Saturday, May 31, 2008

Time for kids

Yes, it's time for more kids! Three days ago, Clare, our la mancha freshened with a single white, blue-eyed, elf-eared buckling. His daddy is my Nigerian buck, Valentino, which is where the blue eyes come from. Being a buck, however, this little guy is not eligible to be registered as an experimental mini-mancha because he has elf ears. La manchas have virtually no visible outer ear. In fact, most people ask, "What happened to its ears?" when they first see a la mancha. "They're born that way," I respond. To keep the breed as earless as possible, boys cannot be registered if they have elf ears, meaning they have something sticking out. I think the standard says an inch or two. This little guy definitely has something sticking out. They are so cute! But it means he's destined to be wethered. That's okay, though, because I have been wanting a larger wether to train for a cart, so that is his destiny.

We have five more goats due in the next months. I think three of them are due VERY soon because their tail ligaments are soft. One of them, Charlotte, is also getting a very nice udder! We took this picture two days ago. Charlotte is only a year old and is a perfect example of what copper deficiency can do. She was never sold because I honestly didn't think she was going to live -- for months! She was always this skinny little kid. She was much smaller than goats her age and was not growing. I only sell "healthy" goats, and even though we couldn't figure out what was wrong with her, it was obvious she was not healthy. Last fall, we discovered the copper deficiency and after giving her a copper bolus, she started to gain weight and look like a normal doe. By January, she was the same size as the other does her age, so we decided to breed her. Her udder is so beautiful and soft, I'm glad we kept her!

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