The goat keepers dilemma
For the most part, we only keep two breeds of dairy goats here at Jeremiah Farm. The first year we started with two Nubians, two years later we added an Alpine. [We won't count the LaMancha buck who was here for a short season and was sold along with all the kids he sired before the next year, as Tim does not like little eared goats and we did not own a buck that year.] After 4 years three more Nubians increased the herd followed by two Alpines the year after that and the comings and goings continue. Each year the eternal goat keepers dilemma – which ones do I keep, which do I sell? The questions we ask ourselves are almost endless: “Who gives the most milk? Which one has the nicest personality? Is that one stirring up trouble in the barn? Which are the most hardy and healthy? Do I have room and resource to keep just one more?” One year we had 37 babies in the pasture, that was about 33 too many for anyone even if they do bring tons of smiles when they are cutting flips, playing tag at full speed and daily testing who is king of the stump.
More than nine years later, I am still trying to maintain a small herd so presently there are 11 milkers, 1 junior doe, 4 doelings, 1 buck, 1 junior buck, and 1 buckling. I am doing my best to keep the head count under 20, then the next group of kids come… Like last Friday – Poppy surprised me with 3 bucklings again (for the 2nd yr in a row while I was expecting a single kid from her this year). The dilemma? I have to keep the black and white spotted boy – he’s the one I’ve been waiting for. So who has to go to a new home to make room for him? Both of his brothers, even the brown and white spotted one (yes, he is for sale), but what about the junior buck that still holds so much promise? Then the two- legged kids and some friends of the farm add the emotion card to the dilemma. …last night Heidi’s new daughter “Daffodil” made her appearance “you can call her Daffy when she gets silly”. How do you let Daffy go when she is cute as a button? Sorry, you can’t keep them all. Try explaining that ”Percival and Charmont” need to have their own herds when the 12 year old daughter is so enthralled with the “Ella Enchanted” book series that she will steal time away from homework and chores just to sit in the barn with a book and a baby in her lap? Sigh, it’s kidding time again at Jeremiah Farm…
This entry was posted in Uncategorized
. Bookmark the permalink