We have our third doe! We brought Peony home on Friday evening. After losing to the odds and winding up with all buck kids this spring, we had no choice but to outsource. We found a wonderful couple who helped us with disbudding our kids, and they happened to have a few doelings available. I don’t really believe in things that are ‘meant to be,’ but when we found out her name was Peony when we had decided to have a plant theme for naming our goats, well, it left us favorably inclined towards her!
This little girl will be Gabe’s. Quite awhile ago, Rachel had the idea of giving Gabe the third milking goat and let her be his charge. It made good sense – he could start with a doeling when she was still small and over the course of a year he could train her to be milked while learning about caring for an animal himself. I originally felt that he was a little young for that, but half of the YouTube videos I watched when I was trying to learn how to milk featured children as young as FOUR. Gabe will be twice that age next spring, and he really has shown himself to be trustworthy and responsible. I think he’s probably liking having a goat MUCH better than his other job, which is sweeping after dinner. 😉
In the two days that Peony has been here Gabe has been wholeheartedly attentive. I am sure that the novelty plays a factor. That’s where our job comes in – to encourage his attentiveness and sense of responsibility beyond when things are no longer new, tiny and cute.
You may have noticed that Peony is different from all of our other goats. Namely, she has ears – big, floppy ears. Not quite as obvious, but she also has a ‘Roman’ nose rather than a concave one like the others. This is because while our goats are either LaManchas or LaMancha crosses, Peony is a Nubian. Those of you who have been following us for more than a little while know that we wanted to avoid Nubian goats as they have a tendency to be loud. Well, ‘never say never’ seems to be my mantra as of late.
To be certain, I’ve learned to not settle for anything less than what I want, and noisy goats are certainly something I DON’T want. But we do want more butterfat, and Nubians are the best bet in that regard. Butterfat is what makes milk rich and creamy, and it is the part of milk from which butter is made. All milk has butterfat, but Nubians produce it at a much higher percentage than other breeds. So in spite of our original hesitation we allowed Gabe to choose the Nubian doeling over the two LaMancha doelings that were in the same pen with her. Butterfat was reason enough to justify allowing 1 Nubian in our herd.
So, nothing ventured nothing gained! Peony is definitely louder than any of our other goats, but I’ll let it pass as this is her first time away from her mother. She is also sweet and has taken to Gabe like a puppy dog. She responds to him quickly and has been easily calmed by him when he talks to her.
I think he made the right choice.