Monday, April 4, 2011

A Different View

One is not enough, but how many is too many?  Five years ago, I sold four kids to a gentleman in Mt. Aukum who wanted brush eaters.  A year later he bought several more (he's got a big property).  As sometimes happens, buyers become friends.  It's always nice to talk goats.  Last year, he decided to raise Kiko meat goats and sent off to Texas for a starter herd.  A couple of months ago, the does started dropping their kids and I got a call with each delivery.  Yesterday I was invited to come and meet the herd and offspring. 

The first two goats on the path are Alpine (my breed) and the rest are Kiko, which is primarily a stocky, heavy white breed, but which, like the black doe and brown kid below, can throw color.  Like my girls, the entire herd followed wherever we went.

This trio is about a month from being sent to market.  I'm not sure his Lady hasn't made it harder for herself by naming all the babies.  I bawled when I sold my first two kids, and I knew they were going to a good home.  Reality hasn't hit her yet.
This little cutie is about a week old, soft as a puppy and so sweet-smelling, but already able to keep up with the herd as it browses the hills.  Right now, my friend has thirty-one goats, adults and kids, and by summer anticipates fifty kids on the ground.  By choosing meat goats, there is no need to milk, burn horns, or castrate.  A little hoof-trimming on the core herd and whatever medical needs arise is about all it takes, and makes life a lot simpler.  At this time of year and on as much acreage as they have, there's little need for supplemental feeding. 

I am rarely envious of anyone's possessions, but I'll admit I'm jealous of their huge, one-hundred-year-old barn.  It's been completely renovated with new flooring and immaculate stalls for goats and horses, a delivery room, self-filling individual water bowls (with heaters, for crying out loud!), an isolation pen, and a tack room.  I had to come home and apologize to my girls for their humble quarters, damp dirt floor, and outdoor trough with cold water.  Ah, well...if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride...and I'd have a goat Taj.


Jennie Bolen said...

I must say, I would be jealous over a barn like that too. I know when I see those old huge barns on rolling green hills I always think there couldn't be a more gorgeous site. And if I had one, it would be just as expected, Red with white trim with little chickens roosting in the top middle window.
Drew and I are definitely missing the goats this time of year. The weeds are growing like...weeds ;) and Drew has already been out there once mowing. This is such a beautiful place for livestock, just not enough time in our lives to have them right now. I'll have to get my goat fix over at your house. :)

Kathryn said...

Jennie - so nice to see you, as there are lots of readers, but very view commenters on this wonderful blog. What great pictures and a fun tale today, and I'm with both of you - if I lived in the country and had livestock, I'd order a barn with all the fixin's too!! Yoo Hoo - "Secret Millionaire" where are you???

Cally Kid said...

Hey BOcahantas! I love Kathryns new nickname for you. I would have come off with something like (she who) Sleeps in Bibbies or Walks on Roof yet Kathryns name gets my vote. Glad to have Jennie on board as a new "commentor". Dawn reports that the spring grasses in Chico are approaching waist high. Judging from the rise in your feed prices it will be cheaper for me to just buy a new riding mower to replace the broken down model I have now. Maybe I should get a "baler" attachment to help you feed the goats? The temps are rising here and so are the population of annoying flys. Send me some anti-fly spray c/o Wake Island.

Jennie Bolen said...

I actually live about 15-20 minutes from BOcahantas, (that is a great name) I met her last year when one of my momma goats had a baby and wanted nothing to do with it. Bo came to the rescue and we were able to feed the little guy, "Gus" with her great goat milk. She is quite the lady and lives in an absolutely beautiful place, My husband and I dream of owning a place very much like hers one day because the elevation is so great for gardens and we love the look of rolling green hills. We live up about 1000ft higher, so we get a little too much snow for amazing gardens and orange trees which I think is my husbands main dream in life, to have an orchard full of nothing but orange trees. :) Glad to meet you girls as well.