Thursday, August 25, 2016

Introducing Crockett!

In the truck on the way home!  We crossed several state lines to get this boy.

 First a quick lesson for the less than goat savvy people.  Our does are Boer crosses.  Our new buck Crocket is a Myotonic Goat (Tennessee Fainting Goat, Tennessee Meat Goat (TM), etc, they have many names).  When you cross a Myotonic with a Boer you get the TexMaster (TM).  The Myotonic is well known for being a heavily muscled breed.  When breed to a Boer, you get a bigger framed, faster growing, heavily muscled goat.  Myotonics have a hereditary condition called myotonia congenita which causes the muscles to stiffen briefly when the animal is startled and can cause them to fall over, hence why they are called fainting goats.  They don't really faint though.  They are conscious the whole time and it is painless.  Well, I tried to keep it brief.  Just introducing you to the breed if you are unfamiliar.

This is an example (not mine) of a TexMaster (TM).  See how muscled they are?  
They look like they are on steroids, but it's all natural.

So we had been considering a Myotonic herd sire to cross with our Boers to make a really nice meat goat (because that's what the market likes in our area).  Most of the Texmasters and Boers in our area are actually showing or breeding animals.  I don't think many people actually eat them.  It's just not common in the States it doesn't seem like.  They make really nice, docile show animals for the 4H kids though.  Anyway I'm rambling.

We went looking for a Myotonic buckling because a purebred is expensive around here, but during our searching we came across Crockett for a third of the price!  He is six years old and registered.  He has a show history that spans several states.  He's sired a lot of really nice offspring that are winning in the show ring.  He comes from foundation lines of his breed.  The reason he was so cheap is because he was injured at one time, so one leg is crooked and he has arthritis in both front legs.  If you look closely in the above picture you can see how calloused his knees are.  The arthritis doesn't prevent him from breeding, but it does lower his value.

 You can see how tall he is here.  Hubby is almost 5'10".

I  don't care about his ugly, damaged knees.  He has amazing lineage and is a really nice quality, proven sire.  The only thing I was terrified of is that he might have Caprine Encephalitis Arthritis (CAE) which causes arthritis symptoms and is contagious to other goats through blood, milk and apparently breeding too.  It can eventually cause paralysis.  So we kept him quarantined the last three weeks and we did blood tests on him.  The tests for CAE, Brucellosis, Johne's and Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL) all came back negative!!!!!!!  Yay!!!!


Here is the interesting thing about the blood tests...... I drew the blood!!!!!!!!!  The only time I've ever stuck a needle into anything was when I gave a dog a rabies vaccine once.  I've never drawn blood although I have seen it done when I worked at the vet and I've obviously had my own blood drawn by nurses.  So I wanted hubby to draw it because I'm squeamish, but I wasn't strong enough to hold Crockett still, so I had to do it.... I watched several videos on YouTube, then went outside to try it.  Hubby held him still, with his head tilted back.  I started feeling his neck with my fingers and was appalled to feel how thick his fur was and how many neck wrinkles he has... it was going to be a lot more difficult that all those short haired, young goats I saw in the videos.  I almost chickened out.

I was so scared I was nauseous.  I didn't have any clippers to shave him so I found the groove in his neck and pressed my fingers against it.  Then I started tapping with my other fingers above that until I felt the vein bounce.  Then I stuck the needle in at an angle and he actually cried!!!!  I almost let go of the syringe.  I was freaking out!  I sucked it up and pulled back on the plunger.... lo and behold I hit the vein on my very first try!!!!!!!!!  I filled the syringe, pulled it out and held pressure on his needle poke.  Then I cleaned it with alcohol and put the blood in a red top tube in the fridge so we could mail it off.  I can't believe I actually did it and I did it on my first try!  Now I feel like maybe I should have pursued the whole vet career thing lol.  I'm still too squeamish for it though I think. I'm proud of myself for doing it though.  :D


So now that he has been quarantined and tested, he gets to make babies!  Yay!  I've so missed having goats and especially baby goats.  I can't wait!  Isn't he gorgeous??  He has marbled eyes.  They are half brown and half blue.  He's going to have such cute babies.  I'm not going to want to sell any of them hehe.

 Sorry for exposing him, but this shows how muscled his thighs are.  
That's what the breed is known for.  Other breeds lack muscling in that area.

 
 Doing the flehmen just like the horses do.

 So cute!

 Here you can see how his eyes are marbled.


I have been DYING to share this news, but I wanted to wait until his test results came back in case we had to return him.  I have been sooooo excited all day that he came back negative on everything.  I'm so happy.  I'll share more about him, more pictures and more about the breed soon.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Goat Shelter


Hubby built a cute shelter for the doelings out of pallets and tin.  They will eventually have a nice barn, but even then this will probably stay because they already love playing on it.  He designed it specifically to provide shelter and a play platform.  He sat it on top of some other pallets so they can get off the wet ground.  A lot of people don't know, but goats hate getting wet!


Garnet is so funny.  She stood up on the fence to eat some leaves sticking through, but after she finished eating it she stayed there chewing her cud.  Silly girl!

 Caught a picture of Pearl's acrobatics lol.

 Hubby forgot his hammer.  Topaz was fascinated.

Sorry the pictures are through the fence.  I took these during a break in the rain.  It's been raining all week, every day.  Heck it's been raining for months.  It's so weird!!!  Normally at this time of year we're on month two of no rain at all.  One of my favorite things about summer has always been the lack of mud and rain....... no such luck this year.  I'll get better pictures sometime when it's not raining.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Goat & Cat Update

 Emi pouncing on something.


 Emerald is looking so much better.  She's not skinny anymore.  She is the sweetest cat and has totally decided that this is home, which makes me happy.  :D

My Pharaoh giving his signature look lol.

Miss Smokey, or ShadowCat as hubby calls her.

Now the goats.

 Jasper is a good looking baby.  

My pretty girls are getting a lot more confident.  They come running for feed and follow us around now.  That's such a huge improvement from running in blind fear.

 
 Garnet and Pearl.

 Garnet in the front with Topaz and Jade in the back.

 Garnet in the front, then Pearl and Topaz.

 Garnet, Pearl and Jade.

 Beautiful Topaz. 

 Garnet and Topaz are the most confident ones.

 Gorgeous Pearl.

 Goat yoga hehe.

 Garnet has such a gorgeous face.  I love her markings.

 Pearl is still so chunky.  She's getting more and more confident each day.

 Jade is still the smallest and shyest of them all.  She will come around eventually.

 Pearl using her horn to scratch.

 Cute Jade!  She always has this skeptical look on her face.

 Garnet and Topaz are finally eating leaves from my hand!

 Handsome Jasper is learning to lead.


We start with a makeshift harness, but he'll upgrade to a halter when I know he won't bolt and break his neck.


Jasper is doing so well!


He's eating grain out of our hands and letting us pet him while he eats.  He's ruled by his stomach hehe.


 The doelings escaped through the old fence (between us and the neighbor) a couple of times, so we did some fence clearing to do some repairs.

Coral also escaped once when the rope broke while we were leading her between pens.  She's so wild though that she threw herself over our main fence and escaped onto the road!!!!  It took us a couple of hours, a car, a four wheeler and three people to catch her.  She went over a mile down the road and then disappeared into acres upon acres of forest.  We are very fortunate to have caught her!  She will be walked with several ropes on her from now on.  That way we have a back up in case one breaks again.

So there has been quite a bit of excitement with them lol.  Did I mention one of the times when a doeling got out was while hubby was out of state and I was caring for them alone.... yeah that happened!

There is something else in the works, but it will have to wait a couple of weeks before I share it.  ;)