Not the nicest of smells, that is for sure! We are getting ready for the breeding season, and one way to tell that it is time is that the bucks smell so bucky. Yow! The older the buck, the stronger and more eye-watering the stench. You know it is autumn, when.
I have been getting nervous about whether or not Reddog the Guernsey will be able to do his thing with more than one doe. We have been watching the buck behavior, and the Lamancha buck (who loses every battle with Reddog) has been hogging the corner of the paddock that meets the corner of the girls’ pen. He is always over there, stretching to see the ladies. I was worried that Reddog was not showing the appropriate interest, and that had me in a bit of a panic. Anything that goes wrong at this stage can mess up your whole following year!
Well, Reddog has proven us wrong. He is doing all the appropriate things, but whereas Oreo just stands in that corner as a matter of course, Reddog kicks him out if one of the girls is in heat. So, I am as sure of anything as I can be. And when our friend Emily came to help me with the hoof trimming, she started to laugh because she told me his feet were absolutely saturated and dripping wet. Not because we have had rain, and even the dew would not be that bad. He is holding up the honor of all buck-dom, and peeing all over his legs. That’s about the best thing I have heard all year!
And so it goes. I am not in a total panic about the breeding, but I am going to pop Reddog in with the breeders a little earlier than I had wanted, just to make sure that we have time to see what is going on. And if he is shooting blanks, we will have a chance to put the other buck in without losing too much ground. I really don’t want babies in March, April is really my target date. If Reddog does breed someone next Wednesday, our babies would be due around March 11. Earlier than I want, but the does cycle in approximately 18 day turns, which can put us back almost a month, which then leads to later and later kids. (One year we had a doe in heat on New Year’s Day. That is a breeding nightmare, and not much fun!).
This year I am not even minding the big buck smell, because I am hoping that it means the hormones are working correctly. But you just never know with animals… The best laid plans and all that.