|Dandylion to the Vet|
Lion had a very bad day today. First he got caught and separated from his herd. Then he had to ride in a dog crate in the back of the truck for an hour. Then he saw the vet, and boy oh boy was THAT terrible! He was vaccinated, banded and disbudded! He slept the whole way home, thank goodness. However, once he got back in with his mother he couldn't stop screaming and bellyaching about what a horrible time he'd had.
Babies First Day Out
Today was a fairly nice day so I took the babies outside. They got to run around on the pavement of the driveway while Diva ate grain and chased dry potato chips (fallen leaves). They had a blast scampering as fast as their little legs could carry them and acting like fools. Darling kept trying to figure out how to climb into the grain bucket, but she's still too little to manage that.
Babies are Here!
Ready for Babies
Is she or not?
Today we went to get ultrasounds of Diva and Tansy. Diva was bred to Cajun and I wanted to confirm if she was pregnant or not. Tansy was just getting super huge and I needed to know if perhaps she had been bred by one of the bucklings before they left, or if she was just fat. We hauled up from Kent to Lake Stevens, got the ultrasounds, then hauled to visit kin who think goaties are cuties, then hauled on home. It was a long haul, but Tansy and Diva just chilled in their kennel like the pros that they are. Enough chattering? You want to know the results? (As if the pic didn't give a huge hint...) Diva is PREGNANT! She is expecting 2+ kids around November 7th! Tansy... is just really fat
|First Linear Appraisal|
I participated in my first LA today to get two of my goats judged. Alani is almost completely dry and has just been nursing Roka rather than being milked. She could have been excused, but I asked for her to be scored anyways so that I could see how she lined up with the understanding that her mammary wouldn't be very accurate. Alani scored a "+VVF 78". Cajun was also scored today and he got "AVV 81", but he was judged to be 1/4" too tall and was marked over height. Reading through this it also looks like he was marked for having thurls too low and spread toes. I'm still reading through things and trying to figure out what everything means. He also told the whole group that some of the items on our score sheets were genetic and just there in the goat's make up and that other things could be impacted by maintenance... so I'm trying to figure out which is which in case there are things I can improve with my management practices to help my goats out. All in all this was a fantastic learning experience and I am so grateful to have it. I'm pretty sure Alani would score high 80s if she were being milked instead of dry after nursing a single with no milking. She always gets compliments, has a reserve championship already, and is out of high scoring stock. However, I screwed her up this year by not milking her and allowing her to just nurse. That's on me, but I still needed to know where her structural strengths and weaknesses lay so I could make sure Cajun was a decent match for her for her next set of kids. Thanks to this LA I found out that the appraiser's main complaint about her were her front legs not having enough bone and looking to be a bit bowed. Cajun has good front legs. Hopefully he can help her next kids out in that department.
Scrub A Dub Buck!
Cajun got a bath today so that he would be clean(er) for LA this weekend. He is a stinky boy! For non-goat folks, LA means Linear Appraisal and is where a judge comes and evaluates your goat against the "perfection" standard and gives your goat a score for how close they are and in what areas; which is a huge deal when considering breeding plans etc.
My grandma's lamb escaped his enclosure and went wandering around the property (lucky he had already been vet cleared). He is lonely and so was out there visiting the girls. They were curious about him. He did try to visit Cajun, but Cajun ran and hid from him. The little lamb (who my grandma calls Cotton and who I call Lambchop) is extremely wild. He is so wild that he will repeatedly smash himself into things (including solid walls) to try and get away from people. This made him difficult to catch, but eventually I was able to corner him and then get him. The poor thing just lays down 'dead' when I get hold of him. Sheep are so stupid.
|Vet Work and Farriery|
Last week we got blood testing done and so this week the results are back (negative for everything nasty). That's no surprise for the goats since they are all nice quality animals from tested herds who have limited exposure to other animals, however it was really good news for my grandmother's lamb. She had gotten a cheap ram lamb off of CraigsList from a really sketchy situation and the lamb looked rather sickly so I was concerned he might be infected with something. Luckily he is not and now he has been vaccinated, wormed, castrated and had his feet trimmed. With his test results back and negative, he will now be allowed to mingle with the other animals on the property as previously he had been in complete quarantine. Also, in the news, all the goaties got their feet trimmed. This wouldn't be that big of an event except that we had to use a new trimmer this time as our old trimmer is moving and no longer available. This gal was fine, though, so unless I get a stanchion soon, we'll schedule her again. I can actually trim the goat's feet, but I can't trim them and hold them at the same time. If I got a stanchion then it would hold the goats secure for me while I worked on their feet. It's on the To Buy list, but we haven't gotten there yet.
Kennewick Goat Show - Does
Unfortunately none of the girls did well in their classes at this show. Alani showed in showmanship, which of course she isn't judged for but rather her handler is judged. Then the next day Roka, Diva and Tansy all went through their classes. Roka is pretty solidly in the middle of the pack as far as all of her classes and since she still isn't setting up well she might even be able to have scored higher. Diva was to the rear of all her classes and so was Tansy. Tansy was judged harshly as being overweight for one judge and for being 'too mature' for another judge... which actually made her place below Diva. All of the girls seemed content in their classes and not majorly stressed out like last week, so that at least was good news.
