Monday, November 15, 2010

The big bucks

Last night, about 1 a.m., I heard a goat crying. It wasn't a hurt cry, it was an upset, or maybe in heat cry. So I listened for a while, but it only got more strident. So I got up to check it out.

Footloose, the kid dairy goat buck was not having any luck sharing his pen with Dapper Dan the Jacob ram. One of Dan's girls was in heat and Dan was very frustrated. He was chasing Footsie back and forth across the pen. Footsie was complaining loudly. Moonshine, the Great Pyr guard dog, started to worry that his goat was upset and no human had come to fix it, so he began barking. My sleep addled brain decided that they would soon wake up the whole neighborhood and so I needed to do something.

I put on my white fluffy bathrobe and the nearest shoes I could find. I settled Moon and went over to coax Footsie past the ram and out of the pen, without getting smashed myself. Footsie was so happy to be saved, he rubbed his head all over the front of my robe and up and down my leg while I shut the gate.

If you've never met a dairy goat buck in rut, you have missed one of the truly unique odors in the world. It is a strong musk that most humans do not find pleasant. It comes from their urine, which they coat themselves with when they are in rut and from the scent glands behind their horns. My robe is now in the washing machine with some heavy duty soap. I wonder if that odor out spray works on musk?

I led the loving and happy buck over to the milk goat paddock. All the does are happily bred, so he hasn't seen the girls in a while. Normally, I would not let the buck near the milkers as his musk can taint the milk, but I couldn't figure out any other place to put him at 1 a.m. He was so excited to see the girls. Suddenly I felt something warm on my legs and across my feet. Bucks like to mark things they like and they like to show off their aim when they are happy. I stood there at the gate and thought, with some degree of sarcasm and sleep-slowed wit, "this is why I get the big bucks."

Then I got back into the house and discovered I had put on my favorite black leather work shoes in the dark. They are now washed and hanging on my spinning wheel to dry. If the odor remover works, I'll let you know.


jean lucas said...

interesting life you leade. A bit insane sometimes, but interesting

wanderson330 said...

Jen, I tried not to comment, but couldn't resist this. My brother discovered what a pleasant odor male dairy goats have when he visited our farm. Promptly proceeded to pet "Clyde" on the head, and coo to him, and I don't think he got "Christened", but he evidently got very intimate with Clyde (our female was Bonnie, BTW), and he said that his co-workers in the Fed Building in Denver wouldn't let him out of the bathroom for 2 weeks. :-)