New Goats

My wonderful shearer, Stephen Franco, lives out in Rock Springs, TX.  He swings through this part of the state twice a year to shear all the goats he can line up, including mine.  Last spring I asked him to be on the lookout for some nice goats for me.  I don't breed here so we didn't need a herd sire, nor do we need does.  I have nothing against the females but they tend to be more valuable and therefore more expensive because they can produce kids for years.  What I have, for the most part, are wethered males. These males were not considered perfect enough to be sold as herd sires so they are sold off as extras - less expensive and often sold as pets but often with stuning fleeces worthy of any hand spinner.  We don't need any fighting for dominance or excess testosterone among my herd so they are neutered or wethered. And then there is the practice of the intact males of peeing on their faces to attract a mate.  Seriously? That's not something I would look for in a man but then I'm not a goat. Stephan called me last month to say he had found two yearlings that he thought were really nice.  They were big and had wonderful fleece. Perfect.

Stephan dropped off the new boys late on Friday night.  They are totally gorgeous.  They are both covered with the softest most wonderful tight curls!  I love it.  They came without names so we will have to work on that.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm horrible at coming up with names for anything.  And they both lead beautifully.  Of course, right now they think I want to kill them and eat them so they are not at all interested in being caught and showing off how well they lead.  I'm sure I can soften them up by continuing to feed them.  It works every time.


Stephen started his shearing up the road from me early on Saturday morning and got to my house about 2 pm.  The new goats don't need to be sheared so it's just my five - Orion, Parker, Star, Morha and Millie.  All the shearing went like clockwork with no problems or issues and he was driving out the driveway before 3:30 pm after shearing five goats and trimming three additional sets of hooves.  He's fast in addition to being wonderful.

The new goats came on a particularly busy weekend.  Friday morning Star the goat and Tilly the cat both had rechecks at the vet's.  Star is good to go.  Her belly wound is almost completely healed.  The vet, Micheal Ridlen, was pleased that she has gained some weight and her skin is looking better.  Healed or not, she is not going out into the herd.  I have noticed that while she can get down on the ground to sleep and up again, if she is knocked over on her side she has difficulty.  I've had to pick her up twice in the last several weeks.  I think she will be fine by herself in the barn.  That's where she's been for the last four weeks and even now, with her wound healed, she has shown no interest at all in the other goats.  She walks out the barn door and calmly gazes at the herd getting fed across the fence without any indication she wants to go out there.

Tilly also had a good report from the vet.  You will remember that she dislocated her hip. She has spent 10 days on bed rest (locked in my small half bath) getting more and more frustrated by the confinement and getting more and more anxious to be out and about. The vet x-rayed her hip on Friday and is very pleased.  She is not ready to be let loose outside, however.  She needs two weeks in an enclosed room to get the strength back in her hip and leg without being chased or in any way encouraged to climb a tree or a fence. She spent Friday and Saturday in Ron's office but we moved her to our upstairs bathroom this morning.  Ron's office opens directly to the back yard and I didn't want Tilly slipping out and climbing a tree.  With her in the upstairs bath, if she slips out she is still in the house and we have a chance of calming catching her.

My daughter-in-law stopped by on Friday morning to drop off their dog.  I love Matilda. She is an old dog, a Jack Russell cross, who loves to chase pretty much anything - ball, stick, light, etc.  She is old enough and arthritic enough that we limit her chasing to one or two throws although I'm sure she would keep going till she fell over.  She will be staying with us for several days while the kids and my granddaughters are off to a family wedding.

My daughter and my two grandsons came by on Friday evening and spent the night.  It's always great to see the boys and I'm always amazed at how quickly they grow and change and learn new skills.  It was also delightful to not be responsible for getting them into bed.  They are bright and excitable and bedtime is always a challenge.

So here it is Sunday morning and I'm quietly exhausted.  Goats have been delivered, sheared, trimmed and turned out.  Old goat and cat have been upgraded to the next level of care.  All the grandkids have had time with Grandma and Grandpa.  And along the way we got the tractor back from the dealer, have had a couple of monsoon rains along with thunder, I made almond flour pancakes for breakfast and there's yummy cabbage for dinner.  Yes, I'm exhausted but also feeling very accomplished.