Last evening as we entered the stable, all seemed peaceful and calm. All until we entered the other end of the stable. There they were, two of our bucks locked together in a head lock. They commenced charging and ramming each other, head on. I know for a fact that larger animals like elk, rams and water buffalo, have very hard plates in their heads to withstand the hard blows that are exchanged when they are in “must”. I am not sure what my little fellows have those plates. If anyone knows if West African goats have protective head plates, I would love to know. Thank you.
The sounds at impact are tremendous, considering the size of my boys. They are in no way the size of an elk or ram. They don’t even come up to my knee when stand near me. I console myself in the knowledge that this is natural and in nature they would be doing the same thing. The issue is, they are not in nature, they are in our care and I feel most responsible for their safety and wellbeing. I would not want either to get hurt. I don’t want a scenario with a victor and a looser limping away to lick wounds.
We went about our evening chores in the stable amidst the crashing sounds of horns and heads. We tried to distract the boys at one point by offering a treat of bread, which they love. Well, that was just a pause for them and as soon as they licked their lips and had their last piece of bread, they were right back at it.
I was not comfortable going to bed not knowing if all was well with them, so on our nightly trip out with little Max, we walked down to check on them. To my relief, they were all quiet and safe, “in bed”.
This morning, we did have two ladies in heat, and it’s quite possible that our boys knew way before we did. Oddly enough, we did not have the activity with the bucks that we had last evening, this morning.
Here are my boys in action last evening. The stars of my little videos are, Little Man (brown) and Baby Boy (black) who I now refer to as Bear because of his size and his constant grunting. Little Phillip and Winston stay close to watch and learn how to be big bucks.
Global Warming at Gullringstorp :
We have been experiencing Global Warming effects right here at Gullringstorp. After our period of melted snow and then no snow at all, we got a light dusting of snow that reminded me of powdered sugar. It was really pretty for one day and then it all melted. Our temperatures have been so unstable. With the warmer temperatures, not only did all the dusting melt, but flies woke up and dizzily flew into walls.
How are Phillip and Winston doing in the boys’ box?
Phillip and Winston are doing really well in their new home. No more crying for mommy and they have learned which bucks to avoid and where to be able to enjoy the hay in peace. Even though they are doing so well, I do let them out twice a day while I tend to all the boxes. They get a chance to have their tiny bit of grain until they are weaned of it and a chance to play and wrestle with each other.
The first stable repairs and improvements in 2013:
Anyone who has goats knows the challenges of keeping hay in the hay rack. There are always problems with waste. Well we are no different here at Gullringstorp. We were loosing hay left and right, especially through the hay racks that were made for horses. Leif has made racks for the girls and placed hay bags up in many of the boxes. this box, however was our biggest problem. Every modification Leif made was destroyed by the boy’s horns. Finally we took it to our neighbor Bosse, for welding. The bars going horizontally help hold the hay bales in and provides a good place for horn scratching.
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