The sandhill cranes fly over frequently. The ducks, gathered around their swimming tub, all stop moving and are silent, tilting their svelte little cocoa-colored heads to the sky to watch the cranes fly over. Then two seconds later one of them starts, Quack, quack quack. And then the chorus begins amongst all of the ladies who also have something to say.
MayMay finally returned to home after spending the winter at my friends’ farm with their buck. It doesn’t appear she got knocked up though, which she did the year before last too. She’s getting up there in years, I think she is now 7, but she is still extremely youthful and she is surely still plenty obstinate. Maybe too picky for her boyfriend? Honestly, I don’t know where a goat will fit into my life nowdays, which is absolutely so bizarre to say. I had my goat years, that’s for sure. I did my time. I don’t really miss having a herd, at the end they really drove me bonkers with their insistent yelling, their hard headed pushing and stubborn pulling, their beating on each other and constant trouble making. Having May back is way more wonderful than I thought it’d be though. I don’t have to milk her, we just hang out and go on walks. I tether her out in the morning where I can keep an eye on her from my egg room and she is happy grazing and browsing, then she’ll lay in the sun and chew her cud.
May’s got a combination of a dog and cat attitude towards me. When she sees me across the yard, she desperately calls to me, but when I go to her she storms off, restless for I don’t know what. On our walk yesterday, she patiently followed me, but when I sat down in the grass she began pulling on her lead to go back immediately, then came back and rubbed her head on my shoulder in a very affectionate manner. Oh goats. This is just her way, and I am trying to just appreciate her as she is. May and I have a lot in common, and she is my teacher. I too am moody, impatient and restless. Teach me, goat.
Tomorrow May is in for the shock of her life, as we are bringing home Ella (who I may be renaming “Goodness”, but don’t tell Angelica’s son who named her!) I’m not sure how these two will get along, and I can keep them separate if needed. I like the idea of a heifer and a goat being buddies, but obviously I can’t force it. I hope they will offer each other a sort of ruminant camaraderie. As far as goats in my future, I can already see May having a problem when it comes to fencing. A goat will not respect a single strand of electric fence like a cow can, so unless I am able and willing to string up multiple hot wires in rotational paddocks (which I really don’t want to do,) May cannot be pastured with cows without risking her getting out and heading straight for all the baby trees growing around the farm. But will these two possibly get so attached that Ella/Goodness and May won’t want to be apart? I don’t know. We shall see.
My plan is to be spending quite a lot of time in the afternoons working with Ella/Goodness, teaching her to trust me, walk on a lead (see her pretty blue halter??!! should be gorgeous with her russet ruby colored coat), be handled all over and just be my sweet girl, who will hopefully be my milk cow in 2017. She’ll be 1 year old late this summer, so that means a year from then I will get a bull for her. Highlands mature slowly, so it is very important for young heifers to not be bred too early. If in August/September 2016 I get a bull for her, then 9 months from then she’ll be 2 1/2 when she hopefully calves in late spring 2017. Cows are a very long term proposition. I could have tried to buy an older pregnant cow to be a more instant-milker project, but as I am new to highlands, I want to be able to work with a youngster and go into this journey together. Plus Angelica has beautiful and healthy highlands and this heifer is from her very best cow. I want to thank her SO MUCH for selling me this beauty and I sure hope this all works ok. We will see how my idea unfolds!