Kennewick Goat Show - Does
Wine Country Classic - Bucks
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 about 130k miles on it. 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.
Long Live The King!
Cajun has arrived! Or, well, he has arrived to where he is going to be living. He won't be staying with the herd, but rather will be boarding with my friend Brandee. Cajun is going to be the 2019 herdsire for the Banshee herd, but in the mean time he will be shown in two shows this summer and is scheduled to be LA scored in July. He isn't very friendly at this point and doesn't know anything. It is going to be interesting teaching him to walk on a leash and preen for the shows, but I'll get it done. Oh, and bathing and clipping him is going to be a blast too! LOL! Actually I tease, but I am excited to be showing a buck this year.
Lions and Tigers and BUCKS! Oh My!
Exciting news on the goat front. I'm getting a buck! Agreements have been made and deals decided, all that is left is the logistics. I probably won't be using him for breeding until Dec/Jan, but it was important to get my buck early because I want to take him to the Monroe and Kennewick shows as well as get him graded on the linear appraisal rounds this year. The buck I will be getting is: Sans Gene De Cajun Swing. He is impeccably well bred and I think he will do well at the shows. His mother is a Grand Champion that scores an almost perfect score of EEEV90 and was sired by a buck who scored VEE90 (almost unheard of for a buck), her grandmother is also a Grand Champion that scored the nearly perfect EEEE91. His sire is a nice Sans Gene buck that scored VEE88 and was out of a Grand Champion EEEE91 doe. This boy has got the numbers and I can't wait to see what he produces when crossed to my girls, especially Alani!
No one likes going to the Doctor
Today was the kids' worse day of their life so far. The morning started off well enough with being allowed out of the pen and into the paddock to play with the big girls. Then Sabrina and Natalie came over, which the kids weren't too sure of since they were strangers. Then I rounded up all three kids, stuck them in a dog crate and took them on an hour car ride. Sabrina and Natalie stayed with Alani to make sure she didn't panic and hurt herself, but it sounds like after a few minutes of calling that she gave it up. In the mean time the kids were on their way down to Enumclaw and they made not a single little peep during the entire car ride, which to me says that they were terrified. Once at the vet's a big guy that they didn't know reached in and grabbed them out one by one and stuck them with a needle. Soon they were falling asleep, which was a good thing because what came next was even worse. Once they were out good the vet gave them lidocaine shots in the head and then burned their horn buds, cut the top off, and burned the open wound. It looks and smells as horrific as it sounds. The only saving grace is that the kids are well and truly out of it and don't feel a thing. They slept the entire way home and for a little while even after that. Hero was the first to awaken, perhaps because he is the biggest and wore through the sedative faster. In any case as soon as they woke up I put them all back in with their mother. Alani took them all back easily enough and once they had gotten a drink off her they seemed back to their normal selves. Goats are not allowed to have horns for shows or even for living in my city.
Playing with the Big Girls
Today was the first day that my entire herd was let out to play together. The yearlings, Diva and Tansy, were intrigued by the babies, but they played with them pretty gently. The babies had a blast running all over the place and jumping on everything that would hold still half a second. They are wild and crazy! They have absolutely no fear of anything outside and just want to run around like mad. I don't blame them. Alani seemed absolutely thrilled with being outside. She just seemed to wander around without purpose, but she seemed happy enough. She doesn't like being cooped up with the kids all the time and she has spent basically the last three weeks in a 6 x 6 foot pen. Since they are getting along well I am going to start letting them spend as much time outside as possible. They will still need to be locked up while I am at work until the weather gets a bit better... or they get more common sense... However, I will be letting them out during the days when I am home.
Video of the herd introductions
A Box is a Wonderful Toy
Yesterday I noticed that Darcy had figured out how to jump up into the feed basket. Since his siblings haven't figured it out yet, it is his own personal club house (see last pic). That got me thinking about what else I can do to give the kids something to play with. I didn't have many ideas since their pen is only 6 foot by 6 foot and I didn't want to take up much of their space. However, I thought, maybe a small box. They could stand on it, jump on/off it, and maybe play King of the Mountain or something. Well, that went over as a stellar hit with only one problem. It seems that Hero is convinced that the box belongs to him and him only. He claimed it immediately and does his absolute best to keep his siblings away from it. He has succeeded with Darcy, but shy little Roka was able to climb up on it while he was busy eating. The videos of all this are hysterical and can be found on my FaceBook page. Eventually even Alani got in on the action. I'm not quite sure if she was pulling a "cool mom" moment and showing the kids she could play just like them, or if she was trying to climb the box to escape her kids... either one is possible.
Video of the babies playing on their box
Registrations and Banshee Beginnings
Today I sent in the registration paperwork for Alani's kids. This is the first time I am registering animals that I have bred since I was a kid. I have registered tons of animals since then (mostly horses), but none were animals that I had bred. I am a bit nervous. I went over and over my paperwork and I think I have everything... but there is nothing to do now but to wait and see what happens. It could be weeks before I know. The names that I put forward for the kids are: Banshee Alani Roka, Banshee Mister Darcy and Banshee Little Hero. Banshee is my herd name, of course. I am registering the boys, even though they will probably end up as wethers and it is not normal to bother registering wethers. There are two reasons for this... I plan to show the boys at two shows in order to find out if they are quality enough to consider keeping as a buck, and of course they have to be registered in order to be shown. The other reason is that even if they are wethered, being registered means that they can be used in 4-H as dairy wethers for the kids to use for show and showmanship. Yeah, they will probably just end up as pets, but I would like to keep as many roads open for them as possible. I specifically picked the Nigerian Dwarf as the goat breed I wanted to be involved with because I disliked the practice of butchering unwanted boys and it seems that Nigerian Dwarf boys can almost always find homes as pets.
