Wednesday, September 11, 2013
It looks like breeding season will be delayed this year. This adorable little guy just won't be ready for a few months yet. Breeding season is always a major pain in the butt, or at least, it has been ever since I sold Storm Cloud, my beautiful herdsire. Last year, of course, we didn't breed any goats at all, being in Oaxaca. The year before that, we had a very difficult time finding a buck and ended up with a less-than-satisfactory arrangement (Unwelcome Drama in the Goat Breeding Business).
This year, I thought I had everything all sewn up ahead of time. A woman I know slightly has a black and white spotted buck and we made arrangements for her to bring him over for a few weeks and I would pay her $100. That sounds expensive, but it actually represents a bit of a discount, as I had three does to breed, and the going rate for a proven, purebred, tested buck is about $50 per doe. I wasn't thrilled about the timing, because she was in hurry to get him off of her property while she had houseguests (STINKY) and I wanted to wait until a little later in the season so that babies would not be born in January. However, a buck in the hand is worth two on the internet, so I said to bring him on over.
A week went by, and I hadn't heard from her. When I called her, she said "Oh, I sold him already. I tried to call you..." I was disappointed, but it wasn't really a surprise. It's never easy to find a buck to rent. Something always goes wrong. So I went back to Craigslist in search of another solution. I found bucklings for sale galore, but none to rent. As regular readers have surely gathered, I have a lot on my plate right now and wanted to get this goat thing taken care of as soon as possible, so I can get back to worrying about other stuff, like my high-need nieces. So after consulting with Homero, we decided to go look at a couple of low-priced bucklings.
Unfortunately, they were all quite young. The fellow we picked, this handsome tan and white moon-spotted buckling, is just over two months old. Bucks can usually breed at about four and a half months, so we are looking at... um.... babies at the beginning of May. Hopefully. Right now, he is rediculously tiny and the does are beating him up mercilessly. It seems unlikely he will dominate them anytime soon.
My kids don't like the name I gave him, Sandstorm. Our last herdsire was named Storm Cloud, and intact bucklings have taken on weather-related names. We had Cirrus and Nimbus, for example. The kids were ready to mutiny over Sandstorm, until I told them that in Arabic a sandstorm is called a Haboob. Now we have a goat named Boob, for short. Courtesy of Hope, my nine year old.
For my general thoughts on goat breeding, see The King Must Die (Goat Breeding and Divine Kingship)