Stinky Buck

‘Tis the season for goat breeding, so this fine but stinky fellow has come to join the does again. Romeo Santos (pronounced ro-MAY-o) seems happy to be here and is making the rounds. We’re trying hard to keep the stink confined to the barn, but already in the two days we’ve had him, the buck odor has made its way into our mudroom and onto my hands.

In case you don’t know what bucks smell like, they smell like urine. Buck urine. They pee all over themselves in order to appeal to the ladies. The odor is so strong that baby goat Kasia smells like buck just from snuggling up with her mama after her mama had spent the day with Romeo. Not realizing this, I pet Kasia this morning with bare hands (she’s so soft and fuzzy, how could I resist?). Now I get whiffs of buck no matter where I am.

Last year we just put Romeo in with the does and let them hang out for a month. It’s a little trickier this year. We have to keep Romeo and Kasia separate since Romeo is Kasia’s father... apparently they are unaware of their genetic relationship and would love to get together. We also have to keep Kasia with her mama (Temperance) at least part of the day since Kasia is still nursing. But we want Kasia to have a sibling or two this spring, so Temperance and Romeo need time together. Because no goat can be alone (it is distressing for herd animals to be on their own), we have come up with a complicated rotation to give Temperance, Clementine, and Mabeline stretches of time with Romeo, without leaving Kasia alone.

Of course moving fat, stubborn goats from one stall to another is challenging and requires chasing, pushing, and sometimes dragging. It’s no wonder out coats and mittens, and hence our mudroom, already stink. Fortunately, we'll only have Romeo Santos for 6-10 days instead of a full month, thanks to a little fertility boost that should help ensure the girls are in heat this week.  

To top off this fascinating goat breeding saga, here is a video of Kasia. It doesn’t show much, but you can hear her screaming. I’m not sure why she’s screaming – she often does this. It could be that she is hungry, mad that her mama is in a different stall, or frustrated because she wants a turn with the buck. Or maybe she is just singing.

If we get goat kids in the spring, we will plan to milk the does. With the direction our country is headed in, breeding and milking goats maybe become a survival necessity instead of an expensive hobby.