Stinky Stallion got a special visitor last week!
The owner of this beautiful Alpine doe had pre-arranged with me to use the services of Stallion for her new Alpine doe at some point in the next few weeks. Well, she called me this morning, surprised to find her doe in raging heat, and to ask what needed to be done. Because she is a good friend, we had previously agreed to a “driveway breeding”, where the doe and buck are both on a leash, and literally have a little “date” in the driveway. This helps protect my herd from any unknowns (though I had already checked out the health history and disease testing of this doe, and had no concerns). We agreed to go ahead with that plan, for the experience if nothing else.
Well, like us, this family has 5 young children, all in car-seats. Remember one of the main reasons we bought our buck was to avoid the hassle of hauling a doe in a minivan, along with 5 children in car seats? Yeah, well, that’s exactly what my friend had to do today. She is also a homeschool mom, so we agreed to aim for mid-afternoon. She loaded up a very large and stubborn doe into the back of her minivan, loaded up all her children, and headed to our place. Upon arrival, she took her doe out to get her used to the driveway area. In the mean time, she and I had a quick discussion about the fact that neither of our children had any clue about how breeding worked, and how that could very well cause a few questions during this process. We finally agreed it was now or never! After the doe seemed calm enough, I went and leashed up Stallion for their big meeting.
With 7 children watching (my 3 littles were napping), we introduced the 2 goats. Stallion was more than happy to oblige. Much to his disappointment, the doe wasn’t quite so agreeable. There was also no sign that she was still in standing heat. After courting her for about 15 solid minutes, we wanted to make sure it wasn’t any factor such as leashes crushing her mood, so we put them in my brooder pen just around the corner, removed the leashes, and gave them some space. After another 15 minutes or so, we got nothing except an irritated doe and a perfect gentlemen of a buck with somewhat of a blow to his ego. They eventually parted ways and pretended to ignore each other, while Stallion went off to the side and proceeded to thoroughly spray himself in his “Odor-de’-buck” cologne. I am convinced that gives him an ego boost, though it certainly serves to repel ME! So disgusting! Finally, I returned Stallion to his pen, and helped my friend load her goat and children back into the minivan–this time, with the slight stench of buck to keep them company on the way home.
So, my first attempt at a driveway breeding to an outside doe was a total, complete, miserable failure. We both learned from it though (and have to assume we just missed the window of opportunity), and I gained a lot of confidence in handling a 200-pound, very excited, buck-in-rut on a leash. I have to admit, however, that we were both somewhat relieved that the “birds-and-bees” talk with the kids gets to wait for another day. They saw nothing other than a couple of goats sniffing and walking around, so there were no questions to answer (WHEW!). While I totally sympathized with my friend, I have to admit, I was sooooo incredibly thankful for our decision to go ahead and acquire our buck to save me the exact trouble–and disappointment– I had just witnessed her go through.
Nonetheless, we are looking ahead to about 3 weeks from now. Since we both know a little more about what to expect, we will just try harder to ensure we catch that “window of opportunity” to breed. If all goes well, then she will be able to start planning for a kidding next spring! We’ll know more in a few weeks.