20/20 goat hindsight
Eighteen months after
buying our first goats, we're gearing up to swap out half our herd.
Abigail is going to the butcher in three weeks to be replaced by one of
Artemesia's as-yet-unborn kids. So this seems like as good a time as any
to write one of those "if I'd know then what I know now" posts to help
anyone planning to follow along in our footsteps.
Question 1: Do I buy a goat with horns or without horns?
Answer then: Either is fine. Horns are natural and beautiful.
Answer now: Hornless.
Horned goats break apart your infrastructure and beat up on their
herdmates. Abigail is on the gentle side and has never seriously harmed
Artemesia, but it's better not to risk it.
Question 2: Do I buy a cheap goat or pay the crazy prices breeders ask for a purebreed?
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Answer then: I'll try one of each, but I'm not sold on purebreeds being worth the cash.
Answer now: My sample size is awfully small, but we definitely got what we paid for with each of our goats. Cheap Abigail is headstrong and makes trouble. Expensive Artemesia
is the most malleable animal I've ever worked with --- yes, including
Lucy. Maybe we got lucky, or maybe purebreeds really are the way to go.
We'll see how the sweetness carries through to the second generation.