Every evening after we have prepared the boxes for the night, we spend some time with our goats. This time serves several purposes; we have some quality time with them as a herd and as individuals. We can check goats while they are in motion to make sure there are no signs of any limps or favoring of one side over the other. I check udders to make sure no one is too full, because our babies are beginning to wean themselves. I check ears for lost ear clips. I give little back rubs as I brush each one and check for anything unusual. I check eyes, noses and ears. They never realize they are being examined because I try to make each goat’s individual time with me personal, with brushing and stroking and of course conversation.
I find a place to sit and make myself comfortable and each goat will slowly make her way to me, for attention. The babies try to get all our attentions. We have no issues with the little ones, they get plenty of hugs and kisses.
Once all this is done, each goat will find a comfy place to relax and take an evening rest. Mothers and babies always lay close together and snooze. Friends will play for a while then rest close together. Some prefer to relax all by themselves.
Here are Gullringstorp goats at rest in the early evening:
It is always a pleasure to just sit and watch my goats while they are playing, running or resting. They are a real delight.
Nanna, one of our Pygmy does, is a very special lady. She is kind, gentle and at times quite mischievous. This little lady has given us a beautiful little buckling, Toby, who has grown into a handsome buck. She was such a good mother to her baby. As a member of our herd, she greets everyone and is easy-going in the enclosure.
This little lady has found a special place in my heart for all the reasons above.
Here is the kind and gentle side of Nanna:
The boys were once again led into the enclosure and straight on through the gate to the new enclosure . Once there, every little buck got down to the serious business of eating yummy grass:
The girls really enjoy morning and the morning sunshine:
Everyone enjoys a beautiful day . today is a really beautiful day at Gullringstorp!
I am so happy to report that our little buckling Florian has been through the worst and all the discomfort associated with his procedure. He is now under the watchful, loving eye of his mother Iris. Iris who was my wild child, always needing to be first and get all the treats, has settled down considerably when she became a mother and a fine one at that. Florian is in the best hands possible with his loving mother.
He is sleeping well, and has a wonderful appetite. He no longer sleeps with the bucks in their box, he is back with his mother Iris and sister Blossom. In addition, he is able to enjoy his days now in the ladies enclosure. There he can play and still be a little boy with Huckleberry, with no fear of unwanted or unplanned pregnancies among our does or doelings.
He has been welcomed into the enclosure by each doe and has been accepted as a part of their herd within a herd. Prior to our goats being released into the enclosure, we must prepare. Water buckets are cleaned everyday, the grounds are checked for any dangerous items that may have gotten into the enclosure and hay for both the boys and girls is brought out from the stable. Every now and again, there are repairs that need tending to. Leif takes care of them, as a rule.
Little Florian spends hes days now with Mommy and returns with her to their box in the evening, for dinner. For the next 5 days, he will receive a penicillin injection. He took last night’s injection well. I decided that he would be too active in the morning and like any child would not be still for me. So when he comes inside at night, not only is he worn out from all the fun of the day, but he is hungry and pays no attention to me or what I am doing.
Well as you can see, I had real difficulty keeping my promise to sell our next bucklings. I did try with Florian but it was a no go. He will remain with us here at Gullringstorp and grow happily in the home of his birth, Gullringstorp.
On a previous post, we were trying to sell our little buckling Florian. We needed to sell him because we had enough bucks here at Gullringstorp. We had a potential buyer, but on the day of the planned sale, a rainy Sunday, she didn’t show up. My husband saw an email saying that they weren’t sure we wanted to sell Florian and that they bought another buckling.
I didn’t have a very good feeling about this buyer from the start. Goats are herd animals and need to be at the very least, two. They were only buying Florian and did not speak of buying a second. When we asked if she had another goat, the answer was no. When let her know that he needed another goat companion, she said she would consider it.
When that Sunday arrived, I felt very strange and felt like there was not going to be a sale that day. It was raining out and my gut feeling was that it would not happen. I was right. Our potential buyer bought a goat, one goat. I really hope that she takes our advice and purchases another goat for a companion. I hope she is happy with her little buck and he has a buddy or will get a buddy.
Florian will remain with his mother Iris, sister Blossom and us here at Gullringstorp. He will not be a working buck because we already have all we need. He will remain as a wether. This is a castrated buck. Because he would be mounted often in the buck’s enclosure because of his size and new gender, he will remain on the girl’s side with the ladies and Huckleberry, our other little wether.
Today was his castration. I was not too worried yesterday, but this morning, all the possibilities that could go wrong, came flooding into my head. My fears were unwarranted because we have such a wonderful and competent veterinarian to care for him.
Florian was placed back into the carrier and we made the 30 minute drive back to Gullringstorp. Florian was pretty much still out of it during that drive home but realized right away as we drove down the driveway to the stable that he was home. He could hear Iris calling for him and Blossom also. We placed a fresh layer of clean straw on top of the bedding in his box. I had originally wanted to take the first layer of bedding away and add the new straw and I’m glad I mentioned it to our vet. He explained why that was a bad idea. The bacteria built up in the bedding from al the urine and coffee bean sized poopies, was better left undisturbed until we were ready to empty the whole box. He recommended to place a clean layer on top, so we did just that.
