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.
After a couple of days of wind, snow and rain, the goats were let out this morning. the conditions were not ideal but our goats were getting cabin fever. You can always tell on morning rounds just what the mood is when you enter the stable.We have most of the girls in the first section of the stable so when you enter there, quite often the ladies are all still “in bed”. They look so cute all snuggled up together. There are two to a box except our 4 tiniest ladies share a very large box.
Entering the next section of the stable is another story completely. We have had the occasion to enter and fine everyone still “in bed”. But usually as I stop and say good morning Pumpkin and Rose who are in the last box in the first section, I can hear the commotion in the next section of the stable. Nanna, if not in heat is usually relaxing on her “perch”. The boys have been “in bed” on some mornings but that is not always the case. Like this morning, they were up and spunky! Alika is head butting her door making quite a noise.
After all my mothers to-be , have been on the Milk Stand, Max our dog and I go out and walk the enclosure to access the condition after the last two days. It is still wet in some sections, but overall it would not be a day that the goats were forced to remain indoors. I grab my wheel barrel and Max and start to fill the boys hay rack and then take the boys out first. Boy are they ever happy to be out. I just hope it doesn’t rain. But if it does, we have two wonderful deep outdoor shelters for all the goats to get in and stay out of the rain. Most of my goats do not like the rain. Fingers crossed. There was a time in our goat raising that we would run out of the house at the first drop of rain and run the goats in. I soon realized that our goats cold withstand the elements to a degree and they did have more than adequate shelter from the elements.
The girls were also eager to be outside. They ran for the enclosure while kicking up their cute little heels! It’s always a sight that gives me immense pleasure.
Remember when it was time to place my two little boys in with the big boys and I was so upset?
Here they were as bucklings just before they made the transition:
Now by little babies are no longer bucklings,, they are bucks ready to spar at any given moment for dominance :
The boys settled in and enjoyed being outside. The girls soon followed:
We are continually making improvements around Gullringstorp and many of them are goat related. One of the biggest issues facing goat owners is wasted hay supplies. So often it falls through large hay racks that have large openings between the bars. You see, they don’t make hay racks for these small livestock. All of us have to improvise or try at building our own. We have a two-sided wooden rack that Leif built that fits one in Pumpkin and Rose’s box and the other side fits the sister’s Pansy and Poppy’s box. They have been working well except some waste in the sister’s box. The boys have the conventional horse hay rack which works fine ever since Leif had some bars welded on to help keep the hay in. That was a good idea. The problem in this box is 7 bucks. They can’t all eat at one hay rack and I don’t like to make situations that could prove volatile. So we tried horse hay bags. They worked fine for a while until the boys decided to sharpen their horns on them and rip them causing the hay to fall out. Alika, Keriana and Fiona have bags; they are not without their issues. Alika’s is always turned around. You see there is a nice round opening for the goat to stick their nose in to eat. This means she has to stand up and stick her head in from the top and eat. Keriana and her daughter Fiona have ripped he side of their bag loosing hay .
We bought 5 new hay racks and my husband has welded the bars on all of them. We won’t be placing them in the boxes until the weather gets better and our road gets better to be able to drive the tractor with the hay from the boxes. They still have the winter full level of hay and straw that keeps the goats warm during the winter. With the level up so high we can’t place them in till the level is where it should be, much lower.
These hay racks are not complete yet. There will be a fencing material with smaller openings fit inside each rack. These are just the beginning of repairs and improvements that will need to be done here at Gullringstorp after the long cold winter.