup weekend here near me. I'm too easy. She got me, and now Maple Sugar was coming home with Sugar Ray, Tiny Tim, hubby and I too! And we kept on talking all through the disbudding, which I watched extremely closely and learned more from. Even little Tiny Tim got disbudded. (Nothing to fear, within moments he's back to head butting! I couldn't believe it! )

While visiting all the goaties in the barn, I got to see a MINI LaMancha doeling and ohhhh what an adorable little thing! How exciting that I'll have them next Spring! After all, Maple Sugar is a LaMancha and I don't have a LaMancha buck. I have the ND bucklings and have been working on mini Alpines. She can join in the mini part of my breeding program!

Later it was time to leave and to start loading up the kids, formerly 1 and now 3! But, it wasn't over yet! I wasn't gone. We needed to disbud one more LaMancha buckling. He and a brother are coming along too and will be wethers for a friend of mine. Diane wants a couple of pet goats who can also do some brush work in her pasture with her 2 horses.

So I headed home with not 1 buckling, but 5 kids! After all, Sugar Ray had to bring Tiny Tim along for a companion and then Maple Sugar got in on the deal. Then somehow Maple Sugar had to bring along 2 of her paternal brothers and it quickly turned into 5! Sue said she had 80 some goaties but she sure didn't by the time I drove off! I wonder if she noticed 5 less? I bet she did in the house! After all, 4 of them were house inmates! But then, there were still a few does outside who were quite wide and obviously nearly kidding.

My goats haven't started kidding yet, but I have 5 little goaties in my house in the kid pen I'm bottle feeding! I'm sunk. I'm addicted! I won't even TRY to deny it!

I was really a good guest though. I took a house gift, AND barn gift with me. Sue's rooster had lost his life over the winter so her hens didn't have a suitor to help find them juicy tidbits and keep them protected and "happy". She wanted one roo. I decided I'd take 2 and let her take her choice as I didn't know what breeds her hens were. I took a pretty blue splash Cochin who is a NICE bird and another roo who is part Cochin and part Americauna. He's also attractive as he's blue with some red trim. Hubby came up with the good one and said Sue needed both as the one needed a buddy! Being it works for goats, it's to work for roosters too! So Sue now has 2 roos for her hens!

So, there is the latest story of my goat addiction. I have a new buckling and another. And I now own my first LaMancha. I was debating on adding a Saanen doe this year - if I could come up with the money. That won't happen now, because I now have Maple Sugar who is as sweet a goatie as could be and I'm getting to get over my goat ear fettish! Sugar has already attached herself to me and I've sure fallen for her! I'm addicted!

And that, my friends, is my story and I'm sticking to it!

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