Saturday, February 02, 2008

Better Because of Dixie

I have noticed some changes in the goats since we brought Dixie home. I'll start with Elvis. He seems to want WHATEVER Dixie is getting. Which means if I go out into the pasture to play with her or pet her or in general be affectionate and loving with her (because one can do that sort of thing with a donkey), he's right there too waiting for his nose to be rubbed or his ears to be scratched. Elvis. My ornery, stinky, mean old Billy has become an affection-seeking softie. I love it.

It does have its downside though because he hangs around whenever I feed her and seeing as she's fed twice a day and he's only fed once, the morning feedings are a bit rough because he gets SUPER jealous. On the other hand, when I put her up at night and give her a final night time snack (a little apple and oat treat) he gets one too and it's kind of cute.

Even Nugget is starting to come around. At first, when I'd put Dixie up at night Elvis would be the only one of the goats to follow me into the barn and hang out til he got whatever Dixie was getting. The girls seemed quite disinterested. But recently, Nugget started following me into the barn too and last night she got her first apple and oat treat. I know what you're thinking - I am spoiling my goats even more. Well, I disagree. I am bonding.

Meanwhile, the whole trio has become much better grazers since Dixie joined the family. It used to be that they could take or leave grazing. Maybe they'd go for a twirl around the pasture, then they'd sit down and rest for a few hours. They'd eat mostly along the fenceline anyways and I would wonder why on earth I ever got goats if I still had the hire someone to bush hog the pasture.

But Dixie grazes non-stop. Morning. Noon. Night. Sun. Rain. Cold. Wind. Snow. She is a grazing machine and I've noticed the goats are much more active in the their grazing efforts - especially my little fattie Ann-Margaret who seems to enjoy having a pal who likes to eat as much as she does.

Speaking of Ann-Margaret, it has been 128 days since we snipped Elvis. The typical gestation period of a goat is 145 - 155 days, which means if we're going to have any more goat babies, it's going to be in the next 27 days. Actually, round up to 35 because there's always the possibility Elvis still had some swimmers AFTER the operation and it is possible - remote, but possible - that he could have somehow impregnated Ann-Margaret AFTER the fact for up to a week. I don't think it's likely as he was limping around for a few days, but, then again, Elvis is the man.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...


Johnny said...

No you are right you are spoiling the goats. And think about it would you not want to part of the cookie time and is it not wild how the male goat figured it out first.