Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Catch up on Chuck's trip down South...

Just wanted to say a bit about Chuck's trip down to Egypt Creek Ranch to pick up Shaw... 

Chuck had been looking forward to getting down there for some times, but as I've said before, sometimes goats get in the way of life and sometimes life gets in the way of goats.  We always relish the opportunity to see how other folks are managing their goats, and what we might learn from them.  One of the things I have enjoyed most about getting in to goats is the willingness of other producers to help.  In my former job, there were some helpful people and also a bunch of guys who acted like any information they passed along was somehow like them giving away their own edge.  They guarded it jealously and basically insisted everyone figure things out themselves.  I never had much use for that.  To me, it is a waste of time.  Why on earth would I want anyone to make the same mistakes I made if I could just teach them what I have learned?  It seems far more productive to me and if there is one thing I hate it is waste.  I hate wasted time, wasted energy, and most especially, wasted brain power. 

A welcome sight as Chuck arrived at his destination.  Looks like the right place!

ECR Rusty
Chuck had a long trip down, but he was excited to arrive at Terry Hankins' place.  We look at silly little things, like what kind of shelters folks use, how they fence their fields, and what kind of forage they have their goats on.  Then, of course, we like to look at the goats themselves.  Chuck enjoyed seeing the does, and we wondered how many he could stuff in the glove box without anyone noticing,  He was reminded again that if a goat is happy, it is no trouble to keep in the fence, but if there's something on the other side of the fence it thinks it needs, there's not much keeping it in.  I should mention here that before buying him, I had contacted Shaw's former owner to ask if he was a fence jumper, and she told me the only time he ever jumped the fence was the day they brought him home.  Note to self, Shaw apparently doesn't love new places! 

Chuck got to see ECR Rusty, Shaw's sire.  The only other goat we have with Rusty in her background is tough little Kitty.  She is a Rusty granddaughter on the bottom side.  Let's hope some of her toughness came from that side!

Does in the field in Mississippi
Chuck got to see the headquarters of The Goat Rancher, which I have mentioned before is a great rag.  When we first got into goats, a local goat keeper who loaned us fence equipment (remember I said goat folks are really helpful?) gave me a huge stack of her back issues of Goat Rancher.  I bet there were five years' worth, and I read 'em all.  I admit to not always reading every article about this Boer show or that, but I read just about everything else.  This is why I know where some of those old Kiko does came from - I read about when so and so may have been the high selling goat at such and such dispersal sale, and whatnot.  There is so much useful information just waiting to be devoured, and there are obviously a lot of good writers who keep goats.  It's almost a bit uncanny. 

I  have come to love reading Frank Pinkerton's writings, and Chuck enjoyed his speaking style in person down at the 2010 AKGA seminar as much as I did.  I mean, how can you not just love a man who uses the phrase, "eat up with the dumb*ss" and it rolls off his tongue just as smoothly and naturally as breathing... I have a feeling if he hung out with me and Chuck for any length of time he'd have that expression about worn out.  Chuck bought his book while he was at the Goat Rancher office, and then he loaded Shaw and headed home.  Of course, we all know how his arrival went once he got back home.  Thankfully, he has settled in and we hope his first escape with us is his only one, as it was for his former owners.
Now those are some horns on a buck at Egypt Creek Ranch

more does at Egypt Creek Ranch
There are several sales coming up, and we are wondering what the prices are going to be like this year.  I think everyone was stunned after the Cream of the Crop sale last fall, and I, for one, hope it was just a fluke.  That may change if I am on the other side of the auctioneer, but we are still trying to amass the best herd does possible, and sky high prices make that considerably more difficult.  There is a lot that has gone in to our herd, a lot of time, and research, and effort, and travel... not to mention a wad of cash.  We may be lying low this year, and just visiting the sales and seminars for the opportunity to visit and learn a few things.  I've been trying to come up with the perfect slogan for the farm stuff like business cards and ads, and still haven't figured it out.  I thought about something like, "if they're tough enough to survive our stupidity, then they'll do great at your place" but that wasn't exactly the message I wanted to send.

We are still trying to produce great does.  That is our focus, and the bucks we produce we hope to be from such strongly maternal lines that someone could take them and use them on a group of does and then, when their daughters come, have themselves a heck of a herd of does.  It is a work in progress, of course, but each kid crop has been better than the last, so we are ever hopeful.

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