Last night we finally ended our search for a Nigerian Dwarf buck. Bethany had watched one on Craigslist since June as the price fell from $100 to $35. We finally emailed and asked to come see him. Little did we know what we were getting into!
We left in time to get to the farm a few minutes early, and pulled in the driveway 20 minutes late. Thanks, Google Maps.
The farm turned out to be 18 overgrown acres, dotted with ramshackle buildings, and swarming with goats, horses, chickens, dogs, and cats. The owner told us that she and her husband bought the property a year ago, and didn’t even know the barns were there, buried in the brush, until they started clearing land. They run the farm mostly as a rescue operation, taking in lame horses and sick goats.
Of about 40 goats on the farm, 39 were tame. We were there for the one that wasn’t. After the tour which involved being offered other goats that would “be a better choice,” we finally got down to catching our goat. Then more people showed up to look at him. Things got a little awkward when we all realized we were being sold the same goat. Fortunately, the other family preferred a bigger, calmer goat named “Shish Kebab”. We waited for them to finish their whole-farm-tour, then got back to chasing our little goat.
Before we get to that part of the story, let me tell you why the goat was for sale in the first place. There were several bucks on the farm, and a herd of high dollar Boers, along with countless dairy goats. Our little buck was determined to breed every doe on the farm. Not a good scenario when purebred Boer kids are worth several hundred each. Since there were no does for him to breed, and a non-breeding buck just causes problems, they wanted to get rid of him. At least, that’s what she told us.
The reality was something quite different. He’s crazy. His attempting to reach the does wasn’t the usual goat tactic of jumping over and crawling under the fence. No, he smashed through. And not through existing holes, either. We actually watched him hit the fence at full speed to shove his head through, then push and squirm until he finally popped out the other side. Little goats aren’t supposed to be able to do that.
And if you think we could lure him close with grain, forget it. He laid down in the middle of the pasture while every other goat came running toward us. I started to get a little worried when every reference by the farm owner to the little goat was accompanied first by an expletive, and eventually an entire string of them, finally turning into threats of death by firing squad and roast goat. I never would have thought I’d be rescuing an animal from an animal rescuer!
She finally called her friends for reinforcements. With four of us working together, we were finally able to corner him in a pen, and eventually in a building. We decided it would be best to hog tie him before we put him in the Jeep. Call it animal cruelty if you want, but it’s better than letting him jump out the back window and hit the road at 55 MPH.
The whole event lasted an hour and a half and kept us out way past the kids’ bedtimes.
After letting him relax over night in his new pen overnight, he calmed down considerably, as evidenced by this picture.
Our fence is Red Brand sheep and goat fence, which is much stronger and has smaller holes than the regular stock fence on the farm we got him from. He definitely won’t be smashing his way through. I added boards along the bottom of the fence where he might try to crawl under, and lattice above the well head in case he decides to jump there. No escapes yet.
All in all, we’re happy with him. He’ll calm down with a little work, and he seems to have pretty decent genetics. And it was worth the $35 just for the adventure.