We've also had to deal with the "Sex Change Fairy"... THAT lil' fairy is insanely annoying....changing my doe rabbits into bucks, and more recently, my pullets that I paid a pretty penny for, have magically been transformed into roosters (4 girls so far have converted and are now happy, annoying roosters) by that blasted Sex Change Fairy!
ANYWHO....back to the "Hay Fairy"..
On our recent trip to east Texas, my father in law graciously sent home 3 round bales of hay from one of his fields. Honestly not sure what plants are included in these bales as it has some weeds in it, but this hay is pure perfection for goats! This drought has been a horrible thing, hay has been fed year around due to the lack of rain & vegetation and hay prices have sky rocketed. Poor quality coastal square bales (in the 50lb range) are selling for $11.50 a bale, and truth be told I was in a slight panic over how I was going to provide quality forage for my goats and not completely break the bank…So this gift was perfectly timed and I couldn’t be more thankful….Hence the gracious awarding of the title “Hay Fairy”.
Being freshly baled, it smells GREAT and once we rolled the bales into the pens my goats were in hog heaven! I so wish I had my camera handy…Bleuberry stood on her hind legs, leaned into the bale and proceeded to rub all over it and appeared to give it a hug..lol By their reaction you’d think they had never even seen hay before. All the goats took turns rubbing on the bale, burying their faces in it and circling round & round as if to find the most divine place to chow down.
|Bleuberry looking for the best bits|
|Tootsie, Bleuberry & 'Brina in the background|
|Ella- "Queen of the Bale" Lilly munching, Tootsie in background|
|Sabrina chowing dow|
The girls made short work of theirs and there is barely a moment I don’t see at least one of them eating on it. It’s not unusual to find Lilly or Ella laying on top of the bale while eating..
The boys however have been a bit kinder to their bale if you can believe that! They did the same silly antics as the girls when it first arrived, but the fascination didn’t last long and gave way to the demands and stresses of hormones.
Here’s where that whole “Vanishings Youth” bit comes in on the title…My sweet baby boys, who I’ve spoiled, loved and bottle raised are growing up. It seems just yesterday lil Sambo was in the house watching TV with me…. LOL
Yes, I know that sounds strange, but when we brought him home last minute, his pen was not ready and he lacked a companion, so he lived in the house, diapered and slept in a dog kennel by my bed.
Now that sweet, fuzz ball of an Alpine buck is a “Man Goat” as my daughter so wisely puts it. Beards have grown in, the art of aiming streams of urine is perfecting & necks have doubled in size (see the boys sporting their new "man" collars?)
Houston, my mom’s miniature buck has been in full "pee on the face, stinking to high heaven" rut for quite a while. He was so bad in fact that I had to move the adult chickens from the pen…
Why you ask?
Well Houston’s inappropriate affections earned him the title “The Chicken Rapist” and my poor girls weren’t faring well at all….. Now they have the younger group of chickens who have finally feathered out as their pen mates and thankfully Houston seems to only like mature poultry companions.
|Boys enjoying their present from the Hay Fairy|
This was an awkward, but educational experience for the kiddos….. Got to have that dreaded, detailed “Birds & The Bees” talk that I’ve been in quite a panic over for a while now….
They’ve witnessed birth, knew it took a male & female to create babies but this was the first time we’ve ventured into the mechanics of the whole process…..I was blunt, to the point, using all correct terms and sparing no details on questions that made me inwardly squirm.
I really wanted to use the typical cop out stories of storks delivering babies, but dishonesty & foolish stories would not have benefited my kids, so I went with straight faced honesty.
I think I did quite well hiding my embarrassment and though loads of adult content details in regards to human reproduction wasn’t shared (other than “No, grown ups don’t do it like that & men do not pee on their faces to make women like them”) I did get them to understand how male & females create new life..
Or as Shayla happily proclaims “Oh!! Now I know how that baby gets in the tummy!”……
Jerimiah, the coward, simply stated he was happy to miss the whole fiasco.
Back to the boys though…. Houston, after having a raging good time in the morning, and one more visit in the evening was feeling very manly and returned to the buck pen strutting and smelling of GIRLS….. Since that day it’s been nothing but turmoil.
This hit to the hormones has now spread to Tonka & Sam….fights are the norm, though thankfully nothing too serious. Food is being left, ignored and forgotten the feeder and the pitiful calls & cries from the boys are nerve racking.
Did I mention the smell by chance?? Good grief it’s pungent!!! I must watch myself when I enter the pen as that seems to be the signal for the boys to perfume themselves and the streams of urine are horribly accurate….
Being sprayed with goat pee happens more times than I care to admit. I've tried a few different tactics to avoid walking out of their pen carrying the pungent scent of bucks, but so far I haven't had much luck.
Once I gathered multiple tree branches, tossed them over the fence on the opposite side of the pen as the feeder...made a mad dash for the feeder, filled it and ran back out...the only contact I had was to put my hand on Tonka's head to keep him from rubbing on me.. I promptly went inside, washed my hands, and arms for good measure, and yet somehow, despite all of that, my clothes, and even my hair had that "Man Goat" smell.... Ugh...
Tonka, though going through the motions of being a “Man Goat” isn’t as bad as the other two (yet..)…He rarely engages in the quarrels and if they start getting very rough, Tonka calmly gets up and walks in between the battling Sam & Houston to break things up.
Tonka is allowed to get scratches from me and makes room for Sam to have his attention…but both rally together to keep Houston at bay…
I swear I honestly think they are holding a grudge against him since he got to go visit the girls and they didn’t.. lol I think both Tonka & Sam find their virginal states to be humiliating…. Most especially when a little miniature buck, half their size, no longer carries the sad virgin title..
I’m thinking of breeding Blueberry & Sabrina late September or early October and Lilly in November or December. Since Lilly is a mutt herself, I’m thinking of letting Tonka have her for freezer camp kids just so he isn’t left out of all the good parts of being in rut…….After all, the poor guy already gets ragged on for being the lone earless wonder.. I certainly can’t have the other boys taunting him for being an earless virgin for an entire season until I bring home some Lamancha does…
Oh..and this is just for added giggles... One day I heard this blood chilling goaty scream... I dash out of the house as fast as possible thinking the worst.. Perhaps the neighbor's dog got out & has my goats.....A million horrible senerios are coursing through my brain...When I arrive at the pen however I find Tonka like this...Goober broke the potter, and wedged his lil' pea brained head inside of the hole he made...
|Don't just stand there snapping pictures...HELP ME!|