Goats should not be called goats. Albeit though it may, goat is a four letter word. However the word malady is more appropriate. There is always something wrong with at least one of these things. Sometimes, I just dread reading a text, email or listening to a phone call. It doesn’t matter whose farm or how many, there is always some of the following going on.
–My goat(s) has coccidia problems. Oh really. Not unusual.
–My buck has the buck crud on his underbelly and crotch. Hhmm.
–pick at least one but not more than three at a time: limping, coughing, runny nose, aborted, broke a horn, didn’t settle, toxemia, CL, rough hair, kidney stone, swollen knee, hoof problem, quick pneumonia, pizzle pecker rot and the list goes on. Oh and sore mouth!
As I sit here during the first of 2018 and review 2017, it becomes apparent…2018 MUST be better or I am done with these animals. I bet that some of you loyal readers had already figured this out. 2017 was NOT fun.
–Had sold a bad ass wether on Labor Day 2016. I should have kept him but he brought a bunch and went to a good home. Kidney stone in January 2017 got him while he was at OSU vet med. Luckily for me, her other two goats were good enough to win Woodward and make the OYE premium sale…and they were sired by Kelln bred and sold bucks.
–Sent a proven older buck to a neighbor to breed a few does. While at OYE, I was informed that the buck was dead. Who knows why? Well, at least I didn’t have to haul him off.
–Duke and I had hell dealing with wethers for the 2017 show season. Nothing seemed to work right. The best one was off-feed for weeks. Wasn’t sick, no worms, all tests were clear, but he went backwards. He just liked to eat prairie grass hay. We got him turned around and he ended up 2nd in class behind the grand at OYE but he wasn’t 100%. I screwed up a class schedule at OYE with another one. And we worked our asses off to get the 3rd one good enough to make premium sales at Woodward and OYE. We limped into show season and felt good to make those premium sales. It wasn’t fun.
–Sold a $23,000 buck online. Then decided that I better buy 1/2 interest back into this buck. I had him for 3 more months, so I decided to self-insure him. Then he went to the partners AND as livestock tend to do…he died. Not a partner problem, just typical. So I paid for that. I do have semen on him and a few kids out of him. But, that one hurt–financially, mentally and he was damn good.
–Sold a $3,500 buck online. Agreed to deliver him in 2 weeks on a trip to TX. Time for trip came and a quick pneumonia had hit him. Doctored him, left him at home and headed south. Dragon Lady called that evening—dead. Didn’t collect that sale. Summer before I turned down $2,500 for him as a wether, then fed him for for 9 more months, clipped & photoed–not profitable.
–Sold a $2,100 buck online. Buyer picked him up. Everything looked good, he tried to breed does–no go. She took him to the vet and had “pizzle rot”. What in the hell? So, I replaced him with a buck that I had yet to picture and would not have let go for less than $3,500. She wasn’t happy even though it was a better buck. She wanted the picture. Which says a lot about today’s buyers.
–Bought a buck that had the parts and genetics. Fed him for 4 months, got him looking and handling wicked, turned down a pile for 1/2 interest, let a friend use him who then called 48 hours later and said that he was breathing hard. Took him to the vet, thought everything was right, brought him home, I paid the vet bill, 2 weeks later…fine that morning, dead that afternoon. That bargain turned out to be expensive. There has been a doe kid born out of this buck. But for some reason, I haven’t been in a hurry to go look at it. However, I hear she is good. If it had nuts, yeah…..
–Actually paid a sizable amount for a wether in June 2017. Kept him at another place for multiple reasons. First and foremost, because their care is wicked awesome. July 3 started doctoring for some kind of wicked strawberry-type fungus on one hoof, then all four, then on ears, disbudded horn and mouth. After talking to numerous vets, breeders, show experts, universities and none of their stuff working, we finally got him cleared up in August. Still have him, but he hasn’t been right since. Doubt he sees a showring. I take that statement back, he might be right by Tulsa.
–Had another buck start shooting blanks while on lease. Luckily, I had also sent a young keeper buck that was way better than the lease buck. The young buck got worked harder than expected. But they will be better off. And I got a young buck a new moniker that is fitting. Sometimes, you have to take a Detour.
–Didn’t lose hardly any does! Which proves that 2017 wasn’t fun. I would way rather have the bucks then the does.
Reading this shows three things. 1–I didn’t have to haul off very many of these carcasses as these maladies happened at numerous places. 2—I have numerous reasons to not be happy with these beasts. 3—I took care of ALL problems incurred. I was the only one out much.
On the other hand, we sold bucks from California to Maryland. Bucks that we have sold in the past sired state fair champions, premium sale goats and banner hangers at majors during 2017. Our small herd of genetics are at work in all levels of breeding herds across the country. Duke has had past showring success but watching him learn to work from behind, knowing that he is not going to win, has been good. Not fun, but good.
And in summary: Goats aren’t easy to raise. There is a reason that the good ones cost a pile. Sometimes, buying semen seems cheaper than owning bucks. I can guarantee you that bigger breeders have more and bigger stories than these. But, these are real to me. And like Okie State football, there is always next year….and it is here.