We’re pleased to introduce “Quagmire” – our new LaMancha buckling. He’s seven months old, and like his namesake, is rather fervid in his intention to breed our girls.
We’ve changed our thinking regarding having bucks living here on the farm, for practical reasons. Frankly, Artificial Insemination (AI) is just too expensive and inconvenient for us, and neither of those qualities are fitting our situation right now. One of the reasons we were so dead-set against having a buck is because of our experience last year with “Asshole.” We’ve since spent some time around bucks that are friendlier boys and have learned some management techniques (shaving their chest/beard, which will happen with Quagmire soon, and housing logistics) that will help. This little guy is still young enough and the folks we got him from have insured that he’s had lots of human interaction. We feel that we’ll be able to keep him friendly. Obviously, when they go into rut, they have a one-track mind, but we’ll work with that and we certainly know how after having a buck here for three weeks last year!
Another advantage is that we’d have to travel with our girls to take them to get bred, and they can get that “Mayflower Sickness” – travel stress – from which they can get very ill, and it can even be fatal in the worst cases. You don’t want that anytime, but especially not when you are trying to get them pregnant! Finally, we paid for our buck what you’d pay for one breeding charge. So it just made sense. We need to hustle to get our housing situation in the barn expanded, something we were already working on.
You may notice the box for the hydrant at his feet in the photo above – we had to replace ours in the barn because it broke a couple of years ago and flooded the floor (prior to getting the goats). We haven’t had water in the barn since – we’ve had to haul it from the garden hose outside, which is fine in warm weather, but at this point in the year, it’s no longer an option. The past couple of winters, we’ve hauled water down from the house several times a day, and with the number of goats we have now, that’s no longer practical. Well, my brother Dave came over on Tuesday and spent the day getting that hydrant in place. It was hard, mucky, muddy work and he looked like one of the Jaynestown Mudders. Poor guy. We got him into dry clothes before he went home, at least!
Well, after some snags this morning, George was able to get the water flowing in the barn! We have running water now, and it just needs some final touches, but this plumbing is below the frost line, and the hydrant is designed not to freeze. Yay!