March 17, 2009

Pictures From Sundae's Mom

We have been raising goats here on Shiloh Prairie Farm for quite awhile. I greatly appreciate and want to thank every person who has taken home a goat or dog from our farm, without their support we could not continue to do what we do here on the farm.

One of these wonderful people is Sundae's Mom. It is always a little hard to let any animal I have raised go, but bottle babies are especially difficult. Sundae was a bottle baby we had born on the farm in 2007. She was as sweet of a little goat as there ever was and would come running every time she seen me, begging to be picked up. Sundae was certainly a cute baby, with her extra long basset hound ears and little determined chin. Jamey named her Sundae because when she was born she had a chocolate colored head and markings on her little white body that reminded him of a chocolate sundae. I guess he was in the mood for ice-cream that day and Sundae should feel lucky she did not end up with Chunky Monkey as a name, but since I do get to name more of the goats than he does I agreed with his name for her. So Sundae she was named.

As is the nature of a farm, you just can't keep them all no matter how cute they are, and they are all cute. Summer was coming to an end and we had the prospect of a long winter ahead, it was time to cut the herd back a little. Second only to losing a beloved pet and raising one's own food, one of the most difficult things to do on a farm is deciding who to sell to keep the herd numbers in check and the farm going.

These are the decisions one must make with their head and not with their heart, which is something I admit I often struggle with. When cutting a goat herd back, my head told me it made more sense to let the weanlings go and keep the does old enough to breed that fall. Sundae was one of those weanlings that year. I also had to consider the fact since she did not have a mom to stand up for her in the goat herd she was being pushed around and pushed out of the shelter by the other goats, so a home in a smaller herd might be what was best for her. I had to add her name to the list of goats to sell that year.

I put Sundae on the sale page of our website along with the others on my difficult list and advertised that we had goats for sale online. A lady that was starting a Boer goat herd emailed me about Sundae not long after I put her on our website and asked for front, side & rear view pictures; I gladly obliged. Several emails and a phone call later the arrangements was made for the lady to pick Sundae up on a certain day. I didn't have a definite time but she said she would call when she was close, by late that evening it became clear the lady must have changed her mind. I am only human and I admit I was a little peeved to be stood up, left hanging by the phone all day with not even the consideration of a phone call or email.

I never heard from that lady again but a few days later I saw an ad online from another lady looking for a couple Nubian bottle goats for pets. Sundae was weaned by this time, but she was a former bottle baby and still had all the lovable sweetness of one. She also wasn't a Nubian, though she wasn't quite a fullblood Boer either so it was possible there might have been a little bit of Nubian in her background somewhere, her ears were certainly long enough! I took a chance and emailed the lady, whose name was Rebecca. At first I did not think she was going to be interested since Sundae wasn't exactly what she was looking for. I am always a little cautious of selling goats as pets to just anybody because you never know if it is just a fad for them that will fade to leave the poor goat with a long and lonely existence, tied up in a barren yard neglected somewhere. That is a much worse fate than a quick & considerate death for a meat goat destined for the freezer in my humble opinion. Not that Sundae ever had any risk of that since she had so expertly wormed her way into my heart with her happy little bottle grunts and milk mustaches.

As it would turn out I did not need to worry about Rebecca, she had other goats and sheep, as well as experience with raising them. Rebecca did decide to come out to the farm and take Sundae home. Over the years we have had some truly wonderful customers buy goats from us, all people you just know would take great care of any animal they own. Rebecca was however the first person to actually bring a small photo album of her other animals to show us. I really enjoyed that and when I saw the picture of an obviously very loved and spoiled sheep welcomed into her home I was never so happy to have been stood up in my life. I knew Sundae was going to a really great home with a kind and special owner. Maybe it was a little bit of fate that Sundae ended up going home with Rebecca in the end, but I am so glad she did.

Rebecca has been kind enough to send me some updates on Sundae over the last year and a half. She recently sent me a couple pictures of Sundae, my how she has grown! Thanks for the pictures Rebecca!

20 comments:

Cat said...

