What a DAY!!! This was the first year that I had to move all the animals without the aid of my sons or anyone else. All weekend I worked it out in my head and worked it out on paper to make sure this plan was going to work and I was not going to get hurt. The biggest issue was moving the two and three year old male goats to the farthest pasture away from the goat girls. Yes, it is breeding season here and every goat is in full hormonal rage. That makes these big guys very unpredictable and on the dangerous side if you do not know what you are doing. This is also why billied get a bad rap because those who do not know what they are doing try to just bully them into do what the two legged owner wants. Now over the years my sons would try to bully them - you know raging teenager male hormones and raging billy hormons - not a great combination. There would be cuts, black and blue marks and a ton of four letter words being shouted out in the pastures. No matter how many times I would tell them not to do that - they would and the battle would begin. This year I had to do it without all the drama and no injuries to me or my animals. So pen and paper and using my little gray cells - heck I am smarter then a Goat.
There are six pastures and eight gates to get them thru. Not only that, all the feed and water gear has to go with them because they do not like to share. You know we all have our favorite coffee cup.. Everything was going perfectly until the goat girls saw their Prince Charmings where leaving. The girls ran from their hilltop pastures to the fenceline where the Billies had been living. Then they started sticking their butts thru the fence and screaming - calling the boys back. Well, how am I to compete with that? I mean my goat boys love me but not in that way. So I had to trick the girls into their big barn and shut all the doors. They are not stupid just horney, they understood what I was up too. Back to the boys, with those butts in the barn I had their full attention and like wonderful gentlemen they walked right thru all the gates, pasted up their great pastures and made it to their new digs. My bottle boys who are now well over 200 pounds and sport a three foot horn span are the top guys in that herd group - they came to the gate, gave me a kiss on the face and wanted their necks scratched. Now, trust me that is not how most billies act and I sure would not tell folks to expect that out of their guys. So much for that part of the operation, now comes the boys who where born this year. That is like taking a bunch of ADHD preschool kids to the park and keeping track of everyone as they run wild. But never fear my plan was on paper and I was going to get this done TODAY! The only hiccup I had was trying to get the three youngest boys who where not weaned yet to do what was being asked of them. They did not want to leave their mothers and after going round and around for close to an hour in that three acre pasture with them I finally got them to listen and walk. Once we left that pasture they walked in single file into their new barn and pasture - that was six gates and five pastures over - not bad for a bunch of preschoolers.
Once all the gates where closed, tied so no one would try to wiggle thru and everyone had their water and a treat I went in the house for a well deserved shower and nap. I am going to put this written plan in my notebook for next year - I was so amazed it really worked. As the sun was going down then the boys had to decide on the sleeping order. The quite of the evening breeze was interrupted by the sounds of horns banging, grunts and calls from every corner of the farm. After about 30 minutes of this pillow fighting the farm was quite again and visions of Square Dancing danced in their heads.
The Dance is over for this breeding season but until all the girls are bred their calls of desire, head butting and horn fighting will continue but at least at a distance. That saves wear and tear on the fence lines, gates and each other. I guess this is why so many folks never wish to have a billy on their property. I have 19 intact breeding males - that sure is a bunch of hormones but each and every guy here has a bit of my heart so I forgive their seasonal misbehaving because without them I would not be blessed with such wonderful babies and such fantastic fiber.
If your dance card is needing a partner let me know I just might have the right Prince Charming for your farm.