This weekend we headed up towards Lebanon, Tennessee. We were off to Little Seed Farm to see about a goat. James & Eileen Ray (and baby George) raise milking goats, Nubians, Alpines and Saanen's. The milk is used to make delicious, artisanal cheeses, luxury soaps and organic skincare products. I love walking into James & Eileen's house, it smells so good! The soaps they create are so amazing that I almost forgot about.....
Little goat buckling! Oh, my. The babies were impossibly cute. Thoroughly loved and spoiled, they were so friendly and playful we had a difficult time choosing just one.
Why would a grass fed, pasture based farm want a milking buck? While evaluating our Kiko goats we determined that they looked a bit frail next to our stout ewes. By crossing a milking buck with a Kiko doe a heavier offspring will be achieved. The Kiko/milking goat mixes should then produce much more rich and nutritious milk for their kids. We will keep an eye on everyone and see how the pairing goes. I'm curious to see the difference in the kids.
That was the logic behind our goat shopping. Very reasonable, practical. Everything was fine until James led us to the goat pen. Things got serious as Jim and I cited the virtues of our two favorites, Hippo (an Alpine) and Arrow (a Nubian). Hippo, with his Disney movie looks, didn't possess the obvious intellect and sophistication of Arrow. My impartial and factual argument won and little Arrow was ours!
The little guy was locked up securely in his transport cage. As soon as the truck started, Arrow started. Bawling. Bleating. Screaming for help. In response James & Eileen's livestock guardian dog ran quickly after our truck seeking her distressed ward. Jim and I felt pretty bad but assured ourselves that he would simmer down after a bit. He did not. Intermittently, Arrow bawled his heart out the entire 1 1/2 hour ride home. He picked up steam at stoplights and intersections. Almost home, we pulled in for gas at the station. Arrow's horrific crying startled a sympathetic older lady who came over to inspect our truck. "I thought that was a little boy back there" she said, looking me over suspiciously.
Finally Home, Arrow (now dubbed Antonio, per Jim) was gently placed into the bottle lamb pen. He was then mercilessly prodded and sniffed by our forward girls.
By morning Antonio/Arrow was hoarse. Nothing but a squeaking quack could be heard. Poor guy! We spent the next couple of days showering scratches and encouragement on him. Antonio/Arrow is settling in. Hanging out with the ewe lambs, group napping and foraging like a ruminant.
Thanks Little Seed Farm. We really like our new friend. A lot:)