I thought we might go a full year without getting any new animals but nope! I was wrong!
Mark and I have been researching where we could take Snap, Crackle, and Pop this fall to get pregnant but the choices have been very limited. Not many people own a buck (a male goat) because they require more work, separate housing area, and strong fencing. We wanted our girls to mate with a buck with good temperament as well as pure Nubian so we were really being picky.
We run into the woman that sold us Snap, Crackle, and Pop every now and then and the last time we saw her we explained to her our situation. She said that she would keep any eye out and let us know if anything becomes available. It has been a few weeks since we spoke to her so we thought that she might have forgotten about us.
Turns out… not so much. Mark called me on Monday and explained that our contact had found us a buck! He explained that he had a $50.00 stud fee per doe! That was a little pricy for me but again; it wasn’t like we were having bucks banging on our door to get with our girls. Our contact then threw us for a loop and stated, “or you can just buy him for $200.00.”
Economically, it makes more sense to just buy him but I didn’t really want a buck right now. Mark and I had discussed that we would eventually get one but I was thinking a few more years down the road when we had more does. I started frantically researching everything I could about bucks and I have got to tell you, not many people are big fan of bucks! I expressed my concerns with Mark and he chatted with our contact. She explained that he was incredibly sweet; he’s a three-year-old Nubian that has turned out great kids. She also threw us for a loop and told us that we needed to make a decision quick because he could be going to auction.
Well, this is just Mark and I’s style; getting into something we know very little about. We are blessed that we have the separate housing areas and we do have strong electrical fencing. We thought it over and once again decided, LETS DO IT!
Our buck arrived at our ranch on Wednesday, August 23rd scared and confused as to what was going on. I looked at Mark and said, “he’s so ugly, he’s handsome” so we decided “Guapo” (Spanish for handsome) was the perfect name for him. He is big, and I mean big! Pictures do not do him justice but he is definitely a gentle giant. We got his living area set up for him and led him out. He walks perfectly on a lead (way better than my girls), and he is quiet! He does have that “buck” smell but I wouldn’t call it a bad smell, he just smells. I did learn that the smell only lasts while he is in Rut (that is goat talk for a surge of hormones and ready to breed), so after Rut, it is bath time big boy!
The first day went as expected, he stayed in his shelter most of the day and he would come out to look at the rest of the herd. They are able to see each other but they cannot get to each other.
By the second day I was getting concerned because he really wasn’t eating and I was concerned he wasn’t drinking enough water. He is thinner than I expected because Bucks can gain weight really easily so I wanted to fatten him up a bit before we let the girls in with him (it takes a lot of calories to do what he’s about to do). Mark and I decided that it was best to put Cowboy and Batman with him (they are castrated). I was going to wait for about a week before doing that but I thought he was maybe lonely and needed some herd mates right away.
Immediately, Guapo started chasing Cowboy and Batman trying to figure out if they were his mates. They obviously weren’t, so they were freaked out and couldn’t figure out what this guy was doing. After quite a bit of laughing and taking videos, they all finally started settling down and Cowboy and Batman were super excited about all the sweet feed that was in Guapo’s pen. Once Guapo saw Cowboy and Batman eating, he started eating with them and I knew right away that it was the right thing to put them together.
It has been a few days and everyone is still getting to know each other. Guapo will still chase Cowboy and Batman but then they will all lay together so they are just getting acquainted. We are going to let Guapo get comfortable and gain a little more weight before we switch Batman and Cowboy with Snap, Crackle, and Pop but we are really excited for this next adventure and can’t wait to have kids come spring!