As the Year Turns, So Our Thoughts Turn…To Goat Sex

Sharon December 31st, 2008

Tonight, most of us are reflecting on the year past and considering what is to come.  What’s coming out here in the glorious, snow covered rural paradise I live in is, well, drive through goat nookie.  Lots of it.

As you may remember, one of the big changes here this year was the acquisition of Selene and Maia, our small but remarkable producers of milk and mayhem.   They came to us after kidding, already in milk – and in order to keep the cycle going, well, the girls have to get knocked up. 

This presents some structural issues for us, since we do not have a buck goat.  With only two females, a buck, who needs seperate housing, and frankly, who doesn’t smell that good when in rut, is overkill.  So when we adopted them, we made arrangements for our girls to return to the farm from whence they came when it was time for the necessary romance.  I was a little vague on what this interaction might actually involve, but I figured we’d figure it out as we went along.

 And thanks to Jamey and Carol at Weathertop Farm, we rather did.  Mostly, what it involves is taking your flashlight (the barn isn’t that bright at milking time these days) and spending some time looking at goat pussy.  That is, the goats come into heat every three weeks, and in order to know when to bring them to the farm, that means we have to know when they are ready and willing.  This is detected by tail wagging, slightly pinked up genital areas, maybe a little discharge.  The changes, at least in our girls, however, are fairly subtle, and involve a certain amount of “Do you think that she looks pinker than yesterday…I’m not really sure….”

But we are pretty sure Selene cycled three weeks ago tomorrow, which means that the next step is the drive through breeding (we weren’t able to get her in for an earlier cycle, so babies will be here on the late side) tomorrow.  That means putting Selene (Maia doesn’t seem to realize that it is inconvient of her to be on a completely different cycle – or she does and doesn’t care ;-) ) in the back of our car (newspaper first, crack windows) and drive to the farm, where Selene will have her date with destiny (a rather smelly but cute guy named Gil-galad).  Ten days later, we’ll be pimping Maia instead.

Then, we bring them home and try and figure out whether the breeding “took.”  That means more flashlight checks to see if she goes into heat again.  If she doesn’t, we should be expecting babies around the end of May to beginning of June.  If not, well, three weeks from now we’ll be doing the MLK weekend goat-lovin’ sex run.

 I know that after yesterday’s posts there are those of you who despair of ever making your life more like my perfect agrarian existence ™.  And for those of you who feel that way, I can only say that all you need is a flashlight, a pair of horny goats, a compact car and the dream.

Happy New Year!


27 Responses to “As the Year Turns, So Our Thoughts Turn…To Goat Sex”

  1. Jennaon 31 Dec 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks for a much needed giggled… and reminder that no matter what significance we may put on numbers on a calendar – the basics of life still go on.

    Good luck with your goat hussle. The biggest breeding issue I’ve dealt with was with bunnies (somehow easier to manage figuring out who was hot to trot and who wasn’t when you can pick them up and maneuver THEM to better light.

    Thanks for all the great articles (and a book that is quickly becoming dog-eared.) I look forward to stepping into the New Year following your writings.

    Have a great New Year.

  2. George Anonymuncule Seldeson 31 Dec 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Great post. Nice way to end the year.

    My obligatory nit: it’s “whence they came” not “from whence,” which is like saying “from from where.”

  3. MEAon 31 Dec 2008 at 3:23 pm

    At least they aren’t goiong to be hung by the neck until dead….

    Right now your life reminds me of The Good Life (TV show) where the goat goes in the back of the very fancy care to be breed.

  4. risa bon 31 Dec 2008 at 3:34 pm

    hahahahahahah … gasp … hahahaha .. wheeze … has to be the best Sharon post of all time … all we have going here is the antics of Chanticleer & Co. — every time we’re interrupted by a ruckus over in the chicken pen we both yell out “GET A ROOM!” But this goat stuff is tops. Suddenly I want to reread Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer. ;)

  5. KathyDon 31 Dec 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Dang Sharon!

    You trademarked the “perfect agrarian existence ™” before I could get to it! Mine includes
    fainting when plucking feathers from dead chickens– not even the actual killing part.

    Happy New Year and thanks for the laugh. My daughter kept asking “are you laughing at me?”