I brought Iris and Blossom into the stable while Leif took care of letting Florian out of the transport carrier. Iris was so happy to see her baby buckling and the same for him.
Florian will be quite uncomfortable for the rest of today, because it actually hurts when he is lying down. He will move from spot to spot until he is better. We had the same with Huckleberry. He couldn’t really get comfortable lying down and seemed to feel better standing.
Huckleberry was feeling just fine within 2 days so I hope the same for Florian. I was sent home with 5 syringes filed with penicillin to protect from tetanus that is common with such procedures. He will receive an injection once a day for the next 5 days.
Wish us luck please and hope that Florian makes a full recovery.
Exactly the day after my last post, we got a call on the ad we placed for Florian. Oh dear, time to shift gears. We were already in the midst of integrating him with our other bucks , slowly. We were giving Iris a chance to become accustomed to the idea that her little baby was growing up and away. Since we had no potential buyers for him, this was the route we had chosen.
Our potential buyer has horses, apparently, lots of them. But NO goats. My husband has been in communication with the young lady and somehow forgot to ask if there were other goats or if there ever were other goats. His answer to me was that they had horses and they planed to castrate him.
Concerns on two levels:
1. That my husband didn’t think to ask such an important question
2. Oh dear, no other goats! Goats are herd animals and need other goats, or at least one other. Even bucks need goat companionship. It’s important.
Now I understand that this young lady would consider getting a second. It’s not really a consideration, it will be a must. I am a bit worried because I don’t want him bought as a folly and then end up somewhere not wanted or just neglected when the time needed to tend to a goat is realised. Sort like the Easter bunny thing,; so many cute baby bunnies are bought at Easter time then as they grow, eat and poop, they are released to fend for themselves in a wild that they no nothing about, having been bred for domestic care and use. I do have well founded concerns, yet oddly enough , my husband does not. Hummmm.
As of this morning, I have no idea if a second goat has been acquired already and I would really like know.
Selling an animal here at Gullringstorp has never been easy , even under the very best of conditions. I am closer to my animals than I suppose I should be and I have been told to keep my professional distance since they are a major component of my Li’l Sis Goat Milk Soap business.
Our buyer is due to come to Gullringstorp tomorrow so my husband is now like a race horse at the gate, chomping at the bit. My greeting this morning was not, “Good morning, how was your sleep?” although I did get that later. Instead I was greeted with all the sales and transport papers for our little Florian !
Oh my!!! When in a marriage do men understand and master the fine art of sensitivity and really understand their wives?? When??
I’m very glad all the paperwork was done, God knows I would never do it, but to be the first thing I was greeted with in the morning just was a bit unkind. I say, get them done, place them somewhere where I don’t have to see them and present them on the day of the sale. I am already having mixed feelings about this sale and to be have to look at the final papers was just beyond me. Not a good feeling.
Yes, yes , yes, I know this is all part of farm life. I know this, and I keep telling myself this, but it never makes it any easier when an animal is giving birth, sick, dying or being sold.
I don’t know when I’ll become less sensitive and my husband a bit more sensitive.
Please don’t say well this is what you signed up for, all of the above, because I know that.
Sometimes , it’s just about timing. Timing can be everything.
We’ve recently had two bucklings born here at Gullringstorp. We had our fingers crossed hoping for all doelings but when Poppy gave birth to a tiny buckling, all hope went out the window. I had previously made a promise to my husband that we would sell any bucks born here at Gullringstorp. We already have a large buck herd of 7.
First issue was a previous promise made to Frida. When Frida arrived to us already pregnant, we said we would never ever sell her babies. We have all her children and now her grand children. Little huckleberry had to stay, no questions asked. He was castrated and he will live here at Gullringstorp as a wether.
Iris one of our Pygmy does gave birth to a doeling and a buckling. Here, I have done my very best to stick to my promise.
Florian has been a beautiful little fella that I have very much enjoyed watching grow, from a distance. Not too distant because I want him to be socialized for his new home. He is such a little man already but retains his baby closeness with his mother and sister.
We had a potential buyer since his birth so he didn’t go into an ad until just recently. I have tried very hard not to become too attached to this little one because I had it in my head that he would be leaving us soon. Our interested party has vanished into thin air and we are left with no choice but to place an ad for him. I took the photos and grit my teeth as I forwarded them to my husband to be able to place along with the ad.
Not one interested party! Now what? Two choices, castration or integration with our bucks.
For the past two days , Florian has begun his slow introduction to the bucks of Gullringstorp, all 7 of them. I know what a ridiculous amount of bucks, my husband said the same. Most were born here and I just couldn’t sell them. Thank goodness they are all African Miniature goats so they don’t take up a lot of space and we do have room for them all.
Florian basking in the love of his mother and sister:
Here is our little Florian on his supervised visits in the boy’s enclosure:
Then some real fun was discovered!
After a couple of hours in the boy’s enclosure, Florian was back with his mother and sister.
Our ad is still running and we could get a buyer any day. We still have the options of castration or deciding to add Florian to our buck herd.
This is not fun, let me tell you. But this is life on the farm.