When we started out with our goats, we decided not to have bucks of our own. This was because of all that I have read and all that I had heard. Bucks were dangerous, bucks were stinky and bucks were unpredictable.
We went for a long time hiring a Rent-A-Buck to come by Gullringstorp for our ladies. We were lucky to get a beautiful buck named Emil who fathered some of our most beautiful babies. You can read about Emil on another post “Our Rent-A-Buck” .
Then it happened, Hilda, our most gentle of all our goats gave birth to a doeling and a little buckling. Knowing how the temperament of the mother is passed on to her babies, we knew that this would be a wonderful and gentle buck when he grew up. We were right. Then we realized that since we also had tiny Pygmy does, we needed some tiny Pygmy bucklings for them. We purchased 3 tiny bucklings from the same farm we bought the doelings. With these little boys , we gave them all the love and attention we could so that they would be manageable.
Two years later, Nanna one of our Pygmy does, gave birth to Toby and I just couldn’t bring myself to sell him. Alika and Hilda two of our Nigerian Dwarf goats gave birth to 3 beautiful little bucklings, Pip, Winston and Phillip. Needless to say, they all have remained here with us and near their mothers, at Gullringstorp.
We have 7 bucks now in the boy’s quarter. With all the love and hands on, hand feeding every day, we have 7 beautiful, tamed bucklings. They are all collar and leash trained, should we need them to be led on a leash.
Although they are all tamed and kind, they are not without challenges: One challenge has been the way they have their hay in the box. We had one hay rack That was already in place from when horses used to live here. That hay rack was modified for our goats. Then we saw that we needed more hay holders of some kind. We tried horse hay bags. Well let me tell you, I know horses weigh a lot more than our little boys, but our little boys can really do some damage. they used their horns to systematically destroy the bags. That wasn’t working with the bucks , but did work with the does and doelings. We found an ad for hay racks at a great price, when purchased in volume. so we bought 5 of the.
Our bucks got 2 of the new racks. We thought our hay storage was solved. well it really wasn’t. We had two little bucks who thought it was fun to leap from the cable drum and lad right in the middle of the hay rack. Not a good idea; no place for accidental poopies or pee pee. We tried to move the cable drum so they couldn’t reach the hay racks. We did that, then , one day saw something that I had never imagined. Our little buck Winston, no bigger than a Cocker Spaniel actually leaped up into the hay rack from the ground!!
Then I got an idea. Not just out of the blue, mind you. Lids!! Lids are not unusual here at Gullringstorp. I our tiny Pygmy girl’s box, we had the same problem. We had a tiny doe who kept leaping into the hay rack. Solution, a lid. Pygmy goats love to climb so all the girls have had a chance up on the lid, now a fun shelf.
So lids it was:
Our bucks were shocked at first to see the lids and were a bit confused. Then they found the perfect use for the lids; sharpen their horns , of course!
As our little bucks have enjoyed their enclosure, it became obvious that they were now in need of more grazing. It was time to extend their space.
The boys like to relax on warm days:
Well with new covered hay racks and extended enclosure, our boys are more than happy!
I am so very happy to report that all the babies and new mommies are doing well here at Gullringstorp!
Iris’ little ones are so cute and bouncy and so curious. They eat well, plenty of mommy’s milk and starting to nibble on the hay. They watch mommy and try to do as she does. Iris is a surprise to us both; this wild child has become a wonderful first time mother . I am so proud of her.
Poppy is a wonderful mother as was her own mother, Frida. She is all about her little son and always keeps him under her chin as she rests and he naps. She is constantly chatting to him and licking him all over, even while he sleeps. I am so pleased to see her as great a first time mother as Frida. She had an excellent teacher. Both Poppy and her sister Pansy miss their mother so much, it is evident in their eyes since they lost her. I am so glad they will have their new babies to keep them occupied and happier than I could ever have made them. We are still waiting for Pansy to deliver. Soon we hope.
Pumpkin is doing as well as always with her two daughters. She is a joy to watch as she tends to each little girl with lots of love and conversation. The girls are flourishing in her loving care. Even our little one with the foot issue. She is bouncing around her space and jumping everywhere. We appear to have two healthy little babies and we are just keeping our fingers crossed that the little foot will be the only issue we and Pumpkin have to face.
