Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Otis Gets A Friend

Otis has been a wonderful addition to our farm. But since we don't want the girls kidding in December (or January for that matter) we have had to keep him in a pen by himself. I have felt very sorry for him being all alone. Goats are very social and Otis is no exception. He would stand at the fence and call to us until someone would come out to see him.

As you can see in the above picture, he is a very nice looking boy. I was very worried about getting him because I've heard horror stories about pygmy goats being a bit on the wild side and this boy has horns! I love his horns, I think they make him look old and wise. I am so glad that he is loving and kind. Even being in full rut with the girls just on the other side of the wall he has never been the least bit aggressive.

Jade has been saying for the last year or so that she wanted to do a market goat as a 4H project and we have toyed with the idea of raising some goats specifically for meat. Since our budget this year is rather tight with needing to buy hay and already being stretched for our angoras (coming in just two weeks!!) we had no money left for breeding stock.

So Jade opted to spend her own money on this little guy. He is full boar and just six weeks old. With any luck he will be ready to breed in just another two months or so. Then Jade can breed him to Cream Soda, who is part boar, in hopes of getting a nice market goat to take to fair next year.

Normally we would keep new goats separated from all the other goats on the farm for two weeks just to observe them and be sure of their health. Since this buckling is only six weeks old and was just pulled from his mother, we opted to take the chance of introducing him to Otis right away. We felt that would be better for the baby since boars do tend to stress badly when first separated from their mothers.

I love this picture because you can see here just how small Otis really is. He is so muscular that all alone in pictures people tend to think he's much larger than he is. While he is barely taller than the buckling, he is much longer and wider. I wonder how long it will be until the younger one is bigger than him.

So now our only dilemma is what to name the little boy goat.

If anyone is wondering, yes the little boar has horns. We have having them removed on Thursday. I debated since they are already over an inch long and it will be an ordeal. The main reason that I decided to go ahead and get it done is because this goat is for a 4H project. That means that Jade will be the one primarily responsible for handling the care are breeding with him. Yes, we will be helping her where she needs it. However, she is only 10 and boar goats are strong and a boar goat in rut is protective of his females. So I don't want to leave him with weapons that could cause serious hard to any of my children. Wish us (especially him) luck with the dehorning on Thursday.

Next up....adorable baby bunnies.

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