Being raised a very modest person, I find selling bucks to be terribly difficult at times. How do you be ladylike and sell bucks? Anyone who has been around bucks or owned bucks know what I mean. Bucks can be gross and perverted 95% of the time. This can start at the age of two months and steadily get worse as they get older.
Unfortunately, you want them like this because the whole purpose of a buck is for breeding. If he’s not focused continuously on breeding, what good is he? You need the kids to sell and he needs to be doing his job. And, since he is usually given anywhere from one doe to 20 or more at a time and expected to get the job done quickly, he does his best to live up to these expectations.
And, if it’s not breeding season, he sort of keeps himself primed to be ready to step up and do the work he was meant to do. Getting use to that priming and explaining it to new goat owners can be quite a problem for a person as modest as myself. This can also be a real shock to the new buck owner who has brought his children to help pick out their first buck.
I think shocked into speechlessness is a good description of when a new goat owner finally meets a real life buck. I think the smell of the buck might be the first thing that overwhelms them. Trust me, the smell of a Boer buck is nothing compared to the smell of a dairy breed buck. I don’t know why, but we’ve had Nubian bucks that one whiff of them, it just about took the top of your head off. It was bad.
The reason for this buck odor, at least as told by old goat owners, is that the odor turns the does on. That they know with that odor that a real buck is around. I have my doubts about this explanation. I think if the girls just watch the buck two seconds, they’d realize that this was no doe now in their midst.
After the soon to be new buck owners have learned to breathe through their mouths while looking at future bucks, the next thing they have to learn to deal with is the actions of the buck himself. In order to smell as odorous as he does, he feels the need to urinate all over himself and sometimes anyone in passing. And, if he is with a bunch of other bucks, they all feel the need to do this to themselves and to all the other bucks as well. When they all feel the need at one time to hose every other buck down, well, it’s a sight to behold, especially for a new buck owner and his family.
Years ago we had some people drive by and see our big buck, Texas Joe, standing in his pen quietly dozing. They stopped and asked if they could take a picture of that magnificent buck. I said okay but I wouldn’t take them in his pen, they’d have to take a picture on the outside looking in. Okie dokie they said.
We went down to his pen and the buck did look quite handsome and they all were busy bragging on him and getting their very fancy cameras ready, when Texas Joe decided to show off. He turned his head to his side, took direct aim, and hosed his face down.
The photographers froze in mid shot, quickly turned without saying a word about what just happened, and said, “Oh, look at those pretty nannies. Let’s take pictures of them.”
Over the years I’ve had to answer the same old question when people see a group of bucks out in the field, or even one buck by himself. “Why are they so yellow?” Well, I’m afraid I have simplified my explanation quite a bit, leaving out my blushing and their blushing, “They urinate on themselves and each other frequently.” There. Said it. Got it over with. Onto the next embarrassing question.
“Good grief, are they trying to breed each other? They’re boys!” They are also bucks and bucks will try to breed about anything, even their livestock guard dogs. These dogs have to be fast on their feet, including any bucks kept together. The bucks are all trying to continuously jump each other and then fighting to defend their honor. Those that get jumped more than the others, you have to move out of the group because they get wore down to nothing defending themselves. Such is the life of buck breeders, caring for their bucks. Oddly enough, none of the many bucks we’ve had have ever tried to jump me or Lee. We are given the honor of them rubbing their wet stinky heads on us, or trying to push us out of the pen.
It is much easier on a modest ladylike buck seller, such as myself, to sell to people who have owned and bred goats for years. We all know what the buck is capable of and just go about getting him loaded and remember that we are almost face level when he is loaded in a pick-up truck and be ready to dodge any jet streams that go shooting past us.
When I first started selling bucks, I had a set of grandparents drop by to pick out a buck. They had owned goats much longer than I had and as we walked through a group of five month old bucks, this one kid just barely missed hitting them with a stream of urine. He’d been aiming for his face and had missed. It seemed every few minutes that kid was hosing something down. I stood there mortified and they laughed and said they wanted that fellow. He was a problem to load because he just thought everything was exciting and needed a hosing.
They called a couple of months later, still laughing at this young buck. Said when they did put him out with their herd, he bred everything and then traveled on to the next farm and bred their goats, and was still traveling on down the valley to the next farm’s goats when they caught up with him. The neighbors said they needed their goats bred anyway and appreciated the traveling service. He was now safely in a fence he couldn’t escape and he was still an excitable fellow. They were pleased as punch with him.
In conclusion, be as ladylike as you like, just remember selling bucks is not for the faint of heart. For that matter, buying them isn’t either.