Edge of the Ring: Ushering in the summer
We have officially made it through spring, and are now into the summer, which for me means show season, as well as more dairy kids. Our next kids will arrive at the end of June, with my Nigerian Dwarf doe Mattie. I am hoping for blue-eyed doelings, but you never know what you will get until they are on the ground.
We also have several shows coming up, with the next one being the Tri County Goat Show in Longmont at the Boulder County Fairgrounds at the end of June. We will be taking several doelings and one milker, so it should be an exciting show.
The month of May has not been uneventful, however. May is the time of year that I sell my show wethers, and this year a special family purchased two wethers from me.
Kassie, who is 9 years old, decided that she wanted to get some goats this year. Unsure of what she wanted, we spent time discussing the difference between dairy and Boer goats, and how they are raised.
Initially thinking she wanted dairy goats, she finally decided on market wethers, so she could see if she liked goats, and what it takes to raise goats before she was committed to buying breeding goats.
Her mother took her down to the local extension office, and got her enrolled in a local 4-H program, and in the goat project. Then they traveled from Montrose, and picked out their very first goats.
Shy at first, Kassie quickly warmed up to the goats, as did her little brother, Tanner, who is still too young to show. She picked out the two that she wanted, and was excited to come get them the next morning to take home.
After they left, I washed the two wethers, trimmed their feet and wormed them so they were ready to go the next morning. They arrived the next morning, and even though she tried, Kassie couldn’t quite keep the smile off her face.
She had already named them Billy, after a stuffed animal goat she had as a child, and Timber. They loaded the goats up, and off they went.
Working with first time 4-H members and showmen is one of my favorite parts of raising show livestock. They are eager to learn, excited and determined. This is where they begin to develop their passion for showing animals, and I love seeing that process.
Even though I developed this passion much older than Kassie will, the values that showing livestock have taught me continue to stick with me. My livestock are one of the most important things in my life, and even when I have a bad day, they are eagerly waiting my arrival.
This couldn’t be more evident too me than it is through a baby that I had born this last month, who I call Baby Girl. She was an accident of sorts. One of my young Nigerian Dwarf bucks got out into my yearling Boer pen, and I thought he was too young to breed. Even though that wasn’t the case, I am grateful for her arrival. She is truly a happy goat, and spends her time racing around the pen, jumping on the other goats, lounging in the sun and enjoying a good meal.
From the moment she was born, she was determined. Born outside with the other does, it took her no time to be up and moving, and demanding my attention.
I admire her for several reasons, but the main one is because she reminds me to be happy, even when I have a bad day. She doesn’t seem to have one, and doesn’t let anything damper her mood.
It’s a good reminder to all of us, to be thankful for what we are given even if it wasn’t planned, and to be truly happy and enjoy life. ❖
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