December 4, 2008

Fixin Fence

Tuesday afternoon the 4 legged Thanksgiving guests to the farm were loaded up and returned home. I was actually relieved for the most part. The visiting goats were mostly Nubian and Nubian cross. These ladies held true to their breed and were the most verbal group of goats we have dealt with in ages. Bless their pea pickin’ hearts they were so stressed to be dumped off at a strange farm and have a blubbering odoriferous buck chasing their tails, all they could do was cry. One was so stressed she developed a bit of the scours and went off her feed. We took her home immediately.
To bring the does in for the visit with Axle we had to create a pen just for the occasion. Which was not too difficult of a task since we are set up where we can section off parts of the pastures by swinging a gate or cattle panel back or forth. Unfortunately we had to move Axle’s best friend Cookie out for the breeding session. She does not take kindly to other goats being around her bud and can be wicked mean with her horns. She went to room with Buffy who she also considers her friend. Buffy is the only resident of the kidding pen (due in the next two weeks) right now so imagine both enjoyed the company.
All in all the session went smoothly up until I opened the pasture allowing Axle to return to his normal place. We had just taken away his little harem, Cookie was no where to be seen so he started bellowing and running the four corners of the pasture. I collected Cookie, lead her back to Axle and the pen, closed the gate and all seemed content.
I am not quite sure what outside chore I was involved with when I heard the dogs raising a ruckus and running for the back fence line. Looking up I saw Cookie and Axle at a dead run making a B line for the dairy goat pen (who are in heat at this time). Guess he thought he still had work to do.
Seeing a goat run is not too odd, but normally our goats trot. Seeing a 300 lb. South African Boer buck at a flat out dead run is actually quite amazing… the ability to move such weight gracefully, the muscle movement, the surefootedness and speed. It seemed to be no more than a hot second and he was at the dairy pen blubbering. I grabbed a bucket of food, shook the can and headed in the direction of his pen. Luckily he followed.
Somehow a small section of field fence on the back fence line had been buckled down. Imagine the visiting dairy girls were looking for a way out, stood on the fence and it slowly folded under the weight. Cookie being an Alpine (all our Alpines have been jumpers) found the low spot showing Axle in the process and out they had came.
All’s well that ends well… I fixed the fence, everyone is back in his or her rightful pen and no one was bred during the great escape.
No one being accidentally bred is my main concern. We have tried so hard to downsize and control our numbers. This will be the first winter in 9 years that I have not had to spend out in the freezing temps kidding or with bottle babies in the house. Hoping this winter I can concentrate on processing fiber, rug hooking and other crafts that I never have time for.


Tammy said...

Very glad you were there to intervene before it was too late. I sure understand the 'downsizing' thing, and just wish my little sheepie girls could get the concept of a 'year off'... ;-) Sounds like Axle is a good goatie to come back to his pen too.

City Mouse said...

Glad the guests are gone and you are at ease, and glad everyone got back where they were supposed to be, LOL. A winter of fiber work, rug making and crafts surely sounds nice.

Joanna said...

I've got two mature Nigerian does and one baby. I'm on the lookout for a red Nigerian male.

I got into the dairy goats for the milk and not breeding, but my girls are not producing much milk now so I guess I have to breed them, that's what everyone say anyway.

I don't understand why Mother Nature set it up so the male can't stay with the girls or the milk will taste bad. Just all what I've heard, never had a buck and the goats are new to us.

katie said...

Your farm sounds like a great accomplishment.
Don't know where your farm is , but we have a great rug hooking store here in my town. Warsaw, Missouri. Come visit our website and blog.