Monsoon Season is my favorite time of year here in Arizona, the grass comes out of hiding, the goats get to browse, and our road turns into a river, making it appear as though we go mudding every day before work. Recently I had the rare opportunity to spend all Sunday at home with the animals. I let the chickens out of the coop and my growing bucks out of their pen. They were all hanging out together under the mesquite tree, enjoying one another's company. I was glad the battery in my camera was charged!
In regard to breeding season, I have made my plans and they are being executed. I really hate having kids born late in the season so I am experimenting with my buckling and their young age. Timmy was born mid March and Marcus was born early April. So as of August 15 they are only about 5 months old. I decided to try since they are my only bucks, in my defense, they were already starting to "act the part" on each other, so I think the hormones are kicking in at least. I have noted that they do not have the "buck" smell that most bucks have, the one that seems to taint the milk and that makes my mother run from them when they are both out.
I am fairly sure that Marcus has already been successful with Jane, he is also in the pen with Fly By, although I'm not certain she has been bred yet. She is young, but she made weight. I'm expecting Jane will be due on January 13, 2014.
Since I work full time, I am unable to watch the actual servicing. Instead, I have to watch their mannerisms and determine the status. I wish I was able to do AI or one-day servicing, but I am not yet able, so I stick to the 30-days-with-the-buck and watch as best as I can when I am home.
And just for the record, does anyone feel as though they are playing musical pens when breeding season comes around? I am constantly playing out different pen situations as I have a large pen that is split into three sections and another that is separate from everything (my quarantine pen). It's like that riddle with the farmer who has to move the hay, the goose, and the fox across the river, but, because the boat is small, he can only do one at a time. He can't leave the goose with the hay or the fox because he'll either eat the hay or get eaten by the fox. I can't have the young doelings with their dam since they will drink her milk, nor can I have them with the bucks because they are too small to risk breeding. I can't have this doe in a pen adjacent the bucks as I risk milk contamination. And, I must separate the bucks when breeding so there is no question of the sire. Exhausting, but a real-life riddle.