Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.


Posted on | December 18, 2012 | 3 Comments

Normally I have a No Return policy on goats.  Not because I’m selling inferior stock and I’m afraid my customers will bring me back a dud.  Mainly because a lot of my goats are bought without spousal consent.  Oh, most couples talk about purchasing a goat together.  But sometimes “I’m not sure” is interpreted as “Yes, get that goat!”  What can I say?  Marital communication is a complicated issue.

So should a spouse come home from work to find a goat in a box in the garage and Build a Goat House on the weekend To Do list, I can’t have them arguing about whether or not the goat is coming back here.  No Returns, people.  The rest you have to work out on your own.

The one exception is breeding privileges.  If a goat comes from my stock and is only living with other goat stock from my farm, then I will allow the females to return to be bred.  After all, they are dairy goats and, although they make great pets, I enjoy seeing them used to spread healthy rich goat milk throughout the community.  Imagine if we each had an adorable dairy goat for our family’s needs and didn’t have to participate in intensive dairy operations?  Even more important, the more people that milk their own dairy goats, the more people I could find to milk for me when I want to go out of town.  Win, win, people!

So it was under these conditions that Zorra returned to visit this week.  Zorra was born here in 2011 to Magenta and is part of Brianna’s family, my herd queen.

She was named for her distinctive stripe on her face.

She went to my friend as a bottle baby because she was tiny and I was afraid she was not getting enough milk.  Zorra was one of 3 kids born to Magenta and, as a first freshener, Magenta was not doing a great job nursing all her kids.  But that was a stroke of luck for Zorra.  Because she quickly became a dog goat at my friend’s house.

Goats should not generally be sold as singles.  They are herd animals and are lonely when living on their own.  This is not the case for dog goats.  Dog goats get to do things like stay in the garage on cold nights.  Dog goats go for walks on leashes around the neighborhood.  And off leash when they are old enough to come when they are called.  They are groomed daily by their owners and are hand fed delicious treats all day long and are rushed to the vet when they “aren’t acting like themselves.”  They go for rides in the car and hang out on the deck chewing their cud and watching their family inside.  They are featured on the family’s Christmas card and even go in Christmas parades.

Which is all fine and good for the dog goat.  Until she leaves her neighborhood and returns to the farm to be bred.  The farm where goats get food, water, and a pat on the head or scratch behind the ear each day.  No car rides.  No walks down the street.  No hand feeding.  No hanging out on the deck.  It’s a shocking experience.

And then the buck comes into the pasture.  Which makes it a shocking and horrifying experience.

Zorra has been forced to hide out in the goat house in the buck pasture in a confused stupor.  She doesn’t bleat but I think I hear her eyes pleading, “Maaaaaaaa!  Maaaaaaaa!  Where are you, Maaaaaaa?”

She’s been here for a week and doesn’t seem to be in heat yet.  Although Carmen, helper that she is, went into heat this morning and is trying to show Zorra how the whole thing works.

Zorra is not impressed.  She doesn’t bleat when TS gets near her house but I can hear her eyes scoffing, “Get out of here, freak!”

I’m sure she would slam the door in his face if she had hands.  Oh, well.  Her time will come eventually.  It just seems to take a little longer for newbies.  And especially dog goats.  Hang in there, Zorra.  A change in perspective is coming.  And I’m sure your family is stocking up on special treats for your return!


3 Responses to “Newbie.”

  1. Lisa D
    December 19th, 2012 @ 5:49 am

    Hmmm… never considered a dog goat. Definitely have to check this out with our homeowners association….

  2. Pam
    December 19th, 2012 @ 6:49 am

    Awww… We miss our goat dog! And I’m sure she misses us too! Yes, we added a “BIG” Goat house, complex really, to Brett’s already full To Do list! And a milking stand thrown in for good measure. Who knows, maybe with a little luck, and Mother Nature, we will have 2 goat dogs! Thanks for all that you do!

  3. Karis
    December 19th, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

    So… Dog goats seem to be the new fashion then. I like it!! 🙂

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