The Great Outdoors!
Today the babies are 10 days old and I decided that it was time for their first excursion outside. If they had been born in the summer, they would probably already be part of the herd and living outside at least during the day. My hope is in the next week or so to introduce them to the yearlings and, depending on how that goes, transition them to living outside during the day and locked up in the shelter at night.
I had previously let them out of their pen so that they could run around inside the rest of the shelter, but today was the first time they were to be allowed outside. The moment I opened the doors for them Alani booked it outside as fast as she could - no waiting for the babies! Perhaps she thought I was a suitable babysitter and she was making a run for it before I changed my mind. In any case the babies were reluctant to go outside at first. They would go out a few feet and then at the slightest sound or breeze would run back inside screaming. That didn't last long, however. Before you knew it they were running around outside like they owned the place. Run! Jump! Slide! Run! Hop! They are little maniacs! They mostly stayed on the cement and it seemed like they were afraid of the grass, but hey, it's their first time. Roka, as usual, stayed right by her mother which means she actually got exposed to the most (grass, bushes, puddles), while the boys ran around like mad but didn't follow mom off the beaten path.
Video of the babies outside
Another video of the babies outside
Best Mother Award
Alani is a fantastic mother. Not only did she deliver her kids by herself without any problems, but she has continued that level of care. She lives her days now stuck in a 6 foot by 6 foot pen with three kids who are probably equivalent to human toddlers. She feeds them, cleans up after them, and keeps them warm by snuggling up with them at night. She is always on guard and at the slightest sound she pushes them away from the edge and stands between them and the door. No coyotes are getting HER babies! What's more, she is their only source of entertainment. That means that they are ALWAYS bothering her. They have even gotten to the point where they consider her a jungle gym and climb all over her. I can't imagine those hard little hooves feel good, but she puts up with all of it with the patience of a saint.
Video of Alani with her babies
The babies are here! After no babies on Tuesday or Wednesday, I decided that I might as well go to work today. People joked about how as soon as I went back to work that would be the time she would have her babies... and I decided to take them up on it. I did have the spy cam up on one of my monitors so that I could keep an eye on Alani just in case she decided to do anything interesting. At 10:02 am I saw her laying on her side and it looked a bit suspicious to me. I posted the video and asked my FB friends if that was labor. They said it looked like the early stages and that I should head home from work. Away I went rushing home at 10:21. My friend Sabrina's daughter, Natalie, was monitoring the cameras while I was driving home. As I was getting off the freeway on my way towards home, Natalie started shouting at me (I was talking to Sabrina on the phone). Babies! Two of them! By the time I had reached the hill by my house a third baby! Afterwards I was able to check camera footage and see that the doeling was born at 10:41 and that less than 30 seconds after her birth the lighter buckling was born. The dark buckling was born at 10:46. I arrived home at 10:51. The babies were still all nasty wet and the last buckling was still covered in his birthing bag. I got right in there and got him cleaned up and helped Alani to dry the other two. She seemed grateful for my help and didn't fuss at all about me messing with her kids. Then she ate the afterbirth and placenta... nasty. The kids all were up and nursing in no time, but the little doeling couldn't figure it out and I had to show her what to do. She may have been born first, but she looks to be the runt of the litter... which is a bit disappointing since she will be the one I keep. Unfortunately within the first hour or so of birth, Alani managed to step on the last-born buckling while he was laying on his side. She just stood there on him with her foot planted square in his stomach until I finally just picked her up and shoved her off. She looked at me as though I were a horrible person, but her baby definitely was hurt. For the next couple hours he just sort of stood there with his head down looking really shaky. However, eventually he seemed to "walk it off" and be more or less normal. Still, I will have to keep an eye on him.
Video of the babies at 3 days old
Due Dates are for Bills
I've been watching Alani like a hawk for the last few days. This weekend I actually had a conference I was supposed to go to, but Alani looked too close and I decided to stay home with her instead. Monday I went to work, but checked in on her via spy cam quite often. Today was her due date and when I checked on her before work she looked (to me) like she was in labor, so I called in to work and took the day off. No babies all day. Alani is definitely loving the attention, but I don't know when to expect these babies. All the signs are there as far as I can tell, but my own inexperience is undoubtedly hindering me. It has become obvious that Alani is not aware of such things as due dates or scheduling.
As the weeks have gone by I have been steadily building out the carport barn. Today I built up the area for Alani's kidding. She is due next Tuesday, but of course, could go a couple days early or late. I want to be ready for her and figure the earlier that I get things set up the more time she has to get familiar with the new environment. I have divided the carport entry into both a goat entry and a human entry. The human entry also includes a two-part gate system so that there is a holding area to trap any goats who manage to sneak through underfoot. Once inside the shelter, the main part is also divided into a goat and a human side. The human side contains my chair, a storage bin of goat equipment, the camera, etc. The goat side is a lane going back to the far side where there are hay feed bins, mineral tubs, and a dog house for them to sleep in or climb on as they choose. In the middle is the 6x6 chainlink kennel with another hay feed bin and a huge amount of straw. I had thought that we would need two bales of straw, but it turns out that two bales is way too much... oh well. I still need to stick a water bucket in there and secure it in such a way that it can't be knocked over, but that isn't very hard at all. I plan to start locking Alani in to the kidding pen from Saturday on. Even after she has had the kids, I may keep them all locked into the shelter (even if not the kennel) due to the season. It has been a fairly warm winter, but it is still winter and I want to make sure my first goat kids do well. The two doelings, Diva and Tansy, seem especially excited with the new developments in the shelter. They have been playing near non-stop in the straw. Rearing, headbutting, running, jumping, digging and even eating the straw. Silly girls!