Many goat-herd owners choose not to keep bucks because they’re only needed to breed the does once a year, it takes time and money to feed and maintain them year round, and they can have a strong odor – particularly during mating season. In the past, we chose not to keep bucks for those reasons, and used bucks owned by our friends at Wild Wind Farm instead. But, after a lot of thought, I finally decided to get a buck.
I’m interested in breeding polled (naturally hornless) goats; but because of an article written in 1944 that linked polled goats to increased rates of hermaphrodism (animals with both male and female organs that are sterile), there are very few good polled goats around. After that article was published, most polled goats were either destroyed or hidden. That articles validity has been questioned recently (many claim that there’s no statistical difference in the rates of hermaphrodism between polled and horned goats) and interest in polled goats seems to be increasing.
But that all meant that if we really wanted to work with polled goats, we had to commit to getting a polled buck. I’ve been admiring the Nigerian Dwarf goats at Old Mountain Farm for a long time (and already have a doe from there – 3*M Old Mountain Farm Hot Tea 3*D), so I inquired. And, they had two handsome brothers available.
We spent the weekend driving to Maine to make our pick and bring him home. The owners of Old Mountain Farm have been working with Nigerian Dwarf goats for many years, so it was great to meet them and fascinating to “talk goats”, and learn how they do things. We could have listened all day, but had to leave far too quickly and make the long trip home.
While there, since it’s such a long drive, we also picked out a doeling to bring home. It was difficult to make the choice, but in the end we came home with Field Mouse (aka Mighty – pic on the right) and Taylor Quinn (Taylor – pic on the left). I’m very excited to add these two goats to the Bramblestone herd – they’re both very correct (in dairy conformation), have gorgeous dams & handsome sires, and are beautiful examples of good breeding.
Taylor is six weeks old tomorrow, so she still gets a bottle once a day, while Mighty is 8 weeks old and fully weaned. In coloration, Taylor is a reddish gold and black buckskin while Mighty is a chamoise. These colors and coat patterns are very common in the Nigerian Dwarf breed, and I think some of the most beautiful. I need to get better pictures, but I’m very happy to have them here, and can’t wait to see them mature. Hopefully we chose well, because as the first herdsire, Mighty is going to have a big impact on the herd for a long time.