Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Horse who Shares with Goats

Even if reluctantly.

Actually, the little doe kid that's turned away from Arabee in the bottom picture, or the one farthest left in the top picture, has formed a special bond with Arabee - she's nearly always sharing her hay. I'm not 100% sure there's more to their relationship than the food value Arabee's sharing, but still, it's sweet to see her having a pal.

Notice her stand-out mane? Over the summer she'd rubbed the middle section of it down to nothing, and I'd decided to clip the whole thing off so it would grow back in evenly. I kept putting it off, and finally did it a few days after Jack died. I have his tail hair and her mane hair, I'm thinking I will have it braided together into a belt perhaps. I think the white/gray tail hair and the bronze/chestnut mane hair will complement each other, not only in color, but as a remembrance of the 10 years the horses spent as companions. I'd love to find a horsehair artist somewhat locally if I can, but if not I have found someone online, I believe located in Michigan.


Anonymous said...

What kind of goats do you have? My son is thinking about getting a Nigerian pygmy goat to raise and breed. Registered babies are selling here in South Florida for $ 400. I have a 1 acre paddock w/shelter that I'm considering for this use. Are they difficult to breed ? I have bred small dogs and persian cats in the past- which require constant observation and care.


Merri said...

haha - our horses met some baby pigmy goats in January, and they loved them!
- The Equestrian Vagabond

Nicole said...

Alicia - we have Boer cross meat goats. About 30 of them. Goat meat is leaner than beef and pork, but very tasty, and there's high demand for it. Besides that, they are a lot of fun to watch and pretty easy to handle.

I think it'd be more difficult to make money with registered goats, which is why we don't have them. Pygmies are more of a pet breed, and I don't know anything much about them specifically. Some will tell you that youc an keep goats like small cattle, but they're not at all. They love to eat weeds, don't care much for grass, and they are very very very susceptible to parasites, but the parasites are quickly becoming resistant to available wormers so you need to learn how to manage that before you ever get your first goat. The breeding buck is a smelly, smelly animal (for whatever reason, female does are attracted to the smell of the buck's urine, which he sprays on his front legs and into his mouth which really creates quite an odor!) so you can't just run out right before you go somewhere or else you'll smelly like a stinky buck, you'll need a shower after handling the buck, even just petting him. The smell is mroe of an unpleasant inconvenience, though.

Does usually have 1-3 kids at a time, the norm being twins, and typically don't have problems with delivery, but sometimes need help latching on to nurse the first couple of times. If we know we have does kidding we'll check them right before bed and first thing in the morning, but don't go out in the middle of the night to check them. After the kids are born and know how to nurse the doe pretty much takes care of them. They are a lot of fun to watch jump and leap around, love to climb on things, and are great escape artists.

There's quite a learning curve to goat-keeping, but if you're interested I'd be glad to share more. They are a lot of fun.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info. My neighbor has a blue-eyed buck so I think we would just " utilize his services" rather than own one. In today's paper there was an article about our growing coyote problem in Palm Beach Gardens, I'm not sure whether I would lock them in a barn at night.
My son and I plan to visit the neighbor's goat barn to see his set up.

Are you still riding your arab or is it too cold where you are ? I have typically completed two rides by now in the fall but have been so busy that my first ride may be Jan 1st.


Nicole said...

We keep a great pyrenees Livestock Guardian Dog with ours, to keep coyotes and other predators away. Helps with the 2-legged kind, as well.

I haven't had much opportunity to ride since April. But my riding season is about to start! Seems odd, and it is, but being the wife of someone with a fulltime off-farm job and a part time farmer with two children 3 and under means if I want to ride it cant' be in the growing season. Hope you are enjoying your riding.