Sundae looks like a real sweetheart, I can see why it was hard to let her go. I’m glad you were able to find her a home filled with love! I can’t wait to give some goats a home like that!

Christy said...

What a nice story. I know they all don't go to such great homes but it is wonderful when they do.

Esther Garvi said...

Oh, what a wonderful story! I wish we had been able to find a home for our buck Amadeus, but here in West Africa, no one (except for Ishtar's Ark!) keeps goats as pets... Our does however are there to stay, lovely as they are! Your Sundae is a beautiful one and I'm so glad she got such a wonderful home!

ChristyACB said...

She looks fantastic! And she is a pet? No breeding or milking or whatnot? She looks wonderfully indulged and princess like. :)

ChristyACB said...

She looks very happy and princess-like! She is a true pet? Not bred or anything at all? Very lovely girl and she sure looks like a sugar baby in her youth.

Amy ~ 12 Acres said...

I love a happy ending! It is difficult to decide which animals to keep so I can really relate to your story about Sundae. She looks very happy in the photos! I bet she's spoiled rotten too!

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

great story. I just love the red and white coloring. I want a red or red/white Nigerian. Just love red animals - TROUBLE :-)

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Sundae was a perfect name for her, glad she went to a good home.

Thank you for answering my question.

Amy said...

Good story!

Jenny said...

What a sweet little baby she was! She looks happy and healthy all grown up. How fun that you get to keep in touch with her!
~Jenny~

Oz Girl said...

What a wonderful story with such a happy ending, thanks for sharing! :) Oh and thanks for entering my giveaway also, don't give up, I will have many more!

Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

Sundae is one beautiful goat!

Lanny said...

Sundae is a doll as a kidd and a big girl. Are you sure we can't keep them all, my girls keep telling me they think it quite possible!!

Mom L said...

She's beautiful, Jennifer, and Sundae is a perfect name. She looks so very happy in the photos and, as others said above, pampered, loved, etc. I'm very happy that parting resulted in such a great story!
Nancy in Atlanta

Hot Belly Mama said...

This is not quite the same, but my husband and I are already fretting about which chickens are going to get the axe. We have 27 and we've agreed to only keep 13 through the winter. :(

Patrice Farmer said...

What a great story about Sunday, it sounds like a childrens book. Thanks.

Country Girl said...

Great story with a happy ending. That was sweet that she sent you pictures. I agree with you about the fate of a meat goat vs. being neglected. That stuff sends me over the edge. Now, I have a crazy question. Can you breed a Boer goat buck with a Nigerian or is there too much of a size difference? My thought is...I do not want to borrow someone's goat and I do not care to own a buck (long term) so I was thinking buy one, breed it, then eat it?

Oz Girl said...

Thanks for coming by my blog and commenting on my fire story... looks like so many bloggers have a fire story! LOL I loved yours about your blankets, that is too funny. Well, probably not funny at the time, but what can you do but laugh later! :-D

Jennifer said...

Hi Country Girl, that is a good question and I know some people that swear they have bred pygmy does to Boer bucks with no problems but I would never recommend it. There is a greater risk of kidding problems. The first year I had goats kidding here I had bought a small pygmy doe, she was accidentally bred by a Boer buck. She had twins and both came out in the correct position and she still had a difficult birth and I did have to help. It would have been disastrous if she had only had a larger single or the kids had been in a wrong position because there just wasn't any room. She certainly acted like she experienced more pain than any of my Boer does ever have and I believe it was from giving birth to larger kids than she would have if she had been bred to a Pygmy buck. Both mom and kids came through it fine in the end but it is always a risk IMO. If you want Nigerian Dwarf/Boer cross kids you can get them safely by breeding a Nigerian Dwarf buck with Boer does. As for eating older bucks, I have never done that so I can only go with what others have told me. Some have told me that older bucks will have a bucky, off flavor to the meat and others have said they don't. I imagine how they are processed plays a big part in that.

DayPhoto said...

Isn't it fun to see them all grown up and doing well?

Linda