Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

Udderly Waiting

Posted on | May 7, 2010 | 3 Comments

Waiting for the goat kids to be born next month is starting to bother me.  Even worse it’s starting to bother the goats.  Not the waiting part.  Just the part where I’m always following them around trying to check out their nether regions.  Why is it that when you want a goat to look you in the eye during a blistering lecture about tipping the feed cans, all you get is the rear view.  But if you’re trying to check tail ligaments or an udder that is bagging up, all you get is a big head insisting on an ear scratch.

Luckily, there is always something else to do around here to distract me from waiting for the goats to be born next month.  Like arranging for the goats that will be born in October.  I know what you’re thinking.  That still falls under the Waiting For Goats To Be Born Category.  However, it also falls under the categories of Clean Out The Breeding Barn (a.k.a The Love Shack), Move A Load Of Hay And Feed Bags Into The Breeding Barn, Give Everyone A Hoof Trim In Anticipation Of Company, Take The Does To The Vet For CAE And CL Tests, and, last but certainly not least, Find A Buck And Invite Him Over For Happy Hour.

All of which can keep me busy for several days.  Even weeks if you include the days of rest required between stressful events like discovering an Eastern Hognose snake under the hay pallets in the Love Shack.  Which, for a minute, I thought was a Copperhead.  Until it played dead and, thereby, identified itself  and was spared from death by pitchfork.  (Let’s pause while you google Eastern Hognose snake to see what I’m talking about.  C’mon we both know you’re doing it.)

Or when I gouged my thigh with the incredibly sharp hoof trimmers because Ray-Ray passed out in fear during his turn, crushing my hand, the trimmers and my leg together in one fell 65 pound swoop of sheep.  Good thing I am smart enough to have well-padded thighs.  Not everyone is as clever as me.  How do skinny people protect their femoral artery?

Never mind when I almost bit off the tip of my tongue during the blood draw for Brianna at the vet’s office.  I mean, who was expecting her to rear up into my chin to avoid the needle?  She’s always been a squat-and-kick kind of goat.  Although, I could have avoided it if I wasn’t trying to keep one eyeball on Middle who was balanced on the edge of a decorative well (at least I was hoping it was a decorative well.  There isn’t really a deep pit of water in the middle of those things, is there?)  and the other eyeball on Pretty who seemed determined to pet a wily looking cat crouched under the tailgate.  But I could have avoided a lot of things in life if I wasn’t trying to divide my attention among my wandering brood.  Oh, the things I could have avoided.  Let’s just move on before I get mired in that thought.

The point is I can pass a lot of time just planning for summer pregnancies that will end in fall kids and, therefore, goat milk throughout the winter.  I probably didn’t look at single goat vulva during the time it took for a friendly buck named Nigel to arrive in the barnyard.  And now that he’s here, he’s an endless source of entertainment.

Here he is looking confused and uncertain.  As a bottle fed goat, he had a human “mommy”.  But he looks like he prefers the mothering at his barn.  Like if Pretty told him how she started to fall down the stairs as a baby and all I did was stand there going, “Oh noooooooo!”  Hey, buddy, you’re good.  There’s no stairs in the Love Shack.

And here’s him with poor, sheltered, only-lived-with-females-her-entire-life Julia.  She actually squeezed her eyes shut her in disbelief upon their introduction.  I imagine she was thinking: “This is not really happening.  This is not really happening.  This is not really happening.”  Yeah.  Been there before myself.  Like when the fourth child was a boy.  Another one.

But she’s been holding her ground.  It’s a goat battle.  No one is willing to give up.  They will stand here in fierce determination.  Unflinching.  Resolved.  Entrenched.

Which is really funny, considering their cute, soft, floppy ears are not exactly formidable armor.  More of a hindrance.

Do you think they can even see each other under there?

I don’ t know.  So I keep checking every so often.  Just to see how it’s going.  If they’ve made friends yet.  Or considered making babies.  Hey, it keeps me busy.  Although, peeping at goat love-making is probably just as sketchy as keeping an eye on their nether regions.  So now I’m right back where I started.  Worrying about critter private parts while waiting for goat kids to be born.  I know you’re envious of my glamorous lifestyle.  Don’t be a hater.


3 Responses to “Udderly Waiting”

  1. Terry
    May 7th, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

    I did not have to google hognose snake. One scared me out of my skin a few years back. I was clearing out the raised beds in the spring, and this snake reared up out of the leaves. I screamed and ran. When I looked back, I realized the snake was only a bitty baby. And it was a hognose. I still don’t like them.

  2. mARY
    May 8th, 2010 @ 7:40 am

    You continue to entertain me with your stories. I love it!!

  3. Annabelle
    May 9th, 2010 @ 9:48 pm

    So funny! and all of it so true. We’re waiting for our second doe to kid out of three and honestly, I didn’t realize that my life would revolve around goat “nether regions”… and I love it!

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