  6. e4on 31 Dec 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Here’s hoping you get a “good hit” as our goat mentors used to say…

    We used to have “goat coats” that we’d wear if we had to go within 100 feet of the boys. Man that smell is like a film that coats whatever is exposed to it…

  7. Kelsieon 31 Dec 2008 at 6:58 pm

    If you think one buck smells….trying being molested nightly by 25 of them. Since the phrase “goat pussy” has already been openly used here, I find no guilt in telling you there’s nothing worse than being showered in goat spunk…after being knocked to the grown (grain flying everywhere) and mounted by five or six goats at once.

    I used to be so pretty when I got home from the farm.

  8. Joannaon 31 Dec 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Goats! Yuck! Flashbacks of early homesteading trial & error….

    We tried goats for a while, thinking to do the whole “meat-milk-fiber” thang all in one easy to handle package. Including fencing our entire place in rather expensive cattle panel (actually goat proof!), bringing goaties home in my Outback, checking goat pussy, getting acquainted with stinky boys, shearing, birthing, etc etc.

    Turns out I really really dislike goats. We gave them away, just to get them the heck off our place with their sneaking and yelling and pushiness. Then we bought a cow. Rented a bull, trained the heifer, attended birth, learned to milk, make cheese, etc.

    A completely different vibe than goats. But when the cow came up un-preggers after the last expensive bull rental, we decided to sell her after figuring the cost of either re-renting the bull or waiting (and feeding 2 unproductive mouths) for our expensively purchased bull calf to mature.

    We swapped the bull calf for a steer, plus dibs on another heifer this coming summer.

    Our oops was to dive into a heritage breed without enough infrastructure to support the effort properly. (We only have 1.25 acres)
    The new heifer will be a mutt cow (we had Dexters, a half-sized breed) so we can have her bred by the neighbor’s bull for barter, instead of being limited by size. We have 2 lovely beef steers to tide us over.

    The manure alone has bumped our garden output like crazy. Goat pellets are impossible to scoop compared to cow pies.

    I know lots of people who love their goats, but I’ll do whatever it takes to have a milk cow or support one of our many local dairies before I reenter the world of goat sex ;)

  9. Ponyon 31 Dec 2008 at 7:34 pm

    The sheep. We brought home four sheep and a ram in our VW Microbus with the middle seat out and straw on the floor. We let him figure out time for breeding and it was always in early February that the babies arrived. Sometimes you have to help birthing lambs. One snowy February morning I discovered a ewe having trouble with the head halfway out and one leg going backward rather than forward as both should be so stuck.

    You’ve seen it on “All Creatures Great and Small” re-runs. Strip off, and reach in and straighten the leg out. But when the lamb was finally out, rubbed dry, she wasn’t nursing and the ewe wasn’t paying any attention. I was teaching, our kids had to get to school too. There was nothing to do but put them both in the VW bus and take them to school with me so I could run out every once in a while and encourage them and keep the lamb warmer that it would have been in the barn if mama continued to ignore her.

    My 5th graders got an educational field trip out to the parking lot to see them. By the time school was out they had bonded and nursing was working fine.

    A Shetland pony got rides in that microbus too, and piglets and rabbits and baseball players and hay and ….

  10. [...] Casaubon’s Book » Blog Archive » As the Year Turns, So Our Thoughts Turn…To Goat Sex Tonight, most of us are reflecting on the year past and considering what is to come. What’s coming out here in the glorious, snow covered rural paradise I live in is, well, drive through goat nookie. Lots of it. [...]

  11. Robon 31 Dec 2008 at 8:09 pm

    I’ve been working for a couple who have one goat, and haven’t had her covered for a couple of years – the milk yield goes down over winter, they say, but so long as you keep milking she keeps giving. The pregnancy, however, gives you a kid for the pot or for sale later in the year, so I can see it’s advisable from a husbandry point of view.

  12. Sololeumon 31 Dec 2008 at 9:08 pm

    This summer two of our four British Alphine does came into milk WITHOUT A PREGNANCY NOR GOING ANYWHERE NEAR A BUCK.

    We were going to give them a rest for a year but they had other ideas – its great milk – cold over vitabrits or flaked wheat – just don’t use it for coffee – it seems to bring the goat out.

    Goats are great people – they will follow you when you walk down the paddock, they don’t produce much though and they need some high protein inputs – thats why we have three young heifers that will go to the bull during our winter and we will swing over to cows milk next summer..

