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Trying To Get Ahead Of The Game

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It won't be long until goat breeding season is here. I made up my mind this year was going to be different and much more successful than the last 2 seasons. Last year was a total waste, I burned my foot and was in so much pain I didn't even get out and get a buck, so basicly we feed a whole goat herd for nothing last year, no kids at all. The year before that wasn't much better. I waited until the season was here and then picked up a nice looking Boer buck at the local livestock auction. Big mistake. Big mistake. By waiting till late in the season the buck I ended up with was worn out from all the does he had already bred, and my kidding season ended up running for nearly 3 months instead of the normal 3 weeks it should last. Kidding season is very intense and a busy time, I can maintain for 3 weeks, but when they are spread out for so long it's hard to keep constant watch on them to make sure the kids arrive and are delivered properly to survive their birth. To complicate matters, I decided I wanted 2 bucks this year. I am nearly out of purebred Alpine dairy does, we have been cross breeding my original herd of dairy goats with a Boer buck as the kids sell so much better. But my dairy does have died off to where I only have 3 purebred does left. I really need a few more milkers than that, so this year I decided to get both and Alpine buck and a Boer. And I decided that I would get them early in the season, and pen them seperatly from the girls so they would be well rested and fit to do their job when the time came. Early in August I found a really nice young Alpine buck at the small animal swap meet, and at a really great price, so I grabed him up. Considering I went to by a Rhode Island Red rooster and came home with a Rooster and a goat is another story, just glad I had the forsite to take a fairly large dog crate with me. Sadly, I had the new buck only a few hours before the dogs somehow drug him under the fence and killed it. So, obviously I needed a better plan. We spent most of one week cleaning up the little lot next to the barn over at our place next door, and the fence around the pasture. I planed on leaving them in the barn lot for a few days until they got used to the place and I had them tamed down. There hasn't been anything on that place since last winter, so there was plenty of grass, even just in the little lot for them. So near the end of the month, on Thursday we headed out to the monthly Highlandville Sheep and Goat auction. Picked up 2 nice bucks, both young ones, I was afraid the dairy buck was a bit too young, but since I only have 3 does for him he should be fine. We introduced them to their nice newly remodled lot early friday morning. I started checking them twice a day, giving them a little grain and getting them used to me. I missed the sunday morning check because we usually go to the swap meet, and sunday night when I went to check them they were gone. Without a trace. Couldn't even tell how they managed to get out. I looked all over the property, and then did the usual thing called the sherriffs office, the local radio station, check with all the neighbors, all that stuff. It was like they had just completely vanished off the face of the earth. It wasn't until tuesday that anybody even saw them, I finally got a call from a lady who spotted them across the highway from our place on her way to work. But finding them was only half the battle. There was still the delema of how to get them home. The Boer buck is pretty wild and wants absolutly nothing to do with humans. Lucky for me the little Alpine wasn't quite so crazy. After running them around on the bluffs for an hour or so and somehow managing not to fall off the bluff and kill my silly self, I convinced the young buck that he should have a bite of the apple I was carrying in my pocket. Once I had the rope on him, with some helpers pushing the other buck I was able to lead the little guy back across the highway to home, and the other buck followed him. Another miricle occured then, the traffic on the highway had been really busy and I didn't know how I'm manage to the the loose buck across before he got smacked by a car, but as I said, a small miricle held back the traffic long enough for us to make the run across the road. So now, both boys are locked away in a very large dog pen, with 6 foot fence all around it and they are staying put. Of course, if they did escape now, I don't suspect they would go all that far. their current pen is right up along side where all my girls are, and now every so often I see all the girls standing on their side of the fence making longing looks at the boys.

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