As with all the new mothers, we have had to place up fences or barriers to keep the other goats away while they bond with their new babies. Pumpkin was no different. As much as Pumpkin loves her adult daughter Rose, she is a new mother and as such is very protective. There was need to take risks that Rose might hurt the babies or Pumpkin become angry with her daughter Rose. I hated to ask Leif after many hours spent cleaning out the boy’s box and stable of old straw, to help and put up a barrier in Pumpkin’s box before we brought the goats in for the evening. He wasn’t happy, I know because he was tired, but we had no choice. It would make Pumpkin feel safe with her babies but it would not be fun for Rose and it wasn’t when she was brought in. She will get used to it. She has already broken down the door area so she can see her mommy. I just think that she gets instructions from Pumpkin to stay put on her side of the fence. So far, so good. She will soon become used to it and won’t be so upset as long as she can see Pumpkin and talk with her.
Leif has been busy with other things as well here at Gullringstorp. We are always fixing and repairing after the winter and oddly enough we are preparing now for the next winter. We have a furnace in the basement where a lot of firewood is brought in from the outdoor storage and burned to heat the entire house including the water:
I hope you have enjoyed some of the updates from Gullringstorp.
Hej from London :
I am getting updates on Iris and her babies throughout the day from Leif.
Iris is a fine mother, very attentive to her two new babies. She is constantly licking and cleaning them as their bond grows stronger. Unlike our Nigerian Dwarf new mothers, who are always heard quite loudly chatting with their babies. Our normally very talkative Iris, who is one of our Pygmy goats, has a very different verbal communication with her babies. Apparently her chatter is low and intimate and for her babies tiny ears only. It is becoming more apparent some differences between the two breeds. As goat owners, with close observation, you are bound to pick up on the tiniest of differences between the breeds and become better prepared for what to expect in any situation.
Leif is enjoying a very important and fun task of handling the babies. They need gentle handling to start their socialization with humans from as early an age as possible. This is not a practice of all goat owners but we believe very strongly in this here at Gullringstorp. We raise our babies to be as comfortable with us as with their mommy.
Our two new babies are a girl and a boy . The little brown and grey one who is the spitting image of mommy Iris is our new little boy. As promised, because we have already exceeded our number of bucks, this little fellow will be available for sale. I must stick to my promise made to my husband when I was allowed to keep Phillip and Winston. This little fella will receive all our love and care while with us and will be a gentle loving buckling when sold to a new family. I will not lie and say that when the time comes for him to leave that I will not be a wreck because I will. It will be a sad day for us at Gullringstorp while at the same time we will be happy with the new family we have chosen for him.
Our new little girl will remain with Iris and her extended family within the box in our stable where she was born . She will be welcomed onto the herd as time continues and she is introduced to each goat, one by one.
This is a very happy time for all of us at Gullringstorp!! Here are some photos sent to me yesterday :
Thank you Leif for the beautiful updated photos of our new family at Gullringstorp. I am so happy and worry free while here in London. Please give Iris a kiss from me and give our new babies a kiss and a hug each from me.
More updates as I receive them.
Hej from Gullringstorp !
I have been down and out of commission with a terrible flu. The older you get the longer it seems it takes to bounce back from the flu. Back now and have a lot to get caught up on. Staying in bed is not fun when you have a house full of little critters that require your attention. Thanks to my husband, the goats have been well taken care of with grain, chopped fruit and fresh water twice a day. I have missed them so much! Just this past week I decided to come downstairs and perform at least one task a day then retreat back to rest. I feed our 4 cats their breakfast and dinner which is fresh cod chopped up in addition to their free choice kitty kibble. I tend to all the fish tanks in the house and feed Little Lady our iguana. Yesterday I felt brave and strong enough to handle a bit more strenuous task… cleaning the frog aquarium.
I took this video yesterday:
This morning when I came down, it was clear that they were quite thankful for the fresh clean water in their tank. I was thinking my two females looked a bit chubby. No wonder, they were full of eggs:
Thank you to all my regular readers and new visitors to my blog, in my absence.