viernes, 30 de octubre de 2009

Goat Love

The goats are such a big part of my life now, I think it is only appropriate they make occasional appearances here. and lucky you, you don't have to hear their incessant bleeeating while you admire their floppity ears and soulful eyes.
The girls will be receiving even more attention in the coming months as I prepare to breed them; now is the time for RESEARCH, as this will be my first time in charge of such a veterinary venture. I joined an online goat list serve where I am learning the nitty gritty on goat estrus cycles, breeding, kidding, and an assortment of medical advice from how to care for geriatric does to procedures for identifying and removing hoof parasites.

Currently we believe that Ezmeralda is 9 months old,
and Lupita Maria is about 7 months.
Appropriate breeding size/age is a matter of discrepancy amongst goat enthusiasts, but I have deduced the most important factor to be weight of at least 80 lbs. How will I weigh my goats? great question. We have no scale for humans, much less the clunky cloven-hoofed ones. Welcome to Nicaragua....

As for basic care, pre-expecting momma goats require the same as any mammal. With earnest, I strive to keep the girls in top shape by:

Providing an abundance of high quality forage
Goats are ruminants, meaning they have four stomachs! Digestion is a complicated process by which plant material is chewed, swallowed, regurgitated, chewed again, and finally rendered useful in the fourth stomach. Other ruminants include sheep, cows, deer, and the like.
Anyway,,,,,in addition to weeds and shrubs and the occasional bark of my lemon trees, the goats enjoy fruits such as mango, guava, and apparently banana flowers:
she ate the whole thing!

Our goats also receive a serving of fortified grain in the evening, as well as a vitamin/salt supplement.

and secondly,
Allowing them ample exercise
Goats are surprisingly fast. They LOVE running and jumping! Each morning when I open the gate of the Cabra Cabaña, the girls bound out at lightening speed, delighting in their freedom of space.
Ez, Lupita, and I have established a Goat Walk as a morning ritual, me enjoying a brisk walk around the farm and the goats alternating sprints with furious chomping of roadside weeds. it's a win-win situation.
These days, with the constant tropical rains, it is frustrating for all of us to be cooped up inside. Unlike sheep with their water-resistant wool, goats become soaked and chilled to the bone in wet conditions. On rainy mornings I don my raincoat & mud boots and scramble out to harvest fresh stalks and branches, which are hand-delivered to the cabaña. (If only we were so lucky!)
Things are only going to get more exciting (and maybe scary & weird), so stay tuned for the upcoming adventures of Ez & Pita!

3 comentarios:

alissa dijo...

ieee!! this was an exciting post. update on ez... pita (CUTE)... and the cabana. stick gate may be gone, but the reincarnate ain't so bad either. i am laughing at the thought of you working hard to impregnate your goats, so wrong but yet so right. enjoy the goaty hormonal adventure.

kegarnay dijo...

i just found your blog, very nice. If you have any questions about goats, I can try to help out- I raised them growing up. Sounds like you are having fun!

Liz dijo...

Thanx Lys!you will always be Ez's #1 fan ;)
Kegarnay, i appreciate your offer. Yes: i am sure to have LOADS of questions! Nice to see another blogger south of the border!