January Thaw

Ingrid is in the mood and letting the entire county know with her loud calls.  Goats are very vocal about such things which is handy if you are breeding them; you know exactly when to introduce the buck and will have a pretty accurate due date.  Sadly I came home last March to find my buck dead in the front pasture.  No idea what happened, but I suspect his pasture mates broke his neck.  Sienna was such a dear goat, never aggressive and did not fit into the goat world very well.   He was a bottle baby as his mother wouldn’t accept him, living in the house for about 6 weeks with 2 cats.  I suspect he always thought he was either a cat or a person.

Sandy and Sienna

Sienna with Sandy

His pasture mates broke his back hip when he was about 4 years old so it is easy to imagine one of the big wethers hitting him with more deadly consequences.  Anyway…..sheep are much more subtle in expressing their interests.  Sheep instead use a maneuver I call “kaschnoodling” instead of crying incessantly as goats do.  Kaschnoodling involves rubbing heads and noses together, at times head on, staring into each other’s eyes for quite some time.  It is also curious that ruminant voice volume is inversely proportional to physical size.  Thus Ingrid is the smallest goat and has the loudest voice.  Luckily the impulse only lasts several days (although repeating ever 3 weeks or so) and Angora goats are seasonal breeders which means they only breed ~late October through January.

Roberto and Ingrid

Ingrid (right) with her twin brother Roberto.

Changes in weather always makes the goats frisky and Boo (aka Black Magic) never needs a reason to give me the “Sister Bertrille” move (look at her ears).  She was also a bottle baby but was such an exuberant kid that she only lasted 2 days in the house.  Unable to contain her in the laundry room, she was put out with her mother Megan and twin sister Starlight.  Although Megan did not like Boo, she tolerated her (vs Sienna’s mother Ginger who made it a point to beat him to a pulp if he was left with her).  This allowed Boo to play with her twin sister and grow up in a more normal environment.  So Boo knows she is a goat, but thinks that people are also goats and thus can be a handful when she is in a frisky mood.  Frisky goats like to challenge each other to some good old fashioned head butting but unfortunately this is not a good sport for humans.

Frisky Boo  Black Magic

When you have a kid which has been rejected by it’s mother you have to bottle raise them or lose them, and yet being raised by a human will totally change the goat they might have been.  A bit like playing God.  Although I always felt it was the right thing to do, and could not have left a kid to die without trying to save it, I always wonder about the long term impact of that decision.

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