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I have wanted for a while to add a few more goats to the farm beautification crew. At one time we had five and over the last couple of years have suffered some attrition and we are down to three….this number is insufficient to do the needed jobe of brush control on the plantation….The cows help but there are just some things that goats will eat that cows are reluctant to consume…
So lately I have been looking at breeds of goats…we have historically had nubians or nubian crosses….we dabbled with Boers but found them to be, lets say difficult to manage and not very calm…maybe I had a bad sample but when I finally caught them and removed them life got a lot simpler…many have told me their boers were pets but the ones I had demonstrated little interest in human association….
Any how I have been reading and talking to folks about Kikos. Kikos are a breed of goat developed as a meat goat in New Zealand. They are reputed to be very hardy and excellent browsers…They are very popular in America…..that means they are not cheap….but then I have discovered that no goats are cheap anymore. I originally wanted to get a couple of bred females but soon discovered that it would be cheaper to buy another horse. not needing another horse I kept shopping.
I finally found a fellow who has purbred Kikos that had a couple of Bucks that I could afford. So yesterday I went to look at them. the idea being to buy a buck and breed my does and then perhaps resell him…. or maybe keep him for a second season and then sell him. thus raising my own farm beautification crew from babies and having an opportunity to keep them gentle.
I arrived at the appointed time and met the gentleman, Ben Mikell. We chatted for a few minutes and then we went through the gate and he yelled come on boys…..To my amazement a herd of bucks trotted to him from all over the field. Below is a photo of the bucks crowed around him as he breaks off a sweet gum limb to lure the senior herd sire from the shade under a building…I was amazed at how gentle these bucks were….they crowed around both of us to be petted and loking for handouts. As I do, he feeds them a little bit daily to keep them coming to call and to make checking easier.
Here is a photo of the senior herd sire, Magnum. He is the big Brown Goat. He is purebred registered New Zeland stock and is an impressive animal. There was little doubt of his status in the herd….he was the kindly monarch and all deferred to him.
Ben repeated his trick by going to the doe pastture and yelling come on girls and they did not trot but ran to us. Most of these girl had larger offspring not quite ready to wean.
Then he took me to a maternity area where he had three or four does with little babies three or four weeks old. they were the cutest little things.
Anyhow it was back to the bucks and I sorted though them and looked at what I could afford. I settled on a buck named Beaver. He is about two and a half years old and is a good size fellow. He is mostly white with some very light brown patches. He is 99 percent purebred and could be registered but that involves DNA testing and several other expenses and I have no desire to be in the registered goat businees and intend to breed him to non Kiko goats so registration expense is avoided. He also has the tip broken off of one of his horns which lowers his value considerably. He was a pretty good sized fellow and craved attention. He liked to be petted and be close to humans as did several of his kin folk. that made it hard to get a picture of him…
below is Ben reading his tattoo but I was on the wrong side and snapped a shot and got the sun haze but it shows his disposition and his size.
below is a clearer picture but another buck stepped in just as I clicked the shot….Beaver is the one to the upper right.
Anyhow I bought Beaver. He will not come to live with us until October. The reason for this is I do not have a secure goat area to keep him seperated from the does. I do not want to have goats giving birth in the dead of winter. We have done that by accident a time or two and lost as many babies to the cold as we saved….So if Beaver is not here until say Mid October we will not have kids until Late March or April.
I am tickled and looking forward to the new cute little goat babies next spring.