    Our heifers are Jersey and Jersey X’s – we will AI them to a Dexter from a milking line.

  13. olympiaon 31 Dec 2008 at 9:30 pm

    “Goat pussy”- I am never going to stop laughing!
    I grew up around goats, and have a vivid memory of my sister, then around 7 or 8 years old, anxiously checking our pregnant doe’s vagina every hour or so, often coaxing me (I was 11), to “look at Franny’s vagina- does it look different?”
    My sister- who’s given birth a few times herself since then -recently told me she feels sorry for the lack of privacy she afforded Franny. Ah, well. It’s all part of the farming experience.

  14. Karinon 01 Jan 2009 at 7:59 am

    We got a goat last spring. We told the farmer we wanted him banded and his horns nubbed off because we were going to put him in with our sheep. We bottle fed him and planned to use him with a cart to haul fire wood and hay.

    Around early August I asked my husband ( because he had the same equipment), ” Are those balls?”

    “No” he says, “Leroy Brown goat was banded”

    So in September I asked my husband,” Why is Leroy peeing on his face? He stinks!”

    The next day we invited the farmer over for another banding and Leroy is now a slightly less stinky, lovable goat boy.

  15. Ellen Andersonon 01 Jan 2009 at 7:59 am

    We have just been through what you describe with our American Oberhasli female whose heat was unmistakable once I got used to looking at her tail. I am amazed by the rather decorous behavior of copulating goats (compared to other species known to us all.)

  16. Danielleon 01 Jan 2009 at 8:43 am

    Obviously it’s up to you, but it may be easier to work out an arrangement where you leave the girls for about 6 weeks, which should cover two cycles, or to borrow a buck at your place for about 6 weeks. That’s what we’ve done, and it’s significantly easier than trying to detect heat.

  17. Rebeccaon 01 Jan 2009 at 9:28 am

    I read this at work last night. I hope I don’t get into trouble, lol.
    I could never do that. I would just have to have a male goat and tell him ‘get to it, big boy. you know better than me.’ lol

  18. Steven Earl Salmonyon 01 Jan 2009 at 11:04 am

    Resolution for 2009: SPEAK OUT loudly, clearly and often

    Dear Friends,

    In calling for change in our time, great scientists are speaking about what could somehow be true to wealthy and powerful people who prefer that the “business as usual” status quo be maintained. Industrial/big business powerbrokers and their bought-and-paid-for politicians want to keep things going along just as they are going now, come what may for the children and coming generations, for life as we know it, for the integrity of Earth and its environs.

    Many voices are needed to support “voices in the wilderness” like those of Jim Hansen and John Holdren, exemplary scientists who have been willing to speak truth to those with the power to make the kinds of necessary change that make belief in a good enough future at least a possibility. Assuring a chance of a good future for the children and for life as we know it is an achievable goal that will lead us to overcome the arrogance and avarice of many too many leaders of my “Not So GREAT GREED GRAB Generation” of elders.

    If too many leaders of the family of humanity choose to keep doing precisely the things they are advocating and doing now, and if we in the human community keep getting what we are getting now, then it appears a sustainable world for our children cannot be achieved. By so doing, the limited resources of Earth will be permanently dissipated, its biodiversity massively extirpated, its environment irreversibly degraded and life as we know it recklessly endangered. The current gigantic scale and anticipated growth of per-capita overconsumption of limited resources, global production and distribution capabilities, and absolute human population numbers worldwide are simply, clearly and patently unsustainable, even to the year 2050. Given Earth’s limitations as a relatively small, evidently finite and noticeably frangible planet, the projected increases in these currently unbridled consumption, production and propagation activities of the human species could soon lead the human family to come face to face with some sort of colossal ecological wreckage.

    Now is the time to speak out loudly, clearly and often about what is true for you. Forget about political correctness and convenience. Let go of economic expediency and greediness. Embrace necessary change rather than waste another day preserving the selfish interests of the small group of rich and powerful people, and their many minions, all of whom are adamantly and relentlessly defending an unsustainable, same old “business as usual” status quo.

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001

  19. Greenpaon 01 Jan 2009 at 11:21 am

    Obviously, you were asking yourself, “how do I start the blog off with a bang, for the new year?”

