After Sunday’s adventure with the wethers, we figured the week could only get better.  Now, I’m not so sure…..

I was a little busy on Monday, trying to get things cleaned up and prepared for an expected winter storm.  In the midst of it all, I got a call from a customer who had reserved a breeding with Stallion.  Her doe was in heat, and she wanted to come over.  So, I told her to come on over for a driveway breeding.  She arrived, and things went perfectly.  The doe was receptive, Stallion did his thing, and everyone left happy.  No problems. 

That evening, S had to get those carcasses cut up, packaged, and into the freezers. 

He got the first one done on Monday evening, and it took about 3 hours.  Honestly, it was very interesting and educational learning how to use our garage as a climate-controlled, aging refrigerator.  Based on the temperature outside and the temperature in the house, I was able to maintain the garage temp between about 35-40 by simply opening and closing the garage doors.  For once, I was thankful that winter weather was here.  I continued this method of temp control for the second carcass, until S got home from work on Tuesday eve.  So far, the week was going OK.  Then, it went downhill again.

As I was preparing dinner, S had gone down to the garage to set up for the second butcher.  As he was setting up, his hand bumped a piece of tin or something, slicing his finger.  I don’t know exactly what happened, but I heard him come rushing up the stairs asking for help.  His hand was covered in blood, and blood was dripping all over the place.  Just a bad cut, no biggie… or so I thought.  As I collected a few first-aid supplies, S was rinsing his finger and trying to control the blood.  I turned to grab some ice for him, and he said he was feeling light-headed.  He sank to his knees.  That is very unlike him.  I reached over and turned off the stove, and took over cleaning his finger.  He softly said he was really dizzy and felt like he was going to pass out.  Then, he slipped to lying down on the floor, in the middle of my kitchen.  Remember, I was in the middle of dinner prep, and had 5 children to tend to.  Great.  So, as a trained first-responder, I checked his gums.  He was very pale.  I needed to know if he had truly lost so much blood he was going into shock, or if it was an adrenaline-rush causing the symptoms.  I called for JR, and asked him to go see how much blood he could find.  I felt bad sending my 7 year old, but I was holding a towel on S’s hand, which was still bleeding profusely.  JR brought back his report, which led me to believe it was more adrenaline than blood loss.  I finally got the bleeding under control, and started cleaning up S’s hand.  He just laid there with his eyes closed.  Once I got him patched up and steri-stripped the cut, I gave him some of my glucose tablets (for my diabetic low blood sugars), and a cup of juice.  Within 10 minutes, S was feeling better, his color had returned, and he went back down to butcher.  I forbid him to cut or otherwise injure himself again, with the threat that rather than me treating him, I would call an ambulance and just let them take him to the hospital.  It worked, I guess, and he stayed safe the rest of the evening.

In case your interested, here is a video of S showing off his butchering skills:

OK, so I took a deep breath.  All was well once again.  Then Wednesday came. 

Wednesday morning, as usual, I turned Stallion and Shiloh out to pasture.  I noticed Stallion pacing the front fence, calling to the neighbor’s doe.  The doe happened to be pacing her fence, showing all the tell-tale signs of full-on heat.  About that time, my neighbor called.  We had previously bartered that they would store my winter hay supply in exchange for breeding their doe, and they wanted to do it then.  So, I tried to be smart.  We set a time about an hour later, which gave me time to finish up what I was doing.  Then, fearing Stallion might misbehave later if he actually SAW the doe walk over, I leashed him up and took him where he couldn’t see their pasture or driveway.  About that time, they arrived.  Once again, the doe was receptive, Stallion did his thing, then I pulled him away, and they left.  I tried to distract Stallion so he wouldn’t watch where she was going.  Of course, animals are far smarter than that. 

Once Stallion seemed a little calmer, I put him back out with Shiloh.  He ran straight to the front fence, and proceeded to start climbing it!  With baby Ergo’ed to my back I took off running, and shoo’ed him off the fence.  He was persistent, though, and I feared he would either jump it or tear it down.  It didn’t help that the doe was now back to pacing her fence-line, calling to him.  I decided to seperate them, so I ran and grabbed his rope, caught him, and took him back to his hot-wired pen, on the other side of our property.  Then he flipped out. 

He started going absolutely nuts over my does, none of which were in heat!  He was flicking his tongue, blubbering, spraying himself, charging the fence, and chasing the does up and down the fence.  That actually made them playful, so as they began to romp, he went even more nuts.  I decided to put Shiloh, his buddy, back in there with him.  I ran and got her, put her in, and HE charged HER!  I didn’t know goats could growl, but anytime she came to his half the pen, he would “growl” and charge like he was going to attack.  Now, I have seen them play, and this was no play.  He went after her once with mouth open and teeth bared.  He actually scared Shiloh, who is twice his size!  Before he ran the fence down (remember it is already weakened thanks to the wethers), I grabbed his rope, and (very nervously) caught him and tied him to the nearest tree.  Then I quickly tossed him some hay.  Normally he is a typical guy, and food easily distracts him.  He ate, but with a distracted vengeance I have never seen from him.  He actually had me pretty nervous.  I ensured he was securely tied, calmed everyone down, then went in the house to check on the kids.  When I looked back out at him, he was almost running circles around the tree.  He paced, trotted, tangled himself, untangled himself….he was literally frantic.  Next thing I knew, he was literally trying to climb the tree, standing as tall as he could reach (a good 8 feet or so), then jumping and leaping straight up.  Then he would get down and just jump 6 feet into the air, reminding me of a bucking bronc in a rodeo.  I was seriously concerned he was going to strangle himself.  My gentle teddy-bear of a buck had absolutely gone mad! 

I ran inside and called a more experienced goat-y friend and breeder I knew.  I told her the situation.  She explained it was literally a “testosterone-high.”  She told me what to do about it.  So, I got all my girls turned out to pasture (so they’d have plenty of room to run away if need be), then turned Stallion out with them.  It distracted him for all of about 30 seconds.  Then, he bolted back to the front fence, and proceeded to try to climb it again.  I caught him, and tied him to a tree, and took my girls back to their pen.  Finally, out of desperation, per my friend’s “Plan B” suggestion, I called my neighbor and requested that I borrow her doe-in-heat for the day.  She brought the doe over, and we turned her and Stallion out together in the pasture.  He bred her several times, and then, although he was still thinking with parts other than his brain, he finally began to settle down.  They stayed together for several hours, and I watched as she gradually began to resist his advances more and more.  He continued to shadow her, but as long as he was with her, he was happy and calm.  Finally, after about 5 hours, he calmed to the point that he would allow her to move short distances away from him.  I waited a bit longer, and he eventually started acting like the big, stinky, calm “teddy-bear” buck I was used to.  At that point, I put him back in his pen with Shiloh, and he seemed OK.  I returned the visiting doe to the neighbor.  Unfortunately, she was covered in his stink and filth, and she is their milk goat.  I feel really badly about that.  There just isn’t much you can do about it. 

So, here we are.  It’s Wednesday night, and I think my nerves have about had it.  I am seriously praying for a boring, smooth, and easy day tomorrow.  Of course, since the day starts bright and early with me hauling 5 children to the dentist where 3 of them have an appointment, I’m afraid to get my hopes up.