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Ginormous Gravid Goats

Ginormous Gravid Goats

Notice an unfamiliar word? Gravid. It means pregnant. You learn something new every day, huh? Well, let me tell you… While gravid isn’t a “goat word” in the “goat world” I am CONSTANTLY learning (and failing! Ha!). Since we began this adventure Justin, my dad, my 4 year old nephew, and I have learned about (almost) every breed of goat you can imagine. We also have begun to notice every other goat owner we see driving to and from AL. It is quite embarrassing to ride with us because we will then commence with what breeds these different owners have and begin to recite everything we have learned about them. We are officially goat nerds.

Remember how I said over and over at the beginning that this was MY endeavor and I was going to do everything by myself. Ha. My husband soon became just as addicted. Hook, line, and sinker. I love it! He and dad, after researching breeds, decided on a dairy goat breed they really really wanted. La Mancha’s. These goats are easily identifiable because they look as if they have no ears! Funny, huh? Well, dad talked to a guy, who knew a guy, who’s brother was a good friend of dad’s… Who had La Mancha’s! So, on Dec 29th off dad and I went!

Let me tell you… It was love at first nuzzle! These two (huge!) La Mancha’s came up, one behind me and one in front of me, and rubbed their heads up and down my blue jeans. Hilarious and adorable! See:

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How could you not take them home? Oh, they were mine instantly. Ahhh, sweet love. And better yet… They are pregnant! Due in feb! Babies!!! So, we loaded these two gorgeous ladies up… But guess who decided he wanted another goat also, Dad.

Random side note: Remember I told you dad bought two HUGE African geese? So huge they couldn’t fly? Two days later… They flew away! Hahahahahahahaha! Sorry dad, I’m still laughing about it a month later!

Now, back to my story. Dad bought a beautiful spotted Nubian and her gorgeous baby. I am so glad he did! She still had milk and we have been experimenting with goat cheese so we know what to do before we are up to our EARS in milk come feb. Remember, Greta is due then AND the two La Mancha’s.

Are you ready to meet the gorgeous ladies?
Meet Gretchen the gravid La Mancha.

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Meet Giselle the gravid La Mancha aka “the bearded lady”.

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And last but not least…. Drum roll please…. Georgia the milk goat Nubian and her baby Genie the Houdini Nubian!

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Genie, when we got her, was only about a month old and had not been handled much. Due to this she was quite skittish. She was honestly like a little Houdini! Catching her to hold her (so we could get her use to us)was almost impossible! However, she is much better now! She also, has the cutest hind legs. The fur is crazy and it almost looks like she’s wearing pants! So funny.

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Love these new ladies! And Giselle, aka “the bearded lady”, quickly became the new queen. She is huge, forget Gertrude’s horns, Giselle is a monster! But a sweet one :). However, I think Gertrude would use a much different word to describe the new herd Queen. Ha. Hope you have enjoyed the post! I’ll leave you with a few goat facts!

1. Goat meat is called Chevon or Cabrito. It is lower in cholesterol and fat than beef, pork, and chicken.
2. A group of goats can be called a herd, trip, or tribe.
3. Supposedly, goats are good swimmers. I want to see that!
4. Goats do not eat tin cans. They are actually pretty picky eaters. Although, they did eat my calendar 🙁 not the whole thing but enough that I had to throw it away.
5. Mohair comes from the angora goat and cashmere from the cashmere goat!

Mother of twins: Day 2

Mother of twins: Day 2

Day two as a momma with twin kids started out like any other around here. I checked on the babies that morning and then headed to town with a friend. About 1:00 Justin called and said I needed to go by the CO-OP and hurry home if I wanted these babies to live. So off to the CO-OP I went. I bought supplement milk, nipples for bottles, and some amazing stuff called nutri-drench for goats. Our amazing vet and my just as amazing Aunt Pam came over and between all of us we began tube feeding these babies. My house quickly turned into a goat hospital.

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The bottom picture shows the plastic tube we would put in the babies mouths, then run the orange tube down their throats, and then we would attach the syringe (with milk in it) to the end of the orange tube and the milk would go into their little tummies.
Wow, this was a lot for me to take in. I’m not good with stuff like this but I put on my big girl panties, rolled up my sleeves, and learned VERY quickly. Let me give a huge shout out to my sister, Samantha, if you think I’m not good with stuff like this, she practically faints but she was quite the trooper. Since these babies needed to be fed every 2 hours and needed to keep their body heat up… They became inside goats (at least for the night).

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Seriously, does it get any more adorable? I love these guys! Well, the name game quickly started. I had already picked out Gunner and Gunther. Dad wanted the red one (who was the runt) to be named Tiny Tim. And Samantha wanted them to have Christmas names. Due to this they became known as Red and Whitey. Real original, right? Ha! But they are at least red and white!

