Mating Season at the Goat Barn
If you have goats, and you breed them and have a billy goat, you will immediately recognize the importance of what happened at the goat barn last weekend. For those that do not know about billy goats and their distinctive smell and behavior during mating season (fall), let me summarize in one word. Unpleasant. Billy goats (intact male goats) spend all their time thinking about one thing. Female goats. They have one goal in mind. Getting a date with one or more of the lovely ladies anywhere on your farm. From the moment the first female goes into heat, the billy goats will begin the ritual head rubbing, grunting and peeing on themselves to make them as attractive as possible.
Now that you have some background, (Too Much?) you will begin to understand the importance of what I discovered last weekend. Let me back up and include the fact that at this time we are not at all interested in increasing our goat herd size.
Many days, while I am doing farm chores, I will open a goat pen and let the occupants browse the grounds while I am working. They stay close by and usually go back into their stall with a little coaxing in the form of grain. On this particular day, I opened the stall and let the six goats out. When I turned back , I saw this guy scratching his head on the outside of the barn. The problem is that this is one of our billy goats. Speechless for a moment, I finally realized what was wrong. He was not supposed to be in with the girl goats! But wait. I next see our other billy goat out too. Oh no! I immediately begin thinking about what I will be doing in 5 months. This is the length of goat gestation. With both male goats having been in the pen with the girl goats for at least half the day, we were bound to see some baby goats come spring. At this point, neither billy was chasing the girls. Galaxy was more interested in making love to the wheelbarrow. But how did this happen?
After we put Ace and Galaxy back in the boy room, we walked around trying to figure out how this whole thing occurred.
All the fences seemed to be in good repair. At least at first glance. The fence is not as high as it used to be, but we never had any goats jumping over in the past. Finally we spotted the breach. But it didn’t lead to the girl’s pen. It led to the woods!
My conclusion is that we may have a goat baby or two this spring but it looks more like the boys broke out the back of the pasture and ended up in the woods behind. Then when they heard the other goats being let out they ran around the barn and joined the fun. Luckily the wheelbarrow was looking like a good mate at the time and I never saw any mating between goats. Hopefully. Or in five months we will have some really cute mistakes!
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