This picture of me and Clove is a couple of weeks old. Don't we look happy? Back then, I didn't know that Clove would be food. I thought we would sell him as a buck. But then Flopsy had her baby, Storm Cloud, a buck who is a thousand times cuter. Storm Cloud will be sold as a buck, and Clove becomes just a surplus male.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Of course, we don't actually HAVE to eat him. But he's worth more as meat than I could sell him for alive. He's a big, strapping buckling, I think he will easily weigh in at 125 or 150 by October. That's about 60 pounds of prime, pasture raised chevon. Assuming no unexpected costs, that meat should work out to a cost to us of about $2.75 a pound. Have you priced organic lamb lately?
And if we don't eat him, then we won't eat any kid this year. We decided to keep Tutu (oh those little girls are masters of extortion), and Sandy is spoken for - she's meat for the Kale Fairy, who is providing us with an organic CSA share in exchange. (Funny, wouldn't you think the Kale Fairy would be a vegetarian?) So we eat Clove or don't eat any goat at all. And I haven't time or inclination to go into it right now, but I feel it's very important to eat a goat this year.
As future meat, Clove had to be castrated. Not only is mature billy goat a disgusting dish, but if we kept him intact until slaughter weight, he'd cross every doe on the place. I want Storm Cloud to cross them - the ones he's not related too closely to, anyway. The vet would charge us an amount to castrate him that would bring the per pound price up to unacceptable levels. Homero said we had to do it ourselves.
I said "you mean you're going to do it, right?" Well we both did it. Today I brought Storm Cloud to the vet to be disbudded (I draw the line at red hot irons) and had her show me on his little bitty baby balls how to band a buckling. It's alarmingly simple, really. The bander costs $12.95 at the feed store. It just takes .... balls.
As it turns out, I don't have them. Go figure. I put the rubber band on the bander and slipped his testicles through, being careful that neither of his nipples were inside, but I couldn't let go of the handles and let the band snap shut. I just couldn't. I made Homero do it. As it turned out, I was being overly dramatic. Clove yelped once and then skipped off after his mama, looking for the tit. He kept shaking his back legs and looking around at his belly, but other than that he doesn't seem to be in a whole lot of distress. I guess it's a bigger deal to me than it is to him.
I've been called a castrating bitch before, but it's never been true until now.