We had to modify our goat housing plans a little after bringing home the “big goats” over the winter, but we are back on track for adding some bucklings to our herd! It has been ridiculously busy over the past few months. We added a few new chickens to our farm (as of today, we are up to 48). This, of course, required that we build them a new home (more on that in a separate post). And since most of those chickens are actually just little chicks in different stages of development, we have a lot more “farm chores” taking up our free time. Not that I’m complaining – just running out of time!
So, back to the goats… Our first little guy is a wonderful, tiny buckling, who we have named Prince. We brought him home on April 29, 2016. He was born February 12, 2016.
Prince has very delicate features, a cute little face, and is tri-coloured. Primarily black with white markings, he also has some brown patches on his belly and legs. He is blue-eyed and polled (without horns naturally).
Of course I’m always monitoring all of the Facebook groups and online ads for any goat/chicken information, and when I saw this little guy, I knew we were going to bring him home! The funny thing is, he comes from the same farm where we got Amberle and Eretria – in fact, he is related to our two littlest does (so his “breeding buddies” will be limited to our other three does).
Prince is the first “boy” goat on our farm (although we do have three wethers now, we could really see a change in everyone’s behaviour when they all met Prince).
Our Breeding Program
We did a lot of soul searching (and research) before deciding on how we wanted to proceed with breeding. Our primary goal is to be more self-sufficient, and we want to be able to milk our does. At the same time, we want to offer some very special miniature goats for sale in our area. We understand that having horns is often looked at as a concern for some people when purchasing goats. However, we have decided we do not want to disbud our future little goat kids.
Disbudding is an issue that seems to come up quite frequently in many forums discussing goat management and husbandry processes. The conversations can get pretty heated, and everyone has their own opinions on this topic. We wish to respect others’ choices here, but have decided we do not want to subject our goats to the procedure. There may be special cases that we encounter in the future, but for now, this is the decision we have made.
As a result, we have purchased two polled buckings. Prince, discussed here, is our first little boy. Our second polled bucking is coming in a couple of weeks, once he is weaned. He is a lovely, strong little black and white buckling who is part Pygmy and part Nigerian Dwarf. Genetically, we may still end up with horns on our little ones – but that’s ok. We have found there are actually a number of people looking for mini goats with horns, and with the goats we have chosen at our farm, we should have some very strong lines with great features. No matter what ends up happening at kidding time, they will all have a wonderful home here with us!
In the meantime, we are trying to build (ANOTHER) new barn for the little boys. Prince has a great little temporary house, in with the does and Leo (our rescued wether). Prince gets to hang out with all of them, but is separated by a fence for now (we don’t want him figuring out he is a boy just yet). We have supervised play time for Prince to run around with the other goats (with us watching to make sure he doesn’t do “what comes naturally”), and soon his “roommate” will be here. At that point, they will move to their brand new house, a little further away from all the girls. Then comes the interesting part – figuring out how to manage the breeding!
Wish us luck – hoping for lots of (polled) babies next spring!