This Wednesday felt more like a Monday. To start with, I had to meet a trailer on I-40 to pickup some online pig purchases. On Monday morning, the driver planned on being to my stop by 9:30 or 10 am. He also said that he would call me the night before. There wasn’t a call, but I had talked to him a 2nd time on Monday evening. I don’t like to be late, so I went ahead and made the drive. As I was pulling in to the meeting point, I got a text “be there in 5 hours”. Well $hi#! I guess that I should have waited on the call. So I made a 2nd 200 mile roundtrip drive to pickup these shoats. At least I had time to get me an oreo blizzard at the Dairy Queen.
I actually have no complaints with this stock exchange. I should have texted, called, whatever. This was my first time to deal with this firm and my 2 shoats were a small percentage of what they were handling on this trip.
I finally made it back home so I coud do chores in the dark. There was only two problems with chores tonight. First, this evening is the start of an ET protocol for the next swirlie–I mean flush. I can tell you that I am just about done with this flushing business. Lots of dollars, time and effort with limited results. Sure, it only takes that magical one to make it cashflow, but I would probably be better served spending that same time, money and effort managing my doe herd a tick better. There is also something to be said for peace of mind. It can be priceless. Right now, if given the choice between flushing goats or being kicked in the nuts, I think that I would tell you to kick me twice. This would be less painful as there is a kick when a donor doesn’t produce, another kick when you write the check and a third kick when recips don’t settle. And sometimes, there is a fourth kick to the crotch that comes 4-5 months later when the recips spit them out one to two weeks early. Or you only get 2 live births out of 12 that were installed. Of course, I’ve also had a flush that produced 1 embryo. Yes, just one. UNO, that is correct, just one embryo. And guess what? He hatched out alive. No, I am not going to name him UNO or ONE. If anything, it might be Paul Harvey.
Obivously, I have high hopes for this upcoming flush. Here’s the really stupid part. Out of the seven does that will be flushed here next week–I own exactly NONE of the donors. I am providing bucks on a couple of them and own some flush rights to a doe or two. I also have some recips programmed in order to install some frozen embryos. I am sure that will be another kick to the groin. Now, throw in the fact that Bob Seelke, Jared Schneberger, Tommy Milligan and I could be just as successful at flushing goats as any of the people that we pay to give these swirlies. Maybe not. However, I promise that the four of us could make one heckuva how-to or how-not-to video. Yes, there would be an edited version and an un-cut edition. The un-cut version would be way better.
The 2nd problem with chores tonight–I cringe when people unload does at my house. People keep their does TOO FAT. A week or so ago, I unloaded three does. I kind of owned these does but they had lived elsewhere and had been well cared for. I knew that this would be a problem, but I went ahead and put them in general population. General population at my house means free choice mineral, salt, oat hay and grazing. And as of this past weekend, it also means a lush stand of green triticale to graze. These three does were all big, mature does. I have checked them morning and night–in the dark of course. And as of this evening, Duke and I have hauled off two of these does. Why? Thiamine deficiency. I’ve gone through a bottle of B1, a bunch of banamine, baytril, pen and drenched a bunch of fluids. In the past decade plus of raising goats, I have only had one doe with thiamine deficiency. hunh?! That is kind of a Paul Harvey story in of itself. I digress. But, I have had problems with several that were brought in from other homes. And on every occassion, the does looked awesome. In other words, they were too fat. What is the common thread? Every time I get does here that are too fat, they have been living at some place that shows does. A breeder doesn’t care what their does look like as long as they are healthy and can raise kids. A doe shower, or somebody that just has a few around the place, trend towards “keeping them in excellent condition”. One of the most hated questions that I have dealt with in the goat business–“How do our does look?” Who gives a rat’s ass?! How do those said does KIDS look is the important question!
Here’s my issue with thiamine deficiency. How come I can’t give a “booster” shot to a suspect? I’ve done it and still had problems. It’s like they have to get the problem before you can cure the problem. No prevention. I am also aware that it is a Time of Year kind of issue. I’ve talked to several that have had the same problem in cattle.
I am sure that some of you will cringe at the thought of me not babying every doe. It is against my religion to baby a doe or a cow, etc. The good LORD put them on this Earth to roam, graze and be an animal. They never go without at my hourse. I just don’t allow welfare goats. My does are healthy and produce. They have live babies, milk good and raise kids. If not, they go to the sale barn. My replacements come from proven producers, that consistently raise good, healthy kids without problems and yes, they might have raised a good one or three. Thus, the reason that our does work for others as well.
I end with a quote that I read while sitting at a truck stop near I 40. “Men with courage do not slay dragons, they ride them.” I don’t know why but I like that quote. Of course, I also liked those “How to train your Dragon’ movies. I apologize.
Here’s to a better tomorrow and hoping YOUR government hasn’t screwed anything up beyond repair. I saw a nice picture (meme) of Sheriff Buford T. Justice. I agree.