There is a part of me that would like to think that people get on here to read this stuff to keep up with the Kelln clan. Another part would like to think that you read this to learn something new about goats. Then there is the reality that most people get on here to see if I am going to be myself and get sideways on a subject. Well, you all are in luck.
Duke is wishing he didn’t have to go back to school. The Dragon Lady is wishing Duke liked school. I am thinking that Kela is “living the dream”. (We’ll get to this in a later post). Me, I’m just happy to be alive. I’m old, fat and gray and I’m not going to do anything about it. Unless, Tammy kicks me to the curb. Then I might get some of that hair color stuff. On second thought, I am genetically superior to some and will always have hair. It will just be white. And if I need to look good, I will just bring Fred with me.
Now it is time to be me. The itunes are playing and I have a few minutes.
How do I decide where to buy goats?
One, it depends on the target show and who is judging. I don’t need to have a personal relationship with the judge. I just like to know their type and kind. I like a judge that is somewhat consistent in their type and kind. Some guys like blondes, some like big….Obviously, I like brunettes that are hot and are full of piss and vinegar. It isn’t politics to understand the judge’s likes and dislikes. It isn’t any different than knowing if an umprire calls a tight strike zone or a ref that calls fouls loosely. Knowledge is valuable no matter the business. Do they want power, structure, balance or the combination thereof? I like to watch a judge at least twice, in the same state. How do you that? You have to like to drive and talk to people who you value their opinion.
I don’t like politics in a show. I don’t have a problem with judges knowing people or animals. Just place them as you see them. I don’t care if they always win. Make them bring a good one. My kids have been on both sides of this. There is a time or two that I thought we shouldn’t have got along that well and there are times that I thought, “Well, sorry kids but the judge has met your Dad.” However, nothing replaces honest work, and therefore, my kids have consistently placed well. This, more than anything explains why my kids have always been in the hunt.
There are times that I know that a certain breeder gets along with a certain judge. How do I handle this? I have one rule. Does it past the smell test? It is my test. Nobody elses. This is also how I judge food. If it doesn’t pass the smell test, then I AM OUT!!! If I have to feed an animal that I don’t like just to be successfull, then I AM OUT!! I don’t want to look at that common beast for months just so one judge will use it. I want my kids working with animals that are good. Not some hammer headed, bad structured, upside down tackle box, screwed up kind of POS that just fits one judge. There are enough shows out there that I can stay home and stay in a good mood and enjoy the animals that we are feeding. One, feed isn’t cheap. Two, the animals aren’t cheap. Three, put a dollar amount on the effort of these hardworking kids. PRICELESS!! I know what I learned from my dad as a result of showing livestock combined with the fact that I have had the honor of watching Kela grow up in this program. Now, I have Duke, ten years later. It hasn’t changed. Find what fits your budget, agenda, work ethic, etc. and like Nike, just do it.
It is a short list of people that I will let buy an animal for my kids–any species. Those people know who they are. Uncle Tom can buy a hog for Duke anytime. If I don’t like it, fine. I will give it a chance. But, I will take it. Mikey Thompson can bring any goat that he thinks that I would want. However, I don’t want it if I am not comfortable with the breeder. This limits things. I would rather piss away $2,000 to a new breeder trying to do right, then I would give $500 for a guaranteed, bona fide champ that just needs a good feeder kind of deal when the animal isn’t good enough and the judge isn’t either. Mikey knows how to work, feed and buy good animals as well as anyone. He also knows that I’m a dumb bastard. He likes all the good ones and I won’t keep them. He’ll growl, groan and wonder why I have 20 wethers in the pens when he & I both know that we will only keep one or two. He is a livestock genius and I respect his opinion. Even though, I value somebody’s opinion, I want things to be right.
I ALWAYS love an animal with a story. Troy Gosney is probably the only person worse than me at wanting to find the greenest animal that nobody else could find. The kind with one ear sideways, color not right, limping on a leg kind of deal, etc. Even though I like a story, I always stick with genetics. Thus the reason, if the GOZ calls and says he found a barrow that snores louder than him, has a nut rupture, was a great-great grandson of Basic Instinct and was a runt, I’d say, “Bring him!”
And I don’t like hype. Show me the real animal, let me decide, cash my check, no BS, then if it doesn’t turn out, it is my fault.
Now, back to the smell test. I will try most anything once. (I say that and I have never tried any drugs. Just a lot of fermented barley and hops.) I have looked at, bought, fed and punted on several breeders animals. If I pay good money for something with supposed good genetics and if it goes to crap, then, FIRST, I evaluate what we did wrong. Second, I probably don’t go back. Three, if I get beat by animals that I know are crap and it was a politcal kiss ass deal, then I discount the judge and the animals. Including future ads that have that judge in the backdrop. Once an ass kiss, always one! My crew will feed them right and out-show most if not all. If we don’t win this year, then we will next.