The Saanens

7 Feb

My little wether, Phil, introduced me to the wonderful, fun goats can be. I decided I wanted girls. We could have babies and milk them and make cheese. I know it sounds corny, but I thought I’d try. I got a call from a friend who knew someone that knew someone that had a bunch of two-week-old Nubian nannies he was bring from the Amish in southern Iowa. I made the call and drove an hour and a half to I don’t remember where. My son and I went into the little heated building (it was February 7th) and there they were–all white short-eared little girls that could only have been a couple of days old at most. They were skinny and didn’t look any too good. After driving that far, we decided to go ahead and take some. Caleb picked the two he liked. I picked the two biggest, healthiest looking ones, and the last one was a pathetic little thing that the friend of a friend picked for us, probably because he doubted she would live.
We brought them home and instead of putting them in the insulated chicken coop, they moved into my kitchen. Wow–they really made my kitchen look small. They were about as healthy as I thought. Their ears were frostbit. They had infections in their ear tags. The kicker, however, was the coccidiosis, bloody scours. The really pathetic looking one was close to death. Over the course of her illness, she saw all three vets at the local clinic. Each vet was quick to inform me that this was usually the result of poor management practices. I was equally quick to assure them that the kids did not get this parasite from my kitchen floor. After what seemed like an eternity, all five were healthy.
Millie Ann had the worst frost bite on her ears. Despite missing half her ears, she is my sweetheart. She likes to have pushing contests with people, and she’s usually sweet enough to let the people win. She is also my musical goat. She has been a horn player ever since her horns grew out enough to discover the joy of tapping out a lovely tune. She is one of my milking nannies. I still have her, and I have kept two of her kids–Pebbles Sue (and her daughter Penny) and Joe Jo.
Minnie Pearl was named after the country music artist by the same name. The singer had the tag hanging from her hat and the goat has a lovely pair of wattles hanging from her neck. Minnie is my now retired milking nanny. She would produce over a quart of milk morning and night. She is a big baby. As soon as she goes into labor, I plan on putting everything else aside and holding her hoof until the babies come. I have her daughter Betty Lou (and Betty’s daughter, Helen).
Madilyn May was the pathetic little goat that nearly died. She consequently became my darling. She was the one that everyone goat along with. She never did have the best health, and after her second time of having kids, she retired. I kept her baby, Goliath, and he was one of my breeding billies for four years before I had to sell him because he was huge and playful and didn’t know his own strength. Maddie was horribly jealous when everyone else started having babies the following spring. She even tried to kidnap Millie’s baby girl, Pebbles. I warned her she would get locked up for kidnapping, and she relented, but was determined to have babies the next spring. She gave me beautiful twin girls, Stormy Sue and Litha May. Unfortunately, it was too much for her health, and she passed away last winter.
My son chose Cutie Pie as one of his goats. She is big and bad. If she were a human, I’d be scared to meet her in a dark alley outside a bar. She is the barnyard bully. That is how she managed to keep her daughter, Pam. Literally, she butted heads with me. It was enough to get my attention, and I put a collar on her daughter. From then on, she went back to being sweet and helpful. She is truly a devoted mother, treating her daughter like a princess.
Meg was Caleb’s other choice. She was short, wattled and a tom boy. She does not have a motherly bone in her body. I have to lock her in with her kids for the first week so they are big enough to find her. She is funny and sometime downright ornery. I have two of her daughters, Muffin Jane and Jilly.
Along with my Saanens and their kids, I also bought some boer nannies just for Goliath. Grace died raising her kids, but I still have daughter Kizzy Kay. Annie Belle is quiet and shy. I have kept her daughter, Sallie. Scarlet is obviously red. I have her daughter Maggie, and son Marley. Mabel, a nubian cross, was given to me. She is my most prolific nanny, having triplets every time.  I have her daughter Lily and Lily’s daughter Dolly.
I can hardly wait until spring break. Six girls are due to have babies that week. It will be a wonderful sleepless week.


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