Dry Run

You’d’ve thought we bought tickets for a Broadway show the way we took our seats on the railroad tie outside the pen where the balding Nubian was supposed to breed Lucy.  We might as well have had a tub of popcorn while watching the show…or what was supposed to be the show.

We had read in “Goat Song” that when a Doe is in heat, get her to the Buck right away and there will be lots of peeing on each other, the Buck peeing on himself, and LOTS of mating.  I swore Canela was in heat and the Animal Whisperer swore Lucy was in heat, and we brought along Gaby for the ride, just in case she got lucky.

Well, we shouldn’t swear. 

First we put Lucy in with the aforementioned Big Nasty Looking Balding Buck With A Mean Underbite.  They both got a little excited at first.  She peed and pooped right away, acknowledging his presence.  He drenched his nose and mouth in her stream of pee.  Romantic.  She rubbed her head all over his neck, he made quick moves with his flapping tongue at her rear end.  We were sure there was gonna be some action.  We waited.  And waited.  And waited.  It was like a blind date gone wrong.  All the excitement builds up and you get a dud.  The Nasty Buck offered no action and Lucy obliged.

Next up, Canela.  She gets her chance with Big Nasty.  She’s a Nubian too, and we reason that we want to keep the line pure, and not mix her with the Alpine Buck in residence.  She actually shows a little more interested in Big Nasty but when she pees on his face, he loses all interest.  She keeps hitting on him, but nothing.

We give up on the two of them, and move on to Gaby.  Someone’s got to get knocked up!  Gaby is a nine month old Alpine, so we put her in with the Alpine Buck, another handsome fellow.  He chases her all over the pen, looking for some lovin’, but she’s too scared.  He doesn’t even get the pee-in-the-face treatment from her. 

Now, with one strand of hope left that it won’t be a wasted trip to the Bucks, we put Canela (who of the 3, appears to be the horniest), in with all 3 of the Bucks.  We forgot all restrictions we had put on “keeping the line pure.”  We were at the point that we JUST WANTED SOME BABIES!  Nothing.  Canela was ready, she even did the requisite pee-on-the-face-move (see picture above), but the boys just couldn’t perform.  The Animal Whisperer mumbled:  “Que Verguenza.”

There is something called Mating Frustration.  It happens when you drive your Does 40 minutes to the Bucks, think it will happen lickety split, and it doesn’t.  At all.  That’s when Mating Frustration strikes.  It does not strike the goats, however.  It strikes me and my husband.  And we aren’t even the ones mating. 

Load ’em up.  Take ’em home.

The only useful thing we brought back from this experience were my clothes.  Drenched in the pee and semen scent that is the Bucks’ perfume.  Why, you might ask, is this a trophy?

Well, also in “Goat Song,” we read about a Buck Cloth.  A cloth rubbed all over the stinky Bucks to capture their smell so that when you think your Does are in heat, you can let them smell it to see if they get turned on.  If so, race them to the actual Buck.

So, I’ll hold my rank clothes in front of them each time I milk, to see if I can elicit any signs of attraction.  I was the only one who got close enough to any of the Bucks to smell like them.  The girls missed a golden opportunity.  But, the boys?…useless.

– The Goat Cheese Lady, clothed in Buck Cloth

P.S.  Did I forget to mention that I actually had to wrestle this cow to get it out of the breeding pen?  Well, yes, thank you very much, I did.  Can’t say I’ve ever wrestled a cow before.  I had visions of the cattle roping I saw as a girl at the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo when it was still at the Penrose Equestrian Center.  I made like a cowboy and wrastled that cow.  My boys were proud of their mother.  Their mother was proud of their mother.  I’m sure, deep down inside, the Animal Whisperer was proud of their mother too.

About The Goat Cheese Lady

I am Lindsey. At first I was a city girl. Growing up, the closest thing I had to farm animals were a cat and a cockatiel. In 2009, Herbert (my husband) and I bought our first milk goat and I instantly became an urban farmgirl, attempting to balance city and farm life..before I knew “urban homesteading” was a thing. That’s when we began The Goat Cheese Lady Farm, hence The Goat Cheese Lady blog you’re visiting now. After moving to the country in 2014, I embarked on life as a rural farmgirl. We continued teaching farm and cheesemaking classes, raising more goats and began construction on our cheese creamery. But life had other plans and in 2017, we decided that, due to financial and health issues, we had to close the farm for business. No more classes, no more creamery, a lot less milking. We went back to off farm jobs, I as an Occupational Therapist, Herbert in construction with his business, D&A Home Remodeling. At that point, I made a silent promise to myself that I would corral my entrepreneurial mind and focus on a job for a year. Well, it has been a year and I am back. Not to classes, cheese, soap or lotion, but back to writing. I love it. I’m not sure where it will lead me, but that’s where I’m starting. I’ll continue to write as The Goat Cheese Lady for now, and whatever the future holds, I’ll let you know. Our two boys are 14 and 11 and continue to be louder than my sister and I ever were. We have two dogs, Montaña and Flash, a cat, Jumpy, a flock of chickens and three goats. Yes, we still have Lucy, the goat who helped us start it all and was milked by over 1,000 people. She’s retired but still the boss. Chocolate provides enough milk for our family with some to spare for the dogs. Soccer friends, school friends, coyotes and mice are frequent visitors. There are way too many flies and every so often we see an owl. I’m glad you’re here. Sometimes you’ll laugh out loud, other times you’ll be inspired to appreciate the small things. My hope is that, over your morning cup of coffee or your afternoon work break, you’ll enjoy the antics and inspiration that are my daily life. Lindsey
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4 Responses to Dry Run

  1. Lauren Carroll says:

    I have to tell you that I bought and read Goat Song and am even more excited for my goatherding adventures! It sounds like your breeding experience was not as fun as theirs! Maybe next time!

  2. Melina says:

    Ah yes, mating frustration, I remember it well. It can lead to buying your own buck, just to have him around. Resist! Life is never the same with a buck around, and he sure puts on a show that you don’t want the visiting Ladies Bible Study group to witness. I do second the recommendation on the buck rag, it saves long rides and even more mating frustration!

  3. Dan Stover says:

    Hi Lindsey,

    Great story! Just wanted to let you know that our Nubian gave birth to two kids yesterday! What a wonderful experience that was! So, anyway, we’re going to be able to put the milking skills that you taught us to the test very soon! I haven’t been able to stop drooling over the cheese that we made at your class. We bought some store goat cheese a few times to try to recapture the goodness, but I guess nothing comes close to fresh goat cheese like the stuff we made with you.

    Cheers!

    Dan and Savannah

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