Last night, our new buck arrived from Redwood Hill. Sugarcane is all white, and eighteen months old. That is prime breeding age, perfect for our premium group of 30 young goats. This group are the offspring of Elvis and Mick, our other males. The ladies were avoiding Sugarcane earlier this morning, because he's new, and frankly quite pungent, but tolerating him by lunchtime.
Romance, or just a ripe smell
Redwood Hill have the best breeding goats in the country, with detailed records of their lineage and the quality of the female relatives' milk. That is, we know all about Sugarcane's mother, and grandmother, and sisters, and can predict the volume and butterfat content of his daughters' milk. We tattoo their ears to identify them as Sugarcane babies, so that they will eventually breed with Elvis or Mick, who are also from Redwood Hill.
These males have grown up in a herd of bucks, making them tame and friendly but very happy to meet the girls! The breeders keep a chart of their breeding females coming into heat, and introduce one buck to each goat according to the ideal genetic outcome. We will aim to do the same in the future.
Bucks are most enthusiastic until about five years old, when they become less energetic. Older males are perfect for 4H breeding, or smaller herds.
See Sugarcane's babies in April!
We began breeding this year on 15th September. Gestation is 150 days, so we expect Valentine's Day babies! Just over half of Sugarcane's goats will mate with him this week, so their babies will arrive in April and May.
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I am especially proud to be President of Pescadero High School Viking Boosters this year. The farm dominates the committee: Sharina is Secretary and Kim Hussey, who leads farm tours, is Vice-President. The Boosters funds the high school sports teams
Ryan, with high school student help, renovated and painted the Snack Shack. The students, though, must own it. Everybody will sign up for a maintenance task around school; everybody will bring a donation of $10 three times a year
It is a year last week that Foxi arrived at the farm. Foxi died suddenly, but peacefully, in the summer, and is buried underneath a lilac in the garden. We miss her ridiculous panting and happiness so much.
The black dogs on our farm are always elderly, rescued dogs. They nap in the shrubbery and don't chase the chickens. We miss them bitterly when they die. But this is an idyllic home for dogs, and our new black dogs are here. They are 10 years old, and have no names.
I met their owner at Crissy Field in the early summer. She loved them but had lost her home, and called Rocket Dog Rescue.
The Dogs with No Name patrol the fenceline of the garden, but like their distance. She will wag her tail for you, but he is shy and may not come out from underneath the roses.
Foxi's rescuer visits to walk the new black dogs a little way up the road, before they get tired and need to return for their naps in the shrubbery.