Yes, I know his earlessness is repulsive to some. My husband swears he's the ugliest thing on 4 legs.
I happen to disagree. I think he's simply adorable. He has the sweetest, goofiest disposition and is such a clown.
I had plans to add a doe for him...as mentioned in my recent "Hay Fairy" blog post, it would be such a shame for Tonka to be the only earless goat, and a virgin to boot! Can you just imagine how much hell he'd catch from the other boys?
That intention of adding a doe turned into adding TWO does (got a 2 for 1 deal that I simply could not pass up).
So, please meet my newest girls, Casper & Comanche. They are half sisters, same sire, different dams...Casper is a March 2011 baby, Comanche an April 2011 baby.
Aren't they just adorable?!?!
Both girl's have been dam raised and are a little bit timid, but I'm confident that a lil time and treats will have them won over.
Comanche, the youngest, is the bravest and was the first to approach us. She is an American Lamancha and though the pictures don't show it well, she's very dainty looking and has the prettiest dished face and big eyes. I have a feeling she's going to become the kids favorite thanks to her brave disposition.
Casper is the older of the two and isn't as easily swayed as her sister.
Last night she wanted nothing more than to stay far away, but this morning she did come stand beside me and nose me a bit so she'll come around in time.....They haven't been with me for even an entire day yet, so the shyness and bewilderment of their new surroundings will pass as they settle in.
Casper is a PB Lamncha and is very well grown for her age (taller than my Alpine kid who is the same age).
|Casper & Comanche|
|Casper chowing down on alfalfa pellets|
I'm really excited to have these girls and am looking forward to amazingly adorable Lamancha babies late Spring.
Not to mention, that will, give me two more girls to milk..
Lamanchas, on average have nice level lactations and produce very rich, creamy milk.. They are only slightly behind the butterfat production of the average Nubian, and in general they produce more butterfat than my Alpines.
Not to mention I've noticed my Lamancha tolerates this horrible West Texas heat far better than my Alpines do, so I think Lamanchas are a perfect match for us.
|Comanche enjoying her alfalfa pellets|
I'm very happy with the condition these girls arrived in and the care the breeder gave was top notch. She stayed on top of coccidia prevention (hence the nice growth these girls have had), and used proper dewormers on the correct schedule..
All in all I think the breeder was great, very helpful, very professional, allowed me to test them for CAE prior to purchase.
I started this goat adventure with the Miniature Alpines....then added standard Alpines, and now Lamanchas.
Through all of this I've learned quite a bit. I started my herd with tested, CAE negative stock but in the begining I didn't know exactly what else to look for. Thanks to some dear friends and mentors I've got a better handle on what a quality dairy goat should look like, what to look for and what traits are undesireable.
Nothing I have is perfect, but I'm happy to say that with each purchase I've "bought smarter" and have gradually added better quality. I've found what I like, and don't like and I think I've figured out what direction I want to go in this endevor.
I have no intentions to show, but I want to produce quality, disease free goats that milk well. Shayla really wants to show, she's been going on and on about for a few weeks now and she is quite heartbroken that she's not old enough yet (she's 6 & she has to be 8 to join 4H) but I hope to produce goats that she will be able to proudly show and at least do well with in our local shows.
I no longer have Miniature Alpines.... I find I prefer longer legged, taller gals on the milk stand, easier for me to milk. So Tootsie, Keys & Ella have gone to my mom's and Houston will go soon as well.
Lilly, Sabrina's girl is being sold to a dear friend of mine to be a future home milker. It was a hard decision, but I simply can't afford to keep everything, and I'm very happy with her future home.....she'll be a spoiled mess I'm sure.
With Lilly gone that will leave me the Alpine trio & the Lamancha trio. I plan on retaining a Lamancha doe this kidding season, but have no plans to retain any Alpines as I only have room to expand so far and I've chosen to expand my Lamanchas.
At the moment I have Casper & Comanche in a 40ft x 10ft corral. This keeps them separate from the others so they can settle in without getting caught up in dominance games and this also makes them easier for us to catch & handle. We'll probably keep them separate for the first month at least, then we'll test the waters and see how they do with the others.
Lilly has just been bursting with curiousity, and I find it quite funny that she, like Sam when Tonka came home, is facinated (or perhaps confused) by the girl's ears (or lack of) Any time she's able to sniff them, she's bumping their tiny ears as if she's trying to figure out the new oddity...
|Lilly meets Casper...Casper isn't impressed..|