Saturday, October 12, 2013

Well, three of the big Kiko sales of the season have come and gone in the past few weeks.  The Appalachian Kiko sale and the Chatham, Virginia sale were the same weekend, so Chuck went to the sale in Virginia.  It was so much closer it allowed him to get back home in short order, which was important, because it was on Annalee's birthday.  We had asked her if she wanted to go to the goat sale and eat breakfast out, or if she wanted to play soccer, and she went back and forth a few times until she finally decided to stick with her soccer team.  She had a good game, although she wore out before the end of the game.  All the kids were pretty flat by the last few minutes.  I'm trying to teach her to push through being tired, because as we all know, it only gets crazier and busier as we get older.

At her game during the Cream of the Crop sale, which I will write about when I have more time, I intended to get an action shot of her running the ball down the field (I get a guilty vicarious thrill when she runs down and takes the ball from the boys a full head taller than she is), but this was more than I bargained for - I got her running right out of her shoe!  Anyone who has had kids at the soccer field knows that losing a shoe is a pretty common occurrence, but this is the first time I have captured it for posterity.
Annalee in action (notice the shoes)

While Annalee was playing, Chuck was emailing me pictures of goats from the sale.  This is how a sale works when I'm back on the home front.  The two of us study the catalog and see what bloodlines look like a good fit.  I have currently been seeking close relatives of some of our best does.  We have a few does that are the total package - they are great mothers, have great deep bodies, good udders, and rarely need deworming even in our challenging situation.  Since losing goats in that storm this summer, I have been scared into trying to have the best of the best on our farm heavily represented.  I don't want to lose an entire lineage in one doe.

doeling - Generator/Onyx bloodlines
mature doe - Nick/Lightin'/GUL/Chantelle
It is not easy to find daughters and granddaughters of some of the great does of the breed.  Bucks have lots of offspring, but does, even when flushed, only have a handful at most each year.  After I have researched the bloodlines, Chuck takes pictures of the does at the sale that look strong in person, and we match the "good on paper" to the "good in person," and try to come up with a bidding strategy.  Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't.  At Chatham, we got a doeling that is a Generator granddaughter on the top side, and a Tay Onyx great granddaughter on the bottom side.  We also got a large doe who is related to the late, great doe, "Fifty," who we lost in the hay bale collapse this summer.  This one is more of a gamble.  We've been burnt before buying "used" does.  Some, when you get them, are pretty well used up.  Others have become extremely productive members of our herd, like old Marshmallow.  I hope this doe has some productivity left in her because she has a great body type and strong old bloodlines (Nick, Lightin', Goats Unlimited, and Five C Chantelle). 

"Mudbug" earlier this summer, sporting a tick on one ear.
A more recent picture of Mudbug.  Ace doelings are generally chunky.
After the sale, Chuck got a call from a friend of ours who bought a buckling from us a few years ago and who has been carefully selecting does to build his own herd.  We've seen him at sales, and he has gone home with some does we wish we could have taken home with us!  If any of you have been reading my blog for a while, you may remember little Longstem.  Chuck found his brother dead and Longstem nearly dead in a freezing puddle after Louisianna's first kidding.  He warmed him on the dashboard and got him some colostrum, and we were able to reunite the two the next day.  Louisianna cleaned him as if he were brand new, and took over from there.  We don't know what happened that night, but Longstem was always a tough little nut, and when we sold him, Annalee was angry at us for days.  Well, at the Tennessee sale, a Longstem buckling brought a premium price for Josh.  We were thrilled, as all his hard work is paying off for him.
Over the years, we've seen that Boomer always outproduces himself, and Louisianna also has really strong kids.  The combination worked the next year and this year, Louisianna had two good Ace kids for us.  We are keeping her doeling, and she will become "GNX Ace's Mudbug."  She's a little goofy, but so is Louisianna, and she's turning into a solid little doe.  
Virginia's doe, "Thomas" - by Boomer and out of Marshmallow
After Chuck got home, we were able to get the important items of the day done.  Annalee wanted to go to Build-A-Bear, so she was able to craft the perfect Rainbow Dash for her birthday.  She liked the goats okay, but it was Virginia who declared that the little one was, "So cute!" and would be hers.  She had already named Marshmallow's yearling doe "Thomas" (yes, so we have a doe named Thomas), so now Virginia has two goats she can claim as her own.
And the most important work of the day...

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