Friday, March 16, 2012

Chad Gadya

    Knowing full well that my leased buck, Bob, will not be around here for the October breeding season, I have had to face the realization that I will need to buy my own Nubian buck, and soon. I know of a breeder down south who has a polled buck (meaning he naturally has no horns, and 99% of his offspring will have no horns), and I admit that my interest in him is piqued. He comes from good lines, and goodness know I would LOVE to not have to dehorn kids!! My only hesitance in him is his rump... It's steep. When it comes to goat conformation, I am a stickler about two things: rumps, and brisket extension. But mostly rumps. A goat's back is supposed to be completely straight, yet Nubians are the worst when it comes to having a backside that suddenly drops sharply off; like a shale canyon cliff. As a breeder, it's my responsibility to breed goats that continue to increase in quality. I've seen this buck's offspring and I know that he passes that rump onto them. I could have hornless kids, but at what price? Maybe I could get away with it though? Are those steep rumps really such a big deal? In the end, I know that they are indeed a BIG deal, and I know I won't get this buck, but I do entertain such thoughts as previously mentioned. He IS a pretty boy... Oh what temptations we breeders have to face at times...

     But I also know that while a mature, proven buck would be nice, I really want a buckling (term for a young male). I skulk on breeder's websites, and toy with ADGA's "Planned Pedigree" gizmo. I knit my brow in concentration as I stare hard at does who I like, and wonder who might throw the best prospect for my girls. I mix bloodlines in my head, like a chef mixes spices. A Royal Cedars buck would add milking ability to my herd... But then, a Remuda buck would give overall style. That Wingwood/Kastdemurs buck would be quite the powerhouse, but would I really have to get a loan to buy him?

     I try hard not to let color rule my decision, but I did see a gorgeous spotted Nubian buckling on Craigslist for only $225.... Thank goodness I didn't have that much money when I saw him. I think someone else has already snatched him up. But I can't say I'm such a saint in not letting color have a vote in my choice. After all, I have to look at the buck every day once I've bought him, so he might as well be sort of pretty (er, handsome), right? I like spots. I like blacks. I like blacks with chestnut badger stripes. I like badger stripes in general. Bays are kind of boring; creams are okay. Aaaaaaand there I go already. No... Must be firm with self.... Color doesn't matter.... [scrunches eyes and mentally chants logic to oneself]

     I've managed to whittle my list of prospective does (seeing as they're all still pregnant) down to about 4 gals. All of them are competitive, classy, high bred ladies who won't break the bank. I won't make any serious decisions for a couple months yet, but I have decided one thing: His name.

A buck's gotta' have a good name. And while normally I'm terrible at thinking up names, I automatically knew what my herdsire's name had to be. 

His name will be Chad Gadya. 

"Chad Gadya". The Jewish word for "One kid goat". But more than that, Chad Gadya is a song. The Jews call it their Goat Song. During Passover, the Jews will chant the verses of their Goat Song:

"One little goat, one little goat:
Which my father bought for two zuzim."

There are eleven verses to their Goat Song. It tells the story of one kid goat and a whole host of interesting twists that make it sounds like my favorite childhood story, "The Jacket I Wear In The Snow." The tune is surprisingly vibrant and fast; seemingly typical of the Jewish culture, and reminding me of something from the old film, 'Fiddler On The Roof'.

Now, I am not Jewish. But I chose the name Chad Gadya for my soon-to-be-herdsire because I like the history behind it, and I like the idea of giving my buck a name that literally translates into my herdname: Goat Song.

The first half of my buck's name will be that of his breeder's herd. But the second half will be the name of my herd. In naming him Goat Song, he not only carries the stamp of his breeder, but he carries my stamp. This is MY buck. Chad Gadya. Goat Song.

Note: This is my weekly post from over at Mother Earth News. But I liked it so much that I thought I would double-post it here. :)


Lindsey said...

Caitlyn, I love it! So perfect.

Krista M.V. said...

Naturally no horns?! Wow, I have never heard of such a thing! :) Ooh, you make me want to get goats again! I love Nubians--they are so colorful!! Boers are boring and were the only breed we had for a long time. I love the name you picked out. Wait--you finally saw Fiddler on the Roof? :D Yes! Mazel tov! ;P