Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Bittersweet Goat Update

 I want to get the bad news out of the way first.  Rebel died.  I'm still very upset and I don't really want to talk about it so let's move on.

Yankee, Pearl and Jade are loving their new home and their new owners love them.

We got the test results back on the blood work and Coral, Topaz and Jasper were clean.  Garnet came back positive for CAE (Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis).  It is a virus that affects goats, but can't be passed to humans.  Goats spread it to others through their milk, colostrum or blood.  It can't be passed through feces, breeding, food or water.  The problem is that they pass it to their babies and although most goats are asymptomatic, it can be crippling if symptoms do show up.  If you're interested you can read more here (LINK).  Most people manage it by taking the babies away from their mom as soon as they are born, but I really don't like doing that.  We are going to retest her with a different lab since false positives can happen.  If she is positive we will separate her babies and bottle feed them and then we have a home already lined up where she can retire for as long as she is asymptomatic and comfortable where she will never be bred again.  I'm am very upset about this, but I'm hoping that we get lucky and it was a false positive.  Fingers crossed.

She's so weird sucking on the bars.

Speaking of babies, they are both well past their due dates with Crockett... which means Amethyst is my only Crockett baby.  That makes me so sad, but it also makes her even more special to me.  So we did pregnancy tests on them to see if they were even pregnant and they both are.  That means they will have Jasper babies sometime in June.  I don't remember if I ever even mentioned it on the blog, but Jasper was out with them for a short time in January because we thought they were already pregnant by Crockett.  So it's exciting that Jasper will be a daddy!

Jasper is so funny, he stares up at the tree limbs hoping we will pull them down so he can eat leaves!

Jasper is getting so big.  He is over 135 pounds now and last we measured him he was 28.5 inches tall.  He's going to be a decent size when he's grown.  Jasper has finally tamed down and we can approach him in the pasture to pet him and he even stands still for us to put medicine on him or to measure him.  I'm glad he is getting friendlier and staying laid back and manageable.  Wild bucks are a pain to deal with.

Now a happy update full of cute pictures.  Amethyst and Apatite!

 Coral is doing a good job of self weaning Amethyst and she's eating solid food really well.


We have stopped letting her try to climb on us or sit in our laps since she's getting so big and she has accepted it.  She is starting to act more like a grown goat.  I still spoil her and love her though.  The last time we weighed her was on 4-15-17 at ten weeks and she weighed 36.5 pounds already!!  We forgot to weigh her last weekend because hubby was sick, but we will definitely weigh her on Saturday.

 She is still super friendly and adorable.  I love her half mustache and her ear "racing" stripes!

I don't know if you remember, but Apatite was pretty skittish when we got him.  He is now friendly...

... and likes to get up close and personal!

He still runs or faints if startled, but for the most part he is a love bug.  He loves horn scratches and having his back scratched.  He's a little flinchy about his belly, but he's getting better.  He is growing well.  His horns are getting big.  I wish I'd gotten them in the picture.  Oops.  I will update more on him when I can.  He is soooo soft and I can't help petting him constantly when I'm out at the barn.  I love him!

That's all for now.  I'll update when I can on the other critters, but they are doing great too.  Later guys!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Goodbye Yankee, Pearl and Jade.

We made the difficult decision to rehome some of our goats.  We've been contemplating it a while with Yankee because Rebel was bullying him and it was impossible to tame Yankee, when Rebel wouldn't let him close to us.  We banded Yankee in February and then today gave him to a friend who wanted a pet and who has more time to work with him than we do.  We will more than likely be banding Rebel at some point as well because we don't have plans to ever breed him and even though he's a lot friendlier than Yankee ever was, I think he would still tame down a lot more as a wether.  

 Pearl and Jade also went to a new home.  We originally got these goats from a commercial Boer herd as brush goats to help clean off our property, but after being introduced to the Myotonics and Crockett in particular we have fallen in love with the breed and we want to change direction toward breeding purebreds.  That being said we had too many commercial does and these two never really grew big enough that I would be comfortable breeding them to a big buck, so they have also gone to pet homes.  I know they will be well cared for and I know for a fact that Yankee is going to be much happier away from Rebel.  Also for those who have been keeping up we did treat Jade for coccidia and also for copper deficiency and she is definitely thriving again, but she is still way too small to breed.  I'm just glad she's healthy and happy now.

Now for an update on everyone else.  Oh and sorry for using old pictures.  I've been way too busy today to get new ones.

We are still on baby watch with Garnet and Topaz.  Crockett was in the pen with them for close to two months, so I'm guessing they didn't take on the first heat (not unusual for first timers) and that they were bred on the second heat.  They are fast approaching their new due dates, so fingers crossed for lots of healthy babies soon.

Rebel and Jasper are happily coexisting in the buck herd out with the horses and donkey.  Hubby measured Rebel's horn spread the other day when he was putting tick repellent on him and his horns are 27 inches wide!!  I'm pretty sure that's taller than he is lol!!  We weighed Jasper again and he's up to a whopping 115 pounds.  He doesn't even turn a year old until sometime in April.

Coral and Amethyst are doing great.  Coral is wild as a march hare again.... she slammed my husband's hand into a post the other day when he was catching her to put tick repellent on her.... it's a good thing she produces awesome babies like Amethyst or I'd be tempted to sell her.  He will be okay though.  His hand is swollen, but nothing is broken.  I guess her "sweet" phase was due to pregnancy/birthing hormones lol.  Amethyst is as loving and brave as ever.  She is seven weeks old today and weighs 28.1 pounds!  She's such a big baby!  I absolutely adore her.  Oh and we did annual vaccines on all of the goats when Amethyst was four weeks old, so in another week she will get her booster.

Apatite is settling in well.  Coral no longer tries to kill him and he isn't crying for his mom.  He's eating great, gaining weight and taming down.  He will eat out of our hands and once he's caught he will quietly sit in our laps for a cuddle.  I don't think it will be a problem taming him down with Amethyst as a role model.  He has fainted several times, but I still haven't gotten it on video.  It's so sad and funny at the same time.  Strong myotonia is actually a desired trait in the breed though, so even though I feel sorry for him, since it doesn't hurt him, I don't get sad about it or anything.  He will eventually learn how to brace himself and not fall over when it happens.  I need to get new pictures of him tomorrow.  He is so adorable!

Tomorrow we are drawing blood on all of the goats to send off for annual testing of CAE, CL and Johne's.  Fingers crossed for negative results on everyone!

I'm having so much fun with these guys.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy goats.  I know they aren't for everyone, but I sure do love them!  I'm also enjoying the long daylight for sure!  We work outside until 8pm a lot of nights after work.  We put up electric fence all around the horse pasture because Rebel was getting out into the neighbor's yard.  I always forget how much work electric fence is, but it sure does work.  Chrome was so funny because he wouldn't go anywhere near it.  He remembers after only getting popped once a couple of years ago!  Hubby shocked himself too and said it is definitely strong.... I definitely will be avoiding it!

That's all for today's goat update.  I'll let you know how the blood drawing goes tomorrow and hopefully get some more pictures of Apatite.  Later!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Amethyst's First Hoof Trim

Amethyst got her first hoof trim on Saturday and she fell asleep in my arms!! I was holding her while hubby trimmed her hooves.  She had just got done meeting and playing with Apatite and was worn out, so she drifted off to sleep in my arms.  So adorable!!

Here's a video of her sleeping.

Here is a picture of her hoof about halfway done.  One side is mostly trimmed and the other side is untouched.

She's a good girl.