Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Breeding season begins

BHF 3rd G Traveler (or "G" as we call him) with an ECR Rusty daughter 
and our best Nick daughter, BBM Vicky. 

This double-bred CCR Xcelerator buck, ECR Xcaliber, with his does.

Breeding season got under way Saturday and Sunday. I had planned to begin breeding on Oct. 1, but I will be out of town tthe next two weekends, so I decided I had rather start a week early rather than late.

Normally I have seven or eight breeding programs going on at once, but this year I didn't have eight separate pastures and pens available. (Remember, I've often said you can't have too many pens!) So at the moment I have five bucks in five pastures working.

I couldn't use my smaller pastures this year because I don't have any round bales of hay to put out. Locally, square bales of bermuda are $6.75 a bale. Too much for my budget to feed for the next 45 days. So I'm only using pastures large enough and with enough grass and browse to support the herds without supplementation. 

That narrows me down to five pastures because I also have pastures tied up with doelings too young to breed right now, does going to my production sale which don't need to get bred, young buck prospects and another pasture for yearling bucks and herdsires not being used (cleanup bucks).

Herd sires we are using now are:
• BHF 3rd G Traveler, who has produced some of biggest kids lately.
• BHF Onyx's Shadow, an Onyx grandson who throws great color and sired most of our 2011 replacement does.
• BBM Hanky Panky's 266, an Onyx son owned by Rittenhouse Kikos who also throws color and whose offspring have done great in performance testing.
• ECR Xcalibur, a double-bred CCR Xcelerator buck that is packed with muscle. This is our first year to use him. I put him with my best white Kikos. I haven't bred for white goats in a long time and I am anxious to see a bunch of solid white kids next spring.
• ECR Rusty, who turned 9 this year. I didn't think he would be able to service many does this fall. He came out of last winter skinny and looking terrible. I've had him penned up near the barn all summer and feeding him about three pounds of feed a day. Over the last 6 weeks, he has blossomed. Right now, he is the best looking 9-year-old buck I have ever seen. I don't know what he will look like after breeding season, but I'm glad to have him available for another year. That means his son ECR Rusty's Rambo will have to wait another year before he has to try and fill him father's shoes.

ECR Rusty on Sept. 25, 2011. He was born
Feb. 12, 2002.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Goat sales just about over for the year

Three March-born percentage ECR Rusty daughters.
A local buyer picked out these girls about a month ago and paid a 50% deposit. He and his family returned Saturday and picked them up. I have three more percentage does to deliver next month and that will be all we will be selling off the farm this year.

I have picked out 14 head that I will be selling at the Cream of the Crop Kiko Production Sale Oct. 29 in Corydon, Ind. I have uploaded some of their photos on my for-sale page. All of the adult does have been raised strictly on pasture with very little attention. 

In another few weeks, it will be time to launch the new matings and see what kind of kids we get next spring. Can't wait!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Uh-Oh! Doeling in the buck pen!

This 6-month-old doeling is surrounded by "admirers".
When I was heading out of town last week I noticed a doeling in the buck pen. I'm not sure how she got there; she was supposed to be two pastures away with the big doe herd. I watched her for a few minutes and decided the eight bucks in the pasture didn't seem to be bothering her. I've seen a doe get into a buck pen before and they nearly ran her to death chasing her.

I left word for someone to try and get her out while I was gone. Apparently all efforts to catch her failed -- she was still there when I returned. The bucks still weren't bothering her, so I have left her there all this week, too.

Tomorrow is a roundup day, so we'll get her and the boys to the barn and separate her out then. I'll probably give her a dose of Lutalyse. (If a doe has an unwanted breeding, 2cc intramuscular around 11 days post breeding will cause an abortion.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Try my new blog

Some of the more than 200 head of goats that sold Monday at the Lazy S-T

dispersal sale. The Duseks of Lazy S-T are known for their colored Boer genetics.
My grandson Rylan and I have spent the last three days attending the Labor Day weekend sales in San Angelo, Texas. There were two sales on Saturday, two on Sunday, and the Lazy S-T dispersal sale was today. For a rundown of the top-sellers, visit my new "news" blog.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Heading to Texas Labor Day sales

My grandson Rylan and I left Thursday afternoon heading to West Texas for the series of Labor Day sales planned Saturday, Sunday and Monday in San Angelo. We stopped just short of Dallas Thursday night. We got an early start Friday morning but still caught part of the Dallas morning traffic. 

Once we got out of the city we made good time and got to the weekly sheep & goat sale in Goldthwaite in time for lunch. Prices were down somewhat, with most meat goats bringing in the $1.40/lb. range.

Rylan took this photo through the windshield as we 
drove the HOV lane through Dallas' rush hour traffic Friday morning.
Grandson Rylan on the catwalk at the Goldthwaite sale.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tattooing goats

My herd prefix is ECR (Egypt Creek Ranch). For registration
purposes, most registries require the herd prefix in the right
ear and the tag number and year code in the left. Until 
get comfortable with the process, you might want to tattoo
a piece of paper first to make sure all your letters and numbers
are in the correct order.
The first step is to apply the tattoo ink. I like the paste in
the little green tube. Green ink works best in most situations.
Line the tattoo up between the veins and squeeze. Don't
pay any attention to the goat screaming. They get over
the shock and pain pretty quick.
I scrub the tattoo site with a toothbrush to get the ink down
into the needle holes.

I then wipe off the excess ink. This helps keep the goat
from getting ink all over itself, but more importantly, it helps
keep the goat from getting ink all over me later.
A perfect tattoo that will last a lifetime!

Infected ear tag

This is not a pretty sight but this is what can happen sometimes with an ear tag. We usually coat the stud with an antibiotic salve before inserting, but simetimes you still get a infection. We cut this ear tag out, treated the raw wound with iodine. I also gave her 5cc of the anti-biotic Biomycin (oxytetracycline) under the skin.

Be sure to keep the ear tag to re-insert later, especially if you have already tattooed the doe or registered her number. New studs can be purchased to use with the top part of the ear tag.

Do a little grooming for new owner

I've been using this grooming stand for more than 15 years. I like the 
adjustable arm that holds the head secure and the bars that keep
the goat from moving side to side.

Just a little trimming is needed, but it makes the hoof
look so much better.
We were getting this Kiko doeling ready for her new owner to pick up. We checked her tattoos, trimmed her feet and made sure she was in overall good health and attractive. This 100% New Zealand doeling and two others have a new home with Caleb Beard in Water Valley, Miss.

Securing a big buck

Using a horse lead rope is the best way to handle a big buck. This guy is not mean or wild, but you want him secure when you go to trimming hooves. We were getting this guy ready for breeding season, so we tied him to a strong post with the lead rope, which easily fastens and unfastens.