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That night feeding these babies every two hours was a TASK. I know I’ve already stressed how I do not want children. I LOVE MY SLEEP. Wow, I was a character that night. By the time we had fed both babies, let them pee, and put them back to bed an HOUR had passed and we were only an hour away from waking up again! But, despite my crankiness Samantha was a trooper and my husband never complained. Wow. Longggg night. After those first two days Whitey got the hang of being a goat. We thought Red did too. However, after about a week Red took a turn for the worse. We spent the next few weeks bottle feeding him and keeping him inside a lot. 2 days before he turned 1 month old sweet Red died in the arms of his Aunt Ty. If I can say anything it was that he was loved and cared for. With that being said, instead of ending with goat facts today I am going to end with facts about Red.
1. Red was a trooper. He fought so hard!
2. Red loved his brother. They were so precious.

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3. Red was very attached to Justin. If he heard his voice Red would come running. If Justin bent down he would jump in his lap like a puppy.

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4. When we let Red inside if he wasn’t in our arms he was in front of the heater. He would whine every time it turned off. Hilarious.

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Red was very loved but I’m thankful we still have Whitey!

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Grumpy Gertie & Goat Fraud

Grumpy Gertie & Goat Fraud

Life with Greta was amazing that first week! I came in every morning, gave her some bulk feed, brushed her a little, then took her outside on a leash to let her graze. Then at night I took her back to the barn, gave her another cup of feed, and locked her up for the night. Ahhhh! Oh, it was the life. However, it was more than obvious that Greta was lonely. Like I mentioned in my previous post, goats are herd animals which means they don’t like to be alone. When I would let Greta out to graze she would cry and cry until I came back. She wouldn’t eat AND she tried to climb the fence.

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She did not, however, do this with my dad or Justin. So several days they had to let her out and I had to sneak in and out of the house without her seeing me! Thus began the search for a friend. Dad called a guy, who called a guy, who gave a number to a guy, who dad called that told him to go to the goat auction about 20 minutes away. (Due to our experience there I will leave the city and name out.) Oh boy, my first livestock auction!

Thursday morning, December 6th, I rode up there by myself. Dad had a dentist appt and was going to meet me before the auction started. I pulled in, called mom because I had NO idea what building to go in, walked to the front desk, and proceeded to tell them that I needed to know what to do to be able to bid. They were VERY nice, I think they thought I was a bit ditzy (huge pet peeve of mine), they told me to fill out my name, address, how I would be paying and they needed a copy of my drivers license. I then went out back to see if they had any la mancha’s (a dairy breed). I saw they only had one, he was a buck, I then went back inside and waited for dad.

The auction as a whole was pretty straight forward. They brought out an animal, beginning with the goats, and you raised your hand to bid. 3/4 of the way through the auction a gorgeous pregnant alpine (dairy breed) came out. When the bid got to $200 we stopped bidding (not knowing that was a steal!). Next, her “kid” came out, she was a doeling (1-2 yrs, we know she was 2) and she is pregnant, due in Feb. same as Greta. We begin bidding on her and win. Yay! She was a beautiful red. As we are leaving dad sees the guy we bought Greta from. After talking he tells dad he goes right by our house and he’ll bring her by so we don’t have to haul her in the back of his little truck. Right before we leave dad and I see the man who brought the alpines. After talking for a good 20-30 mins we learn he is an Ag teacher from north Alabama, he has 2 more alpines he was willing to sell us, his father (who was with him) owns a paint horse farm, so we exchange information and we head home.

Here comes the fun… When we get home this is the goat waiting for us:

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Notice anything? One. She is not red. Two. She is not alpine. Three. She is boer. (Meat goat) Four. She has HORNS!

Oh. My. Goodness. Talk about upset. And to top it all off she is bucking and jerking me around like I’m a play toy. And did I mention she has HORNS?! Dad gets her tied to a post long enough to go call the auction house and …. She starts standing on her hind legs kicking the air! I thought I was going to die. DIE. The guy who dropped her off said that’s the goat that matched our number and that he was sorry (not his fault at all) before he left he lifted her tail and said she had miscarried. That was the last straw. I was pretty much in tears. This was a total disaster. She has HORNS!

Well after several back and forth calls to the auction house they apologized profusely (at first) but the man who took my alpine was already gone. Dad eventually found out he had sold her within the first 30 mins of buying her. Given he paid a LOT less for a high dollar goat it doesn’t surprise me. When the auction house figured out there was nothing the could do they told dad he didn’t know what he was doing and bid on the wrong goat. WRONG thing to say to a former cattle farmer who use to buy 100 head of cattle at a time at these auctions. We are 98% sure the “tags” (stickers with numbers on them) got switched and we got cheated out of a great goat. Who knew goat fraud existed?! And to make matters worse my phone deleted the note with the alpine sellers name and number and we’ve called EVERYONE in north Alabama and no one knows this guy.

Whew, so what do you name a pain-in-the-booty goat with HORNS? Gertrude of course. So that is how Gertrude’s story with us began. Not too good, and while Gertrude is still a grump, this tale does not end badly…but that will be my next post!