The old saying goes that, "You can't have just one goat," because goats are herd animals. They will become lonely (and most likely vocal) if they don't have a buddy. The buddy, I've been told, doesn't necessarily have to be a goat. It could be a sheep, cow, horse, or any other animal the goat could form a "herd" with. But, in our case, we couldn't just have three goats. That is, we couldn't just have three goats because we were lacking in the male gender.
To back up a little in the story, we started our goat herd in 2013 with two sisters, Penny & Nickel. We added Vanilla in 2014. (All three of these goats are does.) In both the fall of 2013 and 2014, we "rented" a buck from friends to breed our does. By "rent," I mean that we paid a small fee to have the buck come live in our pen for about a month and woo our ladies with his antics. This year, 2015, we planned to do the same thing. However, the buck we were going to rent, unfortunately passed away the week before he was to come to Russell Homestead.
So, we were left scrambling for a buck. Though I never blogged about it in my "Things I Said I Will Never Do (And Now Do!)" series, I could have done a post on how we said we will never own a buck. If you've never been around a goat buck, you may wonder why we are so prejudiced against them. Well, they don't smell very nice (mainly due to their habit of urinating on themselves to attract the ladies), and they can be aggressive. In addition, we don't need one, except for once a year. And then we REALLY need one.
Back to my story, we were eager to get a buck because we have dried up our does, and we are eager for them to "freshen" again. (Freshen is a goat and cow term which means to begin giving milk again after giving birth.) We also didn't want just any breed of buck; we wanted a Nubian buck to provide us with kids that will be good home milkers. We didn't know of anyone we could "rent" from, so we began looking to buy.
The fall isn't the best time to purchase goats because dairy goats typically kid in the spring. We didn't want a kid anyway, we wanted a young buck who was ready to get the job done. After much online searching, we found our buck, and brought home a doe as well. (We goat people just have a hard time resisting more goats!) We wanted to grow our herd a bit to have more milk for next year to experiment with butter or soap. Who knows? But, if you're milking 3, what is milking 4?
So, without further ramblings from me, here are the newcomers to Russell Homestead...
Prince is a young buck, born in March of 2015. He is polled, which means he naturally doesn't have horns. He is very gentle, and a bit shy, but he is warming up to us and the delicious sweet feed we offer him. (And he really doesn't smell too bad yet because he is so young.)
Moondancer (or Mooney for short), named for the crescent moon on her side, is a meek & mild two and a half year old doe. She was bottlefed, and she loves people! She is the only goat we have that will stand at the gate and beg to be petted. The boys enjoy leading her around the yard. She gave birth to twins in the spring of 2015. She was exposed to a Nubian buck before coming here, which means we are hoping for kids in January!
Vanessa from Russell Homestead. Follower of the Lord Jesus, wife of my knight in shining armor, mother of 5 wonderful children, and joint-keeper of the Russell homestead. Thanks for stopping by!
Independent Field Representative