Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Rethinking Wilt

We're going to sell sweet little Wilt. :(

We started thinking more practically about Wilt and the folly of keeping him became pretty apparent. A few things:

1. We don't NEED another buck. We did not keep any of the Bishop's kids this year, so we can use him on the whole herd again with no inbreeding worries. A second buck at this point would be completely unnecessary.

2. Maybelline is no show goat. Our goat mentor, and FOF charter member, Caroline pointed out that Maybelline, while a stellar milker, has an udder "defect" that would not be a good thing to pass on through Wilt to future generations. It might make her kids less desirable to buyers looking for goats with good conformation. (It is one thing for Maybelline to have a doe kid and a chance of passing the trait on, but if Wilt fathers exponentially more children, that possibility rises exponentially as well) Obviously WE don't mind a doe with an unglamorous udder, but it leads us to number 3...

3. We don't really want to raise more kids and milk first fresheners. First time goat moms (first fresheners) tend to give less milk than more experienced goats. It does not make good business sense for us to raise kids who a. Will drink expensive milk for at least 8 weeks and b. will not give back a lot of milk until they are at least two or three. We should always aim to grow our herd with seasoned, proven milkers. So aiming to have more babies like Maybelline doesn't really get us anything in the near term....or at all, if we are realistic about good herd growth practices.

So, he's going away. I actually think I found a buyer at the Farmer's Market last night. They asked if I also sold goats and took our card. If they call, they may come get him this week.

He's been fun and we'll miss him a little. He was stupidly spoiled, being an only kid. But we'll get over it. It's just one of the many minor personal challenges of being a goat farmer.

No comments: