Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hello Papa

Here is our new Nigerian buck Papa (that's the name his previous owners gave him). He arrived at the farm Friday night.
We got him from a farm in Auburn, where he bred Nigerian does. We brought him in our little Honda Civic, with a tarp on the floor, and some hay over it. Papa was a little nervous at first, but quickly calmed down, and was very calm for the rest of the hour of the trip home.
Since we arrived home late at night, he spent the night in the barn alone. Saturday morning at feeding time, I let Achille, our Nubian doe, enter the barn. They were talking to each other before I opened the stall door. Papa appeared afraid at first, since Achille is a little bigger than him, but that passed quickly. They both went on the pasture, and lost interest with each other for the first few hours. In the early afternoon, Achille approach him and put her nose in his side. He didn't seem much interested. Interesting behavior from Achille though. Later, I walked them through the entire pasture. They stayed close to each other and to me, Papa being the one seeking my attention the most. They stayed together for the rest of the day.
Papa is a very friendly buck. If he does his job well, he will be a great addition to the farm. Now it is just up to Achille to get in heat...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Goodbye Poppy

Poppy passed this morning. During the snow storm, her and Achille (her daughter, on the left in the picture above) did not want to leave the shed, with the pasture covered by one foot of snow, so I gave them an alfalfa mix. The bale was at the bottom of the pile, and has been resting on a plastic tarp probably for several years. I didn't notice that the bottom of the bale (tarp side) was completely moldy. Poppy got contaminated with mold, which is toxic to ruminants. She got a bad diarrhea, which literally took life out of her.
It was hard to see her getting weaker and weaker, then walking like a drunk goat(due to weakness), and finally resting down.
This is a hard lesson. Poppy was a good goat, and brought two cute goat kids to our farm. Winter can be hard on animals, Nubian goats are not cold weather animals, and even though our pasture give them almost ideal conditions in the summer, they need care in the winter, which is where I did not provide well enough for them.
To accompany her passing, we will make a bon fire ... with the remainder of the old moldy alfalfa mix still laying in the barn.
Goodbye poppy.