    And I confess to being of several minds regarding your innovative use of the feline euphemism for goats. Personally, it’s usually been a rather intimate endearment (as in “ou est le chat, mon amour? ah, ici, cheri…”) – which the now permanent images you’ve engraved on my brain will not enhance.

    I would think the more alliterative “goat twat”; or the more educational “caprine pudenda” would be preferable, in a household with young males abounding…


  20. Elizabeth aka heathenmomon 01 Jan 2009 at 11:39 am

    Olympia — me too! Ever since I read this at work yesterday, the phrase “goat pussy” keeps popping into my head and I canNOT stop laughing! *blush* Sharon, I do love it when you write about the day-to-day work of farming. It gives me hope for our future homesteading efforts. :)

  21. KatJon 01 Jan 2009 at 11:48 am

    Well, thank you for the heads up on goat breeding, Sharon. My dad raised both cows and goats, although the goats lived in a field rather farther away from the house, and we never really delved into their sex lives. We didn’t milk them or anything – they were strictly there for bushhogging purposes. The cows were a different story. I’ve seen my dad deliver a stuck calf before (won’t describe that to you!). It is making me rethink my plans to get goats this spring! And what a surprise this morning, to get on your blog thinking to see an exhortation to be prepared and finding this hilarious piece on goat sex instead. Thank you very much!!

  22. Lanceon 01 Jan 2009 at 11:58 am

    Being an easily embarrassed guy, I would likely say “goat parts.” Nanny-nookie seems usable too. Anyways…

    For me the phrase, “goat pussy” conjured up the strong mental image of a chimerical beast of mixed feline and caprine characteristics…like a goat with a cat’s head sticking out its back…or a cat-goat centaur…see what early childhood exposure to Greek mythology does to you?

  23. deb woslumon 01 Jan 2009 at 1:09 pm

    get a “buck rag”. Very simple. Take a rag, rub it all over a buck’s head and neck, then put it in a jar. Bring it to the does, open lid, dangle said buck rag in front of them. If they’re interested, they’re in heat.
    You can also just hang the buck rag somewhere near them (but where they can’t eat it, which they might, if they’re in heat), and you’ll be able to see if they’re in heat by proximity and interest in the rag.

  24. tante2on 01 Jan 2009 at 5:44 pm

    In a moment of frustration, I found myself muttering “goat pussy”. I don’t think I’d ever heard that expression before. It sure has stuck and seems to apply to a lot of situations!

  25. Leslieon 01 Jan 2009 at 7:54 pm

    We have had both rare breed cows and goats for a number of years now. Our goats are Nigerian Dwarf goats so we could actually easily house a buck. We found a buck who is an absolute sweetheart and never smells bad or does disgusting things. He was 6 months old when we brought him home last year and he set right to work breeding our does. He had obviously never done it before and didn’t quite know what to do at first. My husband got some of his hilarious attempts at breeding on video here on Ramon, Nigerian Dwarf Goat Extraordinaire (Part 1) ( Watching him was like watching a comedy show. He kept getting up on the wrong end. He draped over the does like he was watching TV or something. He would finally get up on them properly but then fall over backwards because they were bigger than he. We were roaring with laughter watching all of this but you know what? All three does kidded right on schedule 5 months later. Funny and effective – that is Ramon!

    I just thought I would mention something here from the buck’s perspective …

    Meanwhile we really love cows. Never want to live without at least one again. Sadly we are selling our Nigerian herd because I have finally persuaded my family that we need something more in our diet than milk. The goat pens will all be converted into veggie gardens.


  26. Crunchy Chickenon 06 Jan 2009 at 1:22 am

    Too funny. What will you do with the offspring?

  27. Sharonon 06 Jan 2009 at 8:57 am

    Keep them, for the most part, I think. There’s a real market for very small goats which produce a lot of milk, actually, so we can probably sell as many as we raise, but we’re planning on expanding our own herd some, and want to keep our female kids. If we have a really good male out of Maia and Gil-galahad we might keep him too, so it will really depend on the gender proportions. If we get all boys, well, some of them will be wethered and sold. If we get all girls, that might be more than we want. If we get a mix, we may keep most or all of them, depending on how things play out.

    We’re looking to buy two more milking does this summer, and probably a buck. My guess is that we’ll probably top out at 6 or 7 milking does, and then we’ll maybe get serious about selling them.

    I hear they travel by airfreight pretty well – does your yard need one ;-) ?


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