I thought that the whole breeding experience was going to be a lot tamer this year than the past one where the goats are concerned. We didn’t have the last minute wondering how to get semen straws shipped during the Christmas and New Year’s week. We already had straws on ice at the vet’s from last year. So we went ahead with the AI at the end of October and then in November I picked up a “clean-up” buck from our friend in Vermont.
Vaginal AI is always something of a chance. We like Whit the Vet, and he had some new equipment this year and we have our fingers crossed that it worked. And as a matter of fact, I have not noticed Pippi coming back into heat since her AI date, but it’s sometimes not something that we actually see. The vet came back to do ultrasounds on the girls and nothing showed up in any of them, so the presumption is that it was a no-win situation. Sigh. I thought that I didn’t have much to worry about, because after all, we had a bucky boy in with the girls. I clearly witnessed him breeding SnowPea during the course of a day and a half, so I wrote down the date and didn’t worry about it.
And then on New Year’s eve the picture changed. I was very happy to believe that all were bred because of course, that is what we need to presume! But on Monday I knew that Zelda was definitely not in a state of impending motherhood. She screamed and flagged her tail all day. She stood up on her back legs at the fence and wailed until I was sure the neighbors were going to start thinking there was animal torture in progress. I thought about it all night and tried to decide what to do. One goat going unbred is not too bad, because at least the other 3 were bred. That’s more than enough milk for us in any given year.
Wrong again! New Year’s day morning dawned, and when I went out to milk I found that SnowPea, our star milker who I have been milking through the past year (she did not get bred last year), was in heat. Now I was really worried! Mumble, mumble, curse, curse. So I decided to call our friends in a neighboring town to find out if she has a proven buck. Into the Subaru went the two girls and they went up to meet their new love interest, breathing all over the windows and nipping at each other the whole way. And no question about them being in heat! The buck our friends have is a San Clemente Island goat (very rare), and he has the most beautiful face and lovely brown eyes. He did his job admirably and the girls slept the whole way home. (Of course, now the Subaru smells like a randy buck). If nothing goes wrong, at least two of our star mamas will be giving us lots of great milk next summer. Fingers and toes crossed!