The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Stay of execution for Lamb Chop

Goats riding an ATV

Lamb Chop's date with the butcher was supposed to be coming up next week. But, soon after Artemesia's heat subsided... (R-rated information after the next photo)

Goat eating sedge nuts

...our buckling finally matured enough to do the deed.

Lamb Chop currently runs back and forth between our two does all day long. "Can I nurse?" he asks mama goat, who is trying to wean him (with little success). Next, he moves on to Artemesia and asks "Can we have sex now?"

It used to be that Artemesia would always reply: "Yeah, whatever," for which the internet supplied an explanation. Apparently, a buckling can't actually poke his penis out of its sheath until he hits a certain age. So our buckling was merely climbing up on Artemesia's back, and our doeling is a gentle enough goat not to mind being mauled.

However, this past week, I finally saw penis extrusion, and Artemesia started saying "No!" every time Lamb Chop asked for sex. Which means that, hopefully, waiting for Artemesia's next heat cycle will result in baby goats in the middle of November.

Goats eating willow seeds

I hate to say it, but I can hardly wait to see the back of our little buckling. He's actually still quite sweet, but I've had to give up on tethering since he's impossible to walk through the garden with two other goats in my hand. Instead, our herd is subsisting on pasture goodies (less than a third of their food at the moment), tree leaves from cut saplings, and a daily guided walk into the floodplain. I dream of the time when I only have two manageable goats and can fold our caprine herd deeper into our homestead once again.

(Yes, literally, this is what I dream about. Most recently, Artemesia and her hypothetical daughter, who apparently is called Estella, went along with me to my 15-year college reunion. It was quite a dream. And, as I type this, I realize that Artemesia's daughter looks just like and has a name similar to one of my e-buddy's goats. Hmmm....)

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Are you coming to AW 2015? If so, you should totally bring some goats! :^)
Comment by irilyth Fri May 29 09:18:19 2015
Josh --- No, but I'm on the planning email list, so I think the details must have seeped into my dreams.... :-)
Comment by anna Fri May 29 10:55:18 2015
I don't consider goat sex to be r-rated! :)
Comment by Pat Fri May 29 16:53:44 2015
Most feed stores sell a nifty little castrator tool a four fingered expander and the rubber bands it uses , they work fine , wait untill the buckling is three weeks or so then " fix " them , they become much more managable and the meat tastes better .
Comment by diogenese Fri May 29 17:10:33 2015

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