Thursday, January 5, 2012

Method To The Madness

Kiwi sold today.

And I'm filled with mixed feelings about it. I feel a twinge of regret selling her, and I wonder at my own madness in selling such a promising milker. But I also feel good about where she went to. She is now with a couple who already have a few dairy goats of their own, so they know what they're doing; I have "first right of refusal" (meaning if they ever want to sell her, they have to ask me first if I want her back), and I always have the offer of buying some of her offspring in the future. And of course, now Kiwi is spared from Heidi's fury.

As I posted Kiwi for sale, I couldn't help but wonder why I was choosing to sell HER. If there was any goat to sell in my herd, it should have been Heidi. A grumpy, bad tempered (towards other goats anyway) crossbred who gives awful tasting milk and is getting too old to be bred. Really, what's the point in keeping her, and selling the promising doeling who will have a butterfat score of 7%???? Where's the method to the madness here!?

 As I thought about this some more, I had to sheepishly admit that I'm keeping Heidi simply because I like her. In all of her grumpy glory, there's something in her that makes me laugh. I recently finished Jon Katz's book titled, "The Dogs of Bedlam Farm", and in that book Jon describes one of his Border Collies named Homer. Homer seemed like the perfect dog. No bad habits, well behaved at all times, quiet, loved kids, etc. etc... And then their was Jon's other Border Collie named Orson. Wild to the point of being maniacal, aggressive, spastic, loud, bad habits galore... Yet Jon sold Homer, and kept Orson. 

There was simply something in Orson that Jon liked.

 Kiwi was my "Homer". She was perfect. Quiet, had a stellar pedigree, a promising milking lineage, she went into heat like clockwork, led and stacked (i.e. "posed") with no fuss, never bossed any of the goats around, ate like a lady, never once tried to escape. What more could a goat owner ask for? But maybe that was it: She was too perfect... Since she was never escaping, misbehaving, or in your face, you simply noticed her last. In Heidi, I see a mirror of myself, and I know that's no compliment. We're both left-brained, grumpy extroverts who always somehow manage to get in trouble. Heidi knows my hot buttons. She knows exactly what makes me mad, and she also knows what look to pull when trying to seem innocent. I love that goat to pieces....

So my perfect goat left today, and I'm left with the shaggy delinquent of a Saanen/ La Mancha doe. She's earned her status as a permanent herd matriarch here. :)

But there was another reason why I sold Kiwi. I need to prioritize things this year, and increase my number of good quality breeding stock. In Kiwi's absence, there will be a new goat soon. I have my eye on one in particular, but it's yet to be decided if she's the one I will go with. I had to tell myself over and over again this morning that I HAVE to stick to my goals. I'll never reach them if I get sidetracked and buy every cute goat out there. I need to be firm with myself and do first things first. I want my herd to closely resemble the goats in the following herds:
When my herd looks like any of the above mentioned, then I'll relax and get back into the Guernseys. I miss 'em already...


Autumn said...

Keep on truckin'! I think it's healthy to let go of some goals for a while to work on others.

Hannah said...

I like Heidi too. :) I like her friendly way of sticking her head in my face to greet me. lol