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Research Livestock Before Buying

I can't walk, sit or even exist without constant excruciating pain. No cause determined but hopefully by the end of the week. 

Hubby fell down a flight of stairs 2 weeks ago and still has so much dizziness (and a swollen leg) that he went back to the ER last night.

Because of our health problems, we're selling off bits and pieces of our farm.  Goats, chickens, turkeys and things like a hay rack.

I have to mention that I am bowled over with how LITTLE people understand about the livestock they are calling about!

  • A lady bought two chickens from me this morning, and expected to take them home in a tub, with a tight fitting lid. With no air holes.  Huh?  Made her take one of my boxes.
  • Young lady called yesterday asking about the two goats we have left (buck and a wether), then because she couldn't get her dad to commit, she told me to call them when he decides.  Again, huh?
  • Questions I've gotten recently: "How do you milk a goat?" "What do I feed them?" "Why do you say your buck is stinky and in rut? What does that mean? Can we eat him anyway? Why not?"
ARGH! Seriously, people need to actually research goats BEFORE considering buying them. They are NOT a house-pet, they are livestock. They breed. It's called sex. There are stinky pheromones involved. Bucks attract mates by their stinkiness, and to get the best of them, will spray their stinky urine all over themselves, in their mouths, on their faces, and on you!  If you butcher them while in rut, the stink is into the meat and will be too disgusting to eat.  Yes, you COULD bath the buck IF you can get him to stay still, but as soon as he pees, he will be stinky again.

And...yes! A 2 month old buckling can get any girl goat above 4-5 months old pregnant!

TERMINOLOGY:
  • Oh, and a boy goat is a buckling or buck (NOT a billy) unless he's castrated, then he's a wether (not whether or weather). And a girl goat is a doeling or doe, NOT a nanny! People who say billy and nanny drive me crazy. Do you call a female deer a nanny?
  • No, chickens (come on people...HENS) don't need a rooster to lay eggs! Brooding hens (chickens or turkeys) means they want to brood (i.e. set [not sit] on eggs and hatch them).
  • That big bovine animal group is called CATTLE. A female that has given birth to (and that we get milk from) is called a COW. A female less than 1-2 years old that has not gotten pregnant is a HEIFER. A baby is a CALF. A boy that has all of his working parts is a BULL.  A boy that has been castrated before maturity is a STEER. There are other subcategories, but how about we start referring to them as ... "Look Mom, I see a herd of cattle in that pasture!"
OUR RESEARCH:
We bought this place 4 years ago, but before we did, we researched ALL farm animals (except horses because we never intend to get them...no food value). Goats, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, guineas, quail, rabbits, sheep, and I'm sure I'm forgetting something. We raised quail and rabbits in our apartment, had a garden on our balcony, and I learned how to make bread and other goodies.

Sorry, just a pet peeve. I've been dealing with these idiots for weeks now, and I am sick of people calling at 9 p.m. asking to come right out and get the boy goat to take for processing the next day. Or saying they will be right out, so we cancel our plans to an epilepsy picnic (my kid) only to have them show up on the third day.

Please please, before you decide to call someone to look at their farm animals, do a little research.
  • Will your property sustain the animal and babies?
  • What will you feed them? What about in Winter?
  • How to house them? Forget about the fancy smancy ... do basics for warmth, shelter, and a little comfort.
  • What diseases does the animal get? What regular health and maintenance things will you need to do?
  • Correct terminology.
  • How to milk the doe, ewe or cow, even when your hands are tired.
  • ... ... so much more.
Get some books, even if just from the library, and read read read! Visit working farms or urban homesteads. Ask if you can try to milk their animal, or help gather eggs.

I'll shut up now. Just had to vent!

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