Rated "G" for goats.
First of all, I'd like to announce that we finally named the other two goats. The doeling is named Pearl and her brother is Melvin.
I did look into castrating them ourselves. There is a technique called "banding", which I won't go into in too much detail, but think of wrapping a rubber band tightly around your finger and waiting until it dies and falls off. The other do-it-yourself method I looked into was using a tool called an emasculatome to crush the cord and blood vessels leading to the testicles. Curtis even offered to cut the bucklings. "How difficult can it be? You cut and pull the balls out." Considering he has balls himself, his cavalier attitude surprised me. In the end, I decided to call a professional to do the cutting for us.
I thought it would be easy to find a farm veterinarian in our area, but it took me a while to find one nearby. After an interenet search didn't turn up anything, a call to the friendly folks at the county extension office gave me the name of "the vet everyone around here uses for goat castrations".
I woke up King and Mike early yesterday morning to "help me load the goats in the minivan". It was surprisingly easy to get them to jump in. The tricky part was to get them all in there at the same time. Pearl ended up coming along for the ride, as it was too difficult to remove her without the other two escaping, especially Melvin. Thankfully, once we got there we met a county sheriff animal control officer who helped us unload.
While the boys were away at castration camp, Pearl was left all alone. I don't think she had ever been alone in her life, not that goats are ever really happy without a herd. She was particularly distressed. She yelled for her herd-mates all day, until her little goat voice was hoarse.
We picked up LaChonky and Melvin in the afternoon. (Would you believe the same animal control officer pulled in as we were arriving and helped us load them in the van again? For real.) The new wethers were a little groggy and wobbly, but otherwise in good shape and ball-less. It was just in the nick of time too, as both Curtis and I independently concluded that just today Pearl came into heat.
On Thursday I went to the farm store to get milk and eggs and pork chops. I came home with all of that, plus three goats. They are our first livestock on the farm.
It was an impulsive purchase. One that was not cleared with my husband. I texted him the picture of the goats in the back of the mini-van along with the word "sorry". He was not pleased, but not really all that surprised either. How long can a woman last on a farm in the spring without buying baby animals that are right there in front of her for sale and everything?
I am not going to say how much I paid for the trio, as I really don't want to know whether or not I got a good deal. As I said, this was an impulse buy which by definition excludes logical considerations like price; and the fact that the main pasture fence isn't installed yet; and the fact that we are going on vacation in two weeks; and the fact that two of the goats are uncastrated males and may impregnate the three-month-old female at any moment.
Let's just look at their cuteness and think about that, because that's what I did.
This is one of the male goats. He is the only one who has been named, so far. Mike came up with the name, "LaChonky". He is a Pygmy goat. I'm not sure of his age (one of those pesky details one forgets to ask during an impulsive purchase). He has proven to be the feistiest and most charismatic of the bunch.
Here he is doing an impression of Curtis finding out I bought three goats without talking to him first:
This is the other male. He is a cross between a Lamancha and a Pygmy goat. I believe he is three months old and twin brother to the female. He is also "intact", as they say, and could possibly impregnate his sister (another pesky detail). He is the most skittish of the three and scoots away when we try to pet him. We are working hard to win him over.
This is the little doeling. Like her brother she is a three-month-old Lamancha-Pygmy cross. The Lamancha breed is a dairy-type goat, so perhaps when she is older we will have her bred and try her as a milk goat. She is as cute as a button and sweet as can be. My favorite for sure.
I wanted to introduce you to the new members of the farm, but you can expect more goat pictures and stories soon, starting with my search for a vet who will castrate the two bucks.