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September Animal Update

When I first started looking at goats and alpacas and llamas, I knew I wanted them all together in the same pasture.  Some of the alpaca people I talked to were outraged - No! The alpacas always need to be kept separate from those other animals!  Well, no, they don't.  The goats, llamas and alpacas have been really good together.  The llamas are guards, as they are supposed to be, the alpacas are tagalongs and hangers on and the goats are bold and fearless.  The makeup of the herd has changed over the years as we have lost some members and added others but it has remained a good mix.  Until this summer. Things changed this summer when I added...

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Show Goats

I continue to surprise myself by the way I blunder into things without realizing what the consequences are.  My new goats were show goats.  That fact pretty much informs everything else.  They arrived stunningly clean with perfect short curly coats.  Their horns have an elegant sweep away from their faces that looks almost too good to be true. They have bright intelligent eyes.  How could there possibly be any issues? Well, yes, there are issues.  Not bad issues, just things that need to be addressed and adjusted.  The boys, not yet named but I'm thinking of Knit & Purl, Odin & Thor, Romulus & Remus or something else to be figured out soon, were raised on a dry lot.  They...

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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...

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Merging Herds

Over the years I've had goats, I have acquired them mostly in twos and threes.  A single goat can be totally overwhelmed being put into a herd of 6 or 8 goats especially if they are young.  Bernadette was the only goat I acquired as a single but she was a full grown adult and used to being in charge.  That was also before I recognized the value of a month's isolation from my herd.  Bernie just integrated herself into the pecking order by decreeing she was top of the heap and she managed to maintain that position her entire life here.  When I've gotten little ones like weanlings, I have always gotten at least two so they have a...

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Moving the Goats

The new goats, Star, Millie and Morha, have lived in the front pasture across the property from my house since they arrived here almost 4 weeks ago.  The original plan was to keep them over there in quarantine for a month, but I'm going to Maine this week so it would have been 5 weeks if I waited till I got back.  That seemed oh so reasonable except that we have had a huge amount of rain and their shelter has become a very stinky, very damp, very mucky place to live.  First thing in the morning we decided that Monday would be the day to move them over to the barn.  No sooner had we made that decision than...

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