Joe and I spent a very wet and stinky day some weeks ago moving all the working stud boys back up to the farm so that they could be closer to the girls ..
And so it was that our lovely Hugo was first out of the blocks this season with our gorgeous goatie girls Lara and Zenobia ...
And here he is doing his very best to woo our lovely JoJo with his best chat-up lines ..
But our young buck Hilton has now taken over and is proving to be very popular again with our ladies this year .. This is a group of girls vying for his attention!
Two of his young sons, Percy and Wilbur, have also managed to escape a couple of times this week when their hormones got the better of them, so we may well have a few unexpected 'surprise' babies in the spring!
Sadly, our lovely Hugo is getting older now and, understandably, he gets very frustrated at not being allowed in with the ladies all the time. He cannot live with the younger males as he tends to get quite violent with them and we are concerned that he may also manage to injure himself with his constant attempts at trying to knock over very large and heavy metal cattle gates which we have to use to keep him separated.
For those of you who have followed our blog for several years, you may remember that Hugo came to us as a young chap from an older goatkeeper who was suffering from dementia. He was kept alone and did not receive a lot of attention and was quite a handful when he first arrived. It look a lot of TLC and persistence (and personal injury to yours truly!!) to get him settled and happy. In a more 'commercial' herd he would now be put to sleep as his working days are over but, as you know, we are not your average commercial herd.
So .. David and I have taken the rather non-commercial decision to have Hugo castrated. This means that he will become a much calmer boy and we will then be able to either leave him in with the girls permanently (where he can no longer do any damage!) or with the younger stud boys. His hormones will completely disappear, he will not smell any more (for which David will be eternally grateful) and he should live a good few years being perfectly happy and content.
To those of you who have no concept of adult male goat behaviour, I understand that this may seem a little drastic! But, trust me .... there is nothing quite like a 120kg testosterone-fuelled male goat in season.
His little op is scheduled for this coming Wednesday morning with our lovely vet Peter and so we all cross our fingers that everything will go well for our big Daddy Hugo!