Fall has arrived in the Ozarks along with cold nights and a smelly buck. Augustus is more interested in the does than his breakfast. Another part of the endless goat year.
People like to have a place to start the year. It’s an excuse to leave mistakes behind and try again.
For dairy goats the year never ends, only cycles through the seasons. Fall is breeding season.
My herd is smaller now, only fourteen does. Three are aged and retired. Four will continue to be milked over the winter. Two will have kids in November. That leaves five does to be bred in October.
Fall breeding season might be a good time to begin the dairy goat year. But there is no real break. Milking continues every day. Goat care continues. Barn cleaning is necessary before winter. The endless goat year marches on.
The last few years a couple of does have had their kids in late fall to early winter. In the Ozarks Nubians breed all year.
The first time I expected frozen kids and lots of trouble. The kids were fine and livened up dull winter months. And the milk was welcome in the early spring when the other milkers began to falter.
Before these kids, all my kids were born in March and April. Perhaps that made spring feel like the beginning of a new year.
But it wasn’t. Milking, chores, barn cleaning, hoof trimming continued the same way as before the kids. The endless goat year rolled on through into summer.
Since I am the only one caring for my goats, I am always here for milking. This gets frustrating as I can go no where unless the trip fits between morning and evening chores. The days blur one into another making an endless goat year for me.
As my herd dwindles, that year may sometime in the future come to an end. After forty-six years of routine, that is a bit liberating and frightening.
Kidding season can be daunting for a new goat owner as Harriet found out in “Capri Capers.”