Finally, a friend told mom that Papa John of Papa John's Goat Farm disbuds her kids. I called him and arranged to have both of our kids disbudded the next morning. After the kids were disbudded, he asked if we were trying to sell our kids. We said yes. He wanted one. He had had a full Alpine, but she died, and now he only had Mini Alpines (Nigerian Dwarf x Apline, they can actually be registered with the Mini Dairy Goat Association!). We said we would trade him one of the kids for a Nigerian Dwarf buck that we could later breed to our goat Pinky and any of her doelings that we retain this fall when she kids.
And BAM, just like that, I had the buckling I had been looking for, and Papa John had an Alpine. Dad says that he feels like having goats is just a great big game of cards, always "wheeling and dealing." At the time, Papa John still had three does to kid, so he said he would give us a call when we could come over to choose our buckling. We ended up leaving the kid he chose (Rosebud) at their farm, because Papa John wanted to bottle raise her.
In the car on the way home with only one goat, Dad, Jane and I were scheming how we could break the news to mom. We had known that leaving a goat behind would not be a hit, but nothing we said had moved Papa John into letting us take her home and bring her back later.
Us: She's on her mom right now, how about we bring her back when she's weaned?
Papa John: No, I've seen it happen many times. She might not drink from the bottle today, but she will get hungry and by tomorrow she will be on the bottle well.
Us: I haven't tattooed her yet! I'll take her home and do that and then bring her back.
Papa John: We don't do that stuff, it's on the papers, but most of our goats aren't tattooed, they don't really need it.
Us: Mom and the kids won't be happy when we come home without Rosebud!
Papa John: They can come and visit her.
We decided that the best course of action would be to draw long faces and tell mom that Rosebud hadn't made it. None of us knew that much about disbudding, so we were pretty sure that she would believe us. The problem was that none of us could draw a long enough face. Dad went in the house with Dahlia (our remaining kid). I don't know how he broke it to mom, because I was still standing at the back door, trying to draw a face long enough to go in and not ruin dad's joke when she came out complaining, "And I didn't even get to kiss her goodbye!"
About a week later, I received a call from Papa John that we could come over to choose our buckling. We went and chose a super-cute little guy and later named him Pecan. We discussed the possibility of taking Pecan home before weaning because he didn't have to wait to be wethered, but opted against it because he would need botte-feeding three to four times a day when very young.
Then, last Sunday, I had a terrible scare. I was keeping very close track of all of the goats after losing my Alpine wether, Sweet Gum. Dahlie had scours. Horror of horrors. Icky, nasty, drippy, sticky diarrhea. And it had come on very fast. Saturday morning she was fine, Saturday night she was off grain and had SCOURS. I was scared to high heaven. Sweet Gum had gone down fast. Dahlie could be dead the next morning, if it was the worst kind of coccidia (a parasite). Well, I gave her an adult-sized dose (yes, a full tablespoon) of Molly's Herbals wormer formula #1, and Molly's Herbals immune boosting tincture. Maybe a double-dose of that. I was seriously scared. I emailed Papa John, who had disbudded our kids. We took Dahlia over to their farm Sunday afternoon. I guess I had really been imagining things. They said she didn't need the shot, just to get her back on a regular feed schedule. We had been busy Friday night/Saturday morning, so we had left Dahlia with her mom overnight, instead of locking them away from each other and milking in the morning. We had also been on an unreliable feed source whose feed varied per bag, and we had just run out of feed from one bag and started in on a new one. Thus Dahlia's scours. The next morning, on the old schedule of milking, Dahlia's hind end was perfectly clean.
But back to Papa John's place. We decided to take Pecan home. He only needed two bottles a day.
In the car, Jane, Dad, and I were scheming how we could tell mom. Again.
We could walk into the house with Pecan and see the reaction.
We could just go in and explain, but that would not be very fun.
We finally decided that dad would go in the back driveway, so they wouldn't see or hear the car, drop Jane and me, with the goats, at the goat pen, and see how long it would take mom and the little ones to see whom we had brought home.
We were dropped off at the goat pen, dad went up to the house, all according to the plan. When John came out of the house shouting "My bucky, my bucky!" Jane and I thought dad had gone and told them. So when mom came out (I presume to see Dahlia) Jane called, "Ebony is being really good, but we might need to put Binky in with the does." Mom squealed (yessiree, she did) and came running down to the bucks' pen to see Pecan, along with the rest of the kids.
So mom (and James, John and Caroline) had two big surprises this kidding season.
Here are some pictures of Pecan.