"Is this the person to whom I am speaking to?" I keep waiting to get a phone call like
that. It shouldnít be long now. All the years we have been raising goats, I have
received calls that I honestly didnít know how to answer. Iím still trying to figure out
how to answer them.
"Are you the one selling goats?" I answer in the affirmative and wait. Usually we
arenít selling one goat, but weíve advertised a boatload of different sizes, ages, does,
wethers, bucks, percentages, etc. I politely wait to see which one they are interested
in. And, I wait. And, I wait. And, they wait. And, they wait. Iím not sure what they
are waiting on. Itís their turn to say something, so I wait some more.
Do you think they think I have a sales pitch for every goat on the place? Punch the
button on their phone accordingly to hear more on the one they want? I havenít
figured it out. Iím a terrible phone person. So, usually I canít take the pressure and
ask, "Which goat are you interested in?"
That usually gets the ball rolling and I find out what they need or think they need. "I
want a billy for my two year old son to play with. Something all ready full grown and
can eat a few weeds while playing with my son." I refuse to sell them a full grown
buck for their baby boy to play with and try to explain why. A buck is a pervert and
can entertain himself for long periods of time without a doe present and you will have
to explain to your son what your full grown buck is doing. That usually changes their
minds fast on buying a full grown buck for their baby son. If not, I explain that bucks
also stink. They have an aroma that turns the does on, but leaves much to be desired
for the rest of us. And, this aroma tends to rub off on whoever handles them. If that
doesnít impress them, I explain a buck can get aggressive and decide he doesnít want
you or your son in his territory.
So, if they donít mind their baby son asking why the buck is busy turning his front
legs and face all yellow, or their son and the buck smelling exactly the same and unfit
for human company, or if they donít mind watching their baby boy being butted over
the hill, then possibly a full grown buck is for them. But, Iím not selling them one.
Usually though, in the middle of my trying to answer their questions on why they
donít want a full grown buck for their baby son to play with in their backyard, they
call me crude and hang up. Ah, well.
Many times I received calls from people just needing advice on raising their goats.
Some are open about it and say they already bought their goats and wonder what to
do about such and such. I figure itís their dime (quarter, whatever, because the calls
are usually long distance) and I happily talk to them and tell them what I do. Others
try to be sneaky, pretending they are interested in buying a goat or goats, just so they
can get some free advice. I ignore the sneaky part and happily answer their questions
because I like to talk about goats.
I had one year that I call the "Quality" year. Several people called to ask me if I had
"quality" goats for sale. Someone must have advised them to say this for so many to
call and ask the same thing. I was stumped how to answer their question if I had
Basically, I had a hard time controlling my smart alec tongue. I had a strong desire to
tell these sometimes sincere and sometimes obnoxious people, that no, I had been
raising and breeding goats for years to get the most inferior goat I could raise. That my
farm sign read, "Inferior goats for sale. The most inferior goats anyone has ever seen
is raised right here." Or, better yet, the sign read, "Home of the Inferior Master goat."
Mainly, I held my tongue, which is difficult to do and talk too, and asked them what
exactly they were looking for: a quality show goat, quality pet, quality brush goat,
quality commercial goat? That usually got them talking about their dreams and
aspirations of what their quality goat was and we got it worked out.
"Youíre the one with them Boers for sale?" a grumpy voice asked over the phone.
"Yes, I am," I said cheerfully. "Well, youíre too far away!" he almost shouted. "Oh?
Where are you located?" I asked politely. He mentioned a place an hourís drive away.
Iíve had people come to visit that were a half-dayís drive away just to see a Boer and
if it was something they wanted to raise.
"Oh, my, yes. Thatís much too far." I agreed happily. "What Iíd do if I were you is
check around in your area and see what Boers are available. That way you wonít
have to drive so far. Wait a minute, I know someone in that area raising Boers. Hereís
their number." I secretly hoped they would forgive me later for sending this fellow to
them. If not, they could always return the favor.
His parting shot was, "And, youíre asking too much. You can get a good goat at the
sale for $25." "No doubt," I answered cheerfully. "Maybe you can find a good Boer
there." All I heard was grumbling as he hung up.
"Hello," I answered. "Hello," was the response. So far, so good. We were on speaking
terms. "Are you the one with the Boer goats for sale?" he asked. "Yes, I am," I said
"I need a billy. Iíve been raising Nubians for a hundred years and I have three girls I
want to breed a Boer to," he said. "Youíll like the results," I said cheerfully.
"Yeah," he answers a tad sarcastically, "but you are asking too much for your high
percentage correct color bucks. I just have only three girls to breed. Will you drop
your price? It is way too high," he reminds me.
He just stepped on my "irked" button. My "irked" button is someone who doesnít
even bother to come see the item for sale before asking for a mark down. Most people
come look at our goats and donít bother to dicker, just hand the money over. The
goats are clean and healthy and beat anything going through the sale and they arenít
overpriced. They also know Iíll help them in any way possible with their goats after
"Oh, I know," I agreed. "You can probably find them cheaper in your area." I
"Well, I have to go to Timbuktu on Wednesday and your town is on the same road.
How far are you from the interstate?" he grumbles. "About 15 minutes," I answer.
"Too far, and I only have three girls to breed," hinting heavily that I need to mark
down the bucks. "How big are these billys? Born in Jan. it says here, so they must be
"At least one hundred pounds, but they have lost weight because they are chasing the
fence now, hollering to the girls. They think itís breeding season," I say. Thereís
silence on the other end. "They are 6 months old and one hundred pounds?" he
"I know, theyíve lost weight from running the fence. It canít be helped with them right
up against the pasture the girls are in," I try to explain.
He clears his throat, "Well, 15 minutes is much too far to drive extra, unlessÖ" he
waits for me to add something about the price.
"Much to far," I agree wholeheartedly. "Iím sure if you check around in your area you
can find something cheaper."
Most the time telephone conversations about goats are enjoyable. Someone calls up
politely asking for help and I spill my whole goat guts to them. No secret left untold.
Iím a sucker for politeness. Iíll run off info, mail them things, and talk to them several
times to help, if I can. What goat person doesnít love to talk about goats?
The computer age has brought a whole new way to talking about goats, emails, loads
of emails. People politely asking a goat question or two. I try to help, sending my
favorite websites of goat learning. A few times I have received short, sharp sounding
emails with requests such as, "I am starting a commercial enterprise and need all the
information you have ever learned in the past, present, and future on raising
commercial goats. It needs to be written in a clear concise way, no ramblings, with
page numbers, index, and table of content for easy looking up of any info I need. It
needs to be sent by first thing in the morning because I am planning on starting to
fence my land. Do not forget the chapter on fencing. I plan to have the fencing done
on my one acre by evening for the 600 goats I will be purchasing."
I feel a tremor come over my finger. What?! A muscle spasm in my finger has
inadvertently caused me to delete the message! Iíve lost the personís email address!
How will I ever answer and help this poor novice?! We all must bear some heartbreak
in life and Iíll just have to adapt over this one. Besides, I hear the phone ringing.