Have you ever noticed when odd things happen, you tend to blame the weather? I’ve gone down to the kids’ large run-in shed and find all the doors, connecting gates blown open, and large plastic dog houses taken apart and strewn all over the place.
I’d tell Lee that a mighty wind must have blown through to cause so much havoc and then my herd of young kids would come charging into the shed, leap against gates and doors in extreme happiness, bounce off and inside the big plastic dog houses and soon everything was blown every which way by all of their energy. So, you go back and very carefully latch everything and tie everything to withstand mini tornadoes called happy kids.
Yesterday it was time to put some of the does in with the bucks and I thought the same thing was happening, the weather was playing tricks on me. We’d put around 90 does in a small pen to sort through and move out does through different gates to go to their bucks. The does weren’t thrilled with this. They thought we were up to no good, such as wormings or delousings or worse, thrown into a pen with a rude buck waiting to throw blubbery raspberries in their faces. After all, it was close to 90 degrees and the sun was beating down on them and who was in the mood for that?
In spite of their disapproval of the whole idea, things went rather smoothly. Even the bucks were politer than usual. The sun and the heat caused the bucks to walk up to each doe pushed into his pen and instead of yodeling, “I am Buck, hear me roar!” They all basically did a mild raspberry with their lips, didn’t even stomp the ground with a front foot, and then walked back to the shade. Basically they were saying to the does, I’ll get back with you later.
Over the years of selling bucks, I’ve had calls from newcomers to the goat breeding world accusing me of selling them a dud, not taking into consideration how hot the day was and some that were youngsters, even on a cool day, would be overwhelmed by the whole idea, and would nervously back off from aggressive does, even screaming for help when older does in heat started chasing the young guy. Basically, I advised them to wait and see. And, it’s always worked out.
So, here we go, with sun, temperature hitting ninety in early morning, and us trying to move the does into the buck pens. Most our girls are pretty easy going, not bad to catch, but you always have a few who are rebels without a cause. Hope Lane was just such a girl. Big, beautiful purebred adult doe. She was hitting close to 175-200 lbs., just gorgeous. She was going to produce some fantastic 4-H projects.
She also proved to be smarter than us in escaping every trick that was successful on catching the other does. She must have been watching and learning. She finally accidentally got into a bunch of does in the corner of the pen and I was at the gate she was suppose to be at so she was standing several feet behind me. Lee moved in on her and the other girls tripped her up because they were unconcerned about this, but she still took off at a dead run as Lee grabbed her collar. She was the only girl in the herd with a collar. All our girls are dehorned and any that are difficult to catch get a collar for easier catching.
His lunge and catching hold of the collar as she was on the run just gave a lot more speed to his steps. So there I innocently stood, my back to all the excitement, the innocent gate opener, when I heard thunderous hooves and big manly speedy steps behind me. With a loud “Swish”, Lee and Hope Lane shot by me, missing me by half inches. The wind from their powerful run even stirred my hair, that’s why I thought for sure a wind storm had just kicked up. How on earth a fellow of manly mature years was able to run with that big strong doe, well, I don’t know, but it was just down right impressive.
A problem I did spot after I realized it wasn’t the wind blowing past me, was that Hope Lane’s collar looked decidedly loose, but as long as she kept running forwards, it should stay put. I hollered to Lee what I saw and he shouted back that that was why he had been able to catch her was that loose collar.
And, just as he said that, she stopped dead and put it in reverse, all at super speed. She slid out of that collar slicker than a greased pig out of a large hole. That will teach me to talk so much to my goats that they learn English. She knew exactly what we were saying.
What a let down! We had her and now she was gone. The buck who had been standing near the gate, waiting for this new addition to his harem, just unconcernedly sauntered off, saying “Win some, lose some, where’s the shade?”
Oh, eventually we caught her, even collarless. We both kept our mouths shut so she wouldn’t know of our plans and we tricked her. As we shoved her through the gate into the buck’s pen, he stood back in the shade and threw small raspberry kisses her way to give her a welcome and seeing no more girls heading through his gate, he decided a nap was in order.
As for all the wind I think is blowing on our place, the last mighty blast was called Hope Lane and Lee. Glad I survived it.