Goats

The Bucklings are Here

Bucklings coming home in my Honda Element

My little goat herd is complete, at least for the foreseeable future. On Tuesday evening, we drove an hour and a half to West Sunbury, Pennsylvania to get our little bucklings from Hills of Highland Farm. I wish I would have taken some photos. “Hills of Highland’ is incredibly accurate; their farm is perched atop of a huge hill, with 60 acres of rolling farmland all around. It’s gorgeous.

Buckskin buckling

The first buck I purchased was this little buckskin boy that we’re naming Hills of Highland Dornish Sun, or “Sunny” for short.  He was born April 23 so he’s a little over 12 weeks old. He’s a sturdy little guy, and he has nice overall conformation. He’s not as flashy as the other buck we bought, but I really think he’ll be the better herd sire overall. I’m hoping he’ll grow large enough to breed to my LaManchas, which will save me from having to find a LaMancha buck to borrow or buy. (I’m not up for that!)

Spotted buckling

The second buck is this 10 week old moon-spotted fellow, born May 11th. His name is going to be Hills of Highland Eyrie Moon. He’s a bit of a runt, and even our Maizey who’s only a week and a half older dwarfs him by quite a bit. I’m hoping he’ll fill out as he gets older, but we’ll see. I just couldn’t resist his flashy markings and blue eyes!

(By the way, points to everyone that gets the references in their names — yup, we’re geeks!)

Both bucklings are very shy. They were dam-raised and prefer the company of other goats much more than humans. Sunny is a bit more bold and will approach you if you sit still, but he won’t walk on a lead and wriggles and kicks if you try to pick him up. Eyrie Moon reminds me of a chihuahua. If you approach him, he runs away, cowers, and trembles. I’ll be spending a lot of time in the coming weeks just sitting patiently in their pen, trying to get them used to being handled. Hopefully they’ll be more friendly before they go into rut full-swing this fall, because I’m certainly not going to want to get too close at that point! Anyone have any tips for taming slightly wild bucklings?

Blurry buckling photo - sorry, they're hard to photograph in low-light!

Right now the boys are in their own stall in our barn, away from the girls. We tried putting them out in the buck barn, but Eyrie Moon is small enough to squeeze through the cattle panel fence. They’ll need a few more weeks before I’m comfortable putting them back out. I’m also considering running some hot wires around the bottom and top of their fence for good measure. (Around the bottom so they don’t try to squeeze through, and around the top so that they don’t try to jump over, which I suspect Sunny may attempt.)

I’m eager to see how both boys grow and fill out in the next couple of months. I’m hoping to breed in late-October or November so we won’t be kidding till mid-March at the earliest. January and February are just much too cold around here, and I don’t like the idea of bouncy baby goats and heat lamps in my barn if I can avoid it.  Once we’ve firmed up plans, I’ll post our planned kiddings on our farm page. If you’re interested in reserving a kid, be sure to visit that page and submit the form! (There’s no cost or obligation to get on the waiting list. For more information, see our sales policy page.)

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