Wine Country Classic - Bucks
Cajun is coming along so nicely and he's such a sweet boy. This weekend at the goat show he was just so easy and gentle. A lot of the bucks were having issues (even penned up), but not Cajun. He just nicely sat in his pen and ate his food. He was quite interested in the girls next to him. He would stare at them and make little murmurs to them, but that was it. A lot of bucks were being obnoxious to their female neighbors and screaming, spitting, and peeing at them - but not Cajun. However, there were some kids (like only a few weeks old) penned on the other side of Cajun and while he thought the girls were sweet, he seemed to be afraid of the buckling. The buckling would do little postures at him and Cajun would get as far away as he could in his pen. Cajun is such a wuss that I can't help but feel sorry for him. I also felt sorry for him because he was cold and I ended up putting a coat on him. I thought he might destroy or spoil the coat, but he was a good boy and didn't. When it came time to show him, Cajun walked every so nicely on his lead and did pretty well. He was still pretty scared in the ring, but it wasn't as bad as last week. The first judge put him as third in his class. The second judge placed him First in his class, First among the senior bucks and then Reserve Grand Champion of all the bucks... unfortunately she had previously excluded 2 of the other bucks for being overheight, so there were only 9 bucks left and that wasn't enough to sanction. The third judge said that Cajun was overheight and dismissed him from the class... I don't think he was overheight, but you can't argue with the judges. In any case, I am ever so proud of Cajun! He is coming along nicely and he got a very pretty ribbon!
Yesterday was the Monroe goat show. It was great! Or at least it was great for the boys ;) The big winners of the night were Hero and Darcy. They won 1st & 2nd in all their classes, then went on to win Junior Grand Champion (Hero) and Junior Reserve Grand Champion (Darcy) three times each. Unfortunately they couldn't beat the adult winners and since the bucks were sanctioned together, they don't get any permanent marks on their record. Hero and Darcy will hopefully be showing under their new owner Natalie Connaughton at the Kennewick show if all the paperwork goes through in time. Cajun won 1st in all three of his classes, but they were really small classes. All three judges triple checked Cajun under the height stick because he is really close to going over, but he squeaked under. Everyone had good things to say about Cajun, but he was so scared that he kept tucking his rump under himself and trying to disappear. I think he'll do better once he is more used to being handled. Roka placed towards the lower middle of all her classes (which were huge) and she was a lot better behaved. She stands pretty decent now, but she looks like a puppy trying to drag his person on a leash while she is moving forward. Diva and Tansy both had a really bad day at the show. We changed up their routine a bit and Diva just mentally fell apart completely. Tansy handled it differently and was basically ticked off at the world. I also really need to find a way to get Tansy's weight down (she is on grass only! she gets no more than any of my others!) as all three judges said that she was too fat and that it affected her placement. All in all it was a very fun time for me, anyways. I had a lot of help and I can't thank Brandee and Natalie enough. Sabrina and Ryan also helped tear down and load everything up and at the end of a long day that is a huge thing.
This was Roka's first time on a leash, second time off the property (first time was to the vet to be disbudded) and first time she had seen very many people as previously she had only seen me, Brandee, and the vet. She was, of course, more than bit stressed. Nevertheless she did pretty good and Alani did a good job of providing her with emotional support. If goats could actually talk to each other using language as we know it, I would have thought that Alani was explaining what being a show goat was all about to Roka. Alani herself, was perfectly behaved both in the show ring and out, however due to not being fully in milk she placed near, though not at, the bottom of her classes. Roka was a bit of a wild child in the ring and I think that contributed to her poor placement as I think she is actually pretty darn good quality... of course, that might be barn-blindness since she is my first Banshee baby. Tansy did fairly well in her classes and placed in the top half. In one class she was 9th out of 28, which I think is pretty good. The judges said that she would have placed better if she weren't over conditioned (ie fat). Diva had a blast at the show! She loves the people, the activity, and the attention... all that is good because she consistently placed poorly in her classes, although never last. Last, but not least, I won a new set of clippers with about a dozen brand new blades and a whole tattoo set in the raffle.
Food from the Sky!
The girls got a new feeder today! I have been looking for one of these for them for awhile, then recently a friend had one up for sale and I snagged it. They have mixed opinions. The bigger girls don't have a problem and Diva likes to get in the tray. Roka has a bit of difficulty reaching things, but she'll figure it out. I wouldn't be surprised to see them all sleeping in it tonight.
Alani and Tansy got shaved today by Brandee for the shows. They were not pleased, however I think they look great! Diva and Roka got a reprieve due to timing, but that just means they will get shaved the morning of the show.
|The boys are out of town...|
Alani's two bucklings, Darcy and Hero, have gone to live with Sabrina. They were starting to take too much of an interest in my does and, due to unforeseeable events, I was unable to isolate them into the backyard as I had anticipated. Sabrina will be keeping them for the next month or so and her daughter, Natalie, will be teaching them to walk on a leash for the shows. After their last show in June the boys will likely be wethered and rehomed as pets. Sabrina will get first dibs and that might just happen :)
I got a new (to me) truck. It's been a long time coming and I'm pretty happy with my decision. It's a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500 Laredo. It has the 5.7 Hemi Magnum and all the options. One of my favorite features about this truck is that the back seat folds up completely flat and a hard tray thingy lays down so that you have a extra cargo area. Mostly it will be used for picking up feed and supplies, but also for hauling my goats to shows. I anticipate getting a small cargo trailer for it to pull for extra goat show supplies. It's also possible that I might use it to pull a small horse trailer for local hauls as well.
Said goodbye to my dog Mighty Mouse today. He was a good dog. Thought I could write something up, but I can't.