Friday, October 30, 2009

An oldie but a goodie

A little trivia: I belong to a goat club.

Yes, that's right a goat club. Whatever you are imagining, it is some. We get together with other goat folks to eat, chit-chat and talk goats. It rocks.

Back in 2007 I was asked, based on writings from my own website, to contribute a regular article to the club's newsletter. I accepted the invitation and went after the task with gusto.

Apparently, too much gusto. My first article was rejected. Too "racy" for a family club.

That rejected article was about our first-ever breeding season and appears below, in its entirety. Some of you may have seen it before. Without being a self-important jerk, I think it only gets funnier to read it again now, years later.

For the rest of you, a couple points: I used to stress about EVERY single thing the goats did or did not do. And I still worked in Houston to make the startup money for the dairy. The combination, well... you'll see. Enjoy.

I am obsessed with sex.

Oh, it’s not what you think….it’s our first breeding season. (OK- maybe that is what you were thinking, and if so—good for you!)
See-- we got into goats a little bit backwards, and so in our first year with goats have already been through the joys of milking and drying off does, watching their ballooning pregnancies, and even kidding. And then more milking. Lots and lots of milking. But this is our first season of goat nookie.

We brought our first little buck onto our farm a couple weeks ago, and ever since I have been obsessively viewing vulva, staring at sheathes and yes, even touching testes. (I just had to see what they felt like. Surely I can’t be the only one. …can I? Hm, maybe I can.)
The poor buck. I am obsessive and relentless, and the longer I go without actually seeing active breeding, the more obsessive I become. What if he’s too young? What if he can’t reach? What if he’s just “not into girls”??? It is just like all of my goat obsessions, which if you have ever read my website, are plentiful and strange. I am a woman possessed.

I find myself standing outside the pen with him and whichever “doe du jour”, gently pleading, then kind of begging and then finally demanding he get it on. Go for it. Come on! Do the deed! …which he never does. Well, not in front of me, at least.
Did I mention I’m obsessed? Last week I had some time off work, and so I headed out to the buck pen with a lawn chair, a book and - of course - my camera (Surely I can’t be the only one. …can I?)

And? ...Nada. Oh, I got a good read, but The Bishop, as we call him, only enjoyed a leisurely two-hour graze while ignoring the overt signs of interest from our very “heaty” herd queen. I even propped him up into position once. He just looked at me like I was a lunatic and kind of fell off. What if he’s too young? What if he can’t reach? What if he’s just “not into girls”???

Of course when I went back to work, he became more active. On one of my 40 or so daily calls home, I found out that “Bishop Don” had chewed his own penis (can I say penis in the Caprine Courier?), urinated on my husband and “styled” his pompadour in a very buck-specific way.


So that’s where we are now. Those are all good signs, right? I mean, if he wasn’t ready before, surely he is “readier” now. At least he’s “yellower” now. That I can confirm. And he no longer gets kisses on the muzzle from me. I know waaay too much about where that muzzle has been.

So we sit and wait. And we bring the ladies out as they ask us to, and then leave them there overnight in the hopes that Bishop Don Magic Juan perhaps just prefers to work his magic at night.

In these very tense couple of weeks, we have found one doe with a satisfactorily crusty tail and another with a nice plug of white goo. We are very hopeful. And not any less obsessed.

My name is Lisa and I am obsessed with goat sex. Maybe you can relate.

In retrospect, I kinda understand their decision. ;)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pig Butt Garden Update

Some of the tomato plants are flowering

The sunflower is starting to open

The watermelon is flowering

And I am still pretty sure this is either ground cherries or cape gooseberries, and not planted by the pigs so much as their seeds were probably uncovered in the ground while rooting.

Cool, huh?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Papaya Pok Pok

Back in the summer we planted a papaya tree. Bush. Whatever.

I don't really know anything about papayas (obviously), but we now have flowers. And according to my online research, placement of said flowers makes this a female plant. (??)

Now, I know I make fun of non-farm folk for not understanding fundamentals of reproduction, lactation, etc., but here I go: does this mean I need a male plant to actually get fruit?

I don't get botany. But ask me about the mating habits of a goat and we can talk.

Anyhooo-- here's my papaya plant thing.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Well, Patty's time came sooner than we had hoped. After it had become obvious that our treatments were not making her life significantly easier, we made the decision to put her down. She was a trooper and kept her silly, food-obsessed personality to the end, but I knew we owed her the kindness of ending her pain.

In a kindness much greater than the one we made for Patty, our friends and fellow goat farmers, The Carlsons, offered to put her doown for us. I am so grateful for their strength and the amazing, meaningful gift they offered us at a very difficult time. Thank you, Carlson family and thank you Patty for being a (mostly) good little goaty. Peace.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The accidental gardener

After a dismal finish to the spring/summer garden (Nothing grows with 45 days of 100+ weather!) my fall garden is looking pretty good. Last night we ate pattypan squash, jalapenos and okra from the new crop. Delish.

As a relative gardening newbie, I am still not confident enough to start anything from seed; the only exception being green beans. That seems to be the only thing I can just poke into the ground and expect success. For everything else, I buy transplants and hope that the head start will make up for my inexperience and any future neglect.

Our pigs do not have this lack of confidence.

We move the pigs around frequently to give them pasture to eat. This plus whey is almost their entire diet. ...though they do get occasional veggies and other treats from our garden or from some of the farmers at the market who have excess items on the brink of going unsalable. Yesterday I went out to identify all of the amazing things growing in their former pen. Those little buggers have green thumbs. Or more accurately, green butts, I suppose. Here is what I found:


Cow Peas or Purple Hull Peas



And an unknown plant that I hope you can help me ID.

I don't know if any of these things will come to harvest before it gets cold, but we will keep an eye on them all. It would be awesome to have wild field tomatoes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Maybelline is a cougar

Maybelline - and several other of the ladies - are completely smitten with little Skeeter.

That's right, Maybelline...I'm talking about you. May-belle is seven years old. That's middle aged for a goat. Skeeter is not quite five months old.

Skeeter is some kind of stud.

He has kind of figured out his job, but is still not very good at it. We know he managed to breed Penny Lane, and he gave it his best shot with Wynona, Tawanda and Miranda. We'll see if any of them actually settled in about 20 days.

The Miranda thing was an accident. She had already been serviced by the Bishop. But Tawanda and some of the other girls felt like they needed more Skeeter time and they broke him out of his barn the other night. BROKE HIM OUT OF HIS BARN! So C put him back in there, but accidentally allowed Miranda to spend the night in there, too; so assuming she settles, we will not know who the baby-daddy is without a DNA test. I guess we'll just sell her kids unregistered if it comes down to that. Sigh.

Today while the other girls were out grazing, I found Maybelline and Plum mooning, singing, rubbing the Skeetman's little face and mounting each other in frustration when the fence kept them from their new obsession, King Skeeter the Magnificent.

I hope the Bishop doesn't find out.