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More Moving Goats

26 Jan

The cold broke just in time for the weekend.  That’s good because I needed the three days of cold (as opposed to brutal cold) to make a couple more adjustments in where goats were located.

Zinnia finally came into heat and got bred, so she and Joy could go back to the main herd.  Honestly, I was also looking forward to going back to milking in my nice warm milk room instead of the garage.

Zinnia

I also hate having goats alone, and Freddie was by himself.  I needed to put him and Xerxes together again.

Freddie

The only question was where and how. I really didn’t think the two mean bucks should get the warmest accommodations on the farm when I have old ladies who are struggling with surviving the winter.

Victoria shivering after the last cold snap ended.

So Saturday morning I decided to trust that Xerxes would just follow me through the barnyard to the north pen.  But I always move bucks when the rest of the herd is out in pasture, and that isn’t going to happen for another six weeks probably.

Myson, Chiffon and Moose–no reason to go out in the snow

I got just a little corn and went to the west side of the barnyard and tossed it around.

Rosie and Tansy searching for the last kernel.

All the goats but Coral and Dolly ended up over there.  I tied a panel across the barn door and just left those two girls.

Dolly and Coral on the east side of the barnyard

Xerxes is such a good boy (As long as I don’t try to touch him)!  He followed me right out the garage door.

He did pause by the little gate into the barnyard because my dog was going crazy barking at him.

Sky

But he decided grain was worth walking past a barking dog.  Then he went right in the north paddock.  He and Freddie acted like they hadn’t been separated for the last two weeks. Thank goodness because I’m tired of fighting goats.

Xerxes and Freddie

Zinnia and Joy followed at a more cautious pace.  They were disappointed they didn’t get grain too, but they got it at milking time.

Joy and Zinnia

Then I wrangled Flower over to the buck room.  She really dropped weight during the last cold spell.

Flower

She was followed by Coral.

Coral

Then I brought Victoria over.

Victoria stopping for her snack in the milk room

The nice thing about the buck room is that it is an insulated room in and insulated building.  While we’re cold, I just shut the door, and their body heat and a heat lamp will keep it nice and warm.  This really is the only chance for Flower to make it through the rest of the winter.

Victoria, Flower and Coral enjoying the sunshine.

I decided to leave Antigone in the Love Shack with the three little bucks because she can’t get stuck in there, and the boys are all three good to her.  Frodo tries to play with her occasionally, but it’s not like he’s being mean to her.

Antigone

And she’s not getting stuck. So, unless I had to move any other goats into the buck room, this was the arrangements until further notice.

One-Shot Benji

25 Jan

You might remember that the day after I separated the bucks and does when we were making spring break babies is when Cupid decided to come into heat.  I threw her in with Benji and told him he had one shot at breeding her.

Benji

After I finished with chores, I took her out.  Well, I’d say his one shot worked.

Cupid (hard to see how round she is with all the winter fur)

Two days after I separated Benji and his girls, 2TC came into heat.

2TC

So I told him he had one shot to breed her.

This time, he actually only got about two minutes with her. It was cold.  I wasn’t waiting.

2TC (with Perdita in back)

We’ll see if that took or not in about three weeks.

2TC and Cupid–the “one-shot girls”

If it worked, he might just have to be forever known as “One-shot Benji.”

Breakout!

24 Jan

When I came home from work on Tuesday after getting feed, the first thing I noticed was Maisie standing in the greenhouse pen.

Maisie

That was not good.  That meant that everyone who was supposed to be in the greenhouse was out.

Popcorn

It took me a minute to find Freddie, and I had to quickly decide what to do with him because the frigid air was moving in, and it was not when I wanted to move anyone. And I have no idea who Freddie was fighting with through the fence (and breaking it open), but they were hitting heads hard enough that Freddie cracked his horn.

See that long vertical split in the horn?

I finally decided the safest thing would be to let Benji’s girls out.  Then I could put Freddie up with Benji.

Chiffon back with the main herd

But testosterone has not been good for Freddie.  He was not nice to Benji, and by the time I came home in the frigid temperatures on Wednesday, it was obvious I had to separate the two boys.

Freddie up north

Once again, I didn’t want to move anyone, but I decided the safest thing would be to leave Freddie up north by himself and put Benji in the Love Shack.

Antigone and Benji

This worked out quite nicely.  It took just a little bit for Benji to calm down and decide he could just be buds with Frodo and Lemuel.

Frodo, Lemuel and Benji

Flower and Antigone were not in heat so he didn’t care about them.  It actually worked quite well.  The extra body provided more heat.  I peeked in once to see Flower, Frodo, Lemuel and Benji all in a mosh pile to stay warm.

Antigone and Frodo in the Love Shack

Don’t get me wrong, I had to put a panel across the Love Shack door to keep Antigone from staying out in the -20°F windchills, but she didn’t get stuck anywhere and nobody was getting beaten on.