Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Spike Lee

"Spikey" is my Nubian buck, purchased to breed Fancy, Matilda and Janey, Fancy's daughter, so I can have goat milk in the spring.  I'm expecting lambs in March and would like to have goat milk to use as lamb milk replacer if I need it.  Milk replacer is ridiculously expensive, especially when you consider it is powdered whey, a by-product of cheese and yogurt making.  A bottle lamb can cost a fortune, and, if you are the Jewish mother of the sheep world, the bottle feeding can go on for six months instead of the recommended six weeks.  Spikey is adorable, although a bit small, and the Nubian ladies are not interested in him.  Goats are fussy and go for the biggest, most macho buck they can find.   We put them all together in the lengthy pen running along the side of the barn and waited.  No signs of the activity we hoped for.  Then the big girls escaped.  I'm still not sure how, but they did.  Put them back in, another escape.  I was conflicted, as there is still lush green grass on the hillside and I felt guilty about denying such nutritiousness to the girls.  I can't let Spikey out as he might breed the angora does and they would be ruined for mohair as Spikey is a dairy goat.  I went about my business and continued to feed and pet him.  This afternoon when I returned from town I went out to the barn and - no Spikey!  Oh, crap, I thought.  He must be having a joyous romp with the angora does.  Thankfully, he was restricted to the barn yard with the sheep, who had not been let out to graze yet.   I couldn't help but notice he was "all over" a very aged white angora doe, nudging her the way bucks do, and nuzzling her until the tail.   A little while later I saw them together in the barn where I treat the goats to cracked corn, a trick I use to get them inside while the sheep are out to graze.  Luckily, I was able to lasso them and I put them in Spikey's pen together.  Spikey was delighted, as he is in love.  The old doe is happy to have the attention and be in a pen where she is given grain twice a day and doesn't have to fight off the younger goats to get to it.  When spouse returns from his weatherization trip we'll put the Nubian does back in the pen with Spikey and his old lady.  Maybe they'll be jealous and "give it up" so I can have my goat milk for my lambs in the spring.

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