Fall is breeding season for goats. Bucks in rut have only one thought: does. Never underestimate Nubian buck strength and single-mindedness of purpose.
High Reaches Silk’s Augustus was such a beautiful little boy. His mother High Reaches Bubbles Silk doted on him, spoiling him rotten. Separating the two was difficult and Augustus gained the nickname Houdini.
Now Augustus is full grown and big. He weighs over 200 pounds, stands over a yard tall at the shoulders and trots thunderously from place to place. He has also wrested buck supremacy away from Goat Town USA Gaius.
I don’t particularly like to line breed my goats. So, when High Reaches Pixie’s Pamela, Augustus’ daughter, came into season this fall as a yearling, I let Gaius out with her.
Augustus was not happy. He was frustrated and furious at being ignored. His buck strength was enough to batter his pen walls but not enough to break them.
I was in a hurry and didn’t notice Pamela wasn’t the only doe in heat. Augustus did.
Milking over, I called the herd out to the pasture gate and let them out. They were delighted, racing over the bridge to under the persimmon trees. Gaius was left forlornly calling at the gate.
I walked back to the barn and let Augustus out. He flew out the door and across the barn lot. I reached in to pick up his dish. I froze.
Augustus had shown his buck strength by hitting the pasture gate and shattering the latch board. The gate was wide open. The two bucks were joyfully racing out to join the herd now on the hillside eating acorns.
Normally I can walk out, put a lead rope on either of my bucks and lead them around. Bucks in rut among does, some of whom are in heat, do not want to be caught and dragged away.
The only way to catch the bucks was to drive the herd back into the barn lot. Then the does can go out again and the bucks are left behind.
A herd just turned out happily gobbling acorns is not happy to return to the barn. This is one of the very few times I wish I had a herding dog.
After getting a full day’s exercise and yelling myself hoarse, the herd was in and out again. The bucks were in. And another item was on the ‘To Do’ list.