Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Long Sigh

I despair of ever selling my goats.

I'm down to four left: Trigun, Summer, Lyric, and Tamarack. I sold Jupiter last week but she won't actually leave the property until July. 

There's a glut of goats on Craigslist right now. Everyone in my area is selling, but very few people are buying. And even fewer people are buying goats that are priced $200 to $400 like mine. :-/ Doesn't help that neither Trigun or Summer are milking, so buyers are pretty quick to pass them by for the poor quality, horned goats  that are already in milk (a grand 1/2 gallon a day; woopdeedoo) and only $100 on CL. 

I've posted my herd for sale again and again. I've offered to trade them dozens of times, I've dealt with flakes and people who somehow got the idea that all the goats were milking (despite the fact that I clearly said they weren't). It's been two months and still nothing... The goats sit in the barn almost the whole day, eating hay and wasting even more. Expensive hay. Even if Trigun and Summer were milking, I would still be every bit as anxious to get them sold. I have no room in the fridge for goat milk, so it's all going straight to the chickens. That, and I'm still milking with only my right hand, since the left one goes kaput when I try using it; so if they were milking, I would be forced to dry them up since I can't handle handmilking right now. 

Now comes the killer part: There are so many excellent cows for sale on Craigslist right now that I almost want to cry; knowing that I can do nothing except sit on my hands and watch them pass until the goats sell. There was a Jersey/Brown Swiss cross, a Jersey/Hereford cross, a Jersey/Guernsey cross, a Jersey/White Park cross (I love Jersey crosses!), three Dutch Belteds, a Guernsey/Holstein cross, three purebred Jerseys, a Swedish Red, and two Milking Shorthorns. 

If the goats would only sell then I could have my pick of any of those cows!! I've contacted the sellers of almost all those cows, asking if they would be interested in trading their cow for my goats... I always get the same response: A snort of amusement that I would think that they would even WANT goats, and then a polite refusal. They're moving so they can't have goats, or they just got a divorce so they're trying to thin their numbers, or they're trying to cut back before summer comes and the pasture dies back, or they don't have the fencing to keep goats in... I've come to expect a refusal every time, but I still try. If you don't ask, then the answer will always be "No". So therefore I still try. Someone somewhere in this huge world, has GOT to want four goats, right!?

Going out to the barn now has become something of a painful experience. I look at those four goats and wonder if I'm going to be stuck with the hay burners forever. If I'm going to have hay burners then I'd like it to be a pair of caramel colored Pygmy's; not four whopping Nubians who seemingly have hollow legs. But meanwhile I have to keep shelling out money to buy hay for goats that I don't even want here. And it hurts.

But it seems that there's not much I can do about the situation... I can't order a buyer from a catalog and pay 3-day shipping to get them here. I can only wait, hope, complain a little bit *wink*, and give a long sigh as I throw hay into the manger.

Gosh those were nice cows on Craigslist...


nancy said...

Can you pasture your goats, and save the feed?

Goat Song said...

Not really... :-/ They have access to pasture 24/7, but being goats, they don't like to graze. I can't let them eat brush on the neighbor's property either, since I don't have a electric charger that's strong enough to hold them in.

Head Farm Steward said...

So...To Sing With Cows?

We recently sold our goats too as they make winter expensive. That was something of an emotional experience for us. I am down to two yearling weathers and I cut and carry brush to them along with a little bite of hay.

Good luck with the sales. We find comfort in Jeremiah 29:11.


Goat Song said...

LOL, no it'll still be To Sing With Goats. When my four are gone, I'll still have five that I'm keeping for a friend, and they'll be here for the rest of the year. After that I may look into getting a pair of Pygmys to be something of a farm mascot.

Yes, goats make winter expensive! Actually, mine make all 12 months expensive! Financially I need to cut back on ventures that aren't profitable. Dairy cows are very profitable. Dairy goats are not. :-/ So while it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to some folks that I should sell off the animal that my farm is named for, I have to keep in mind that I'm running a business and not a petting zoo. Maybe someday I'll get back into dairy goats, but not right now... Right now I need to focus on what DOES bring in monthly income for me, which is dairy cows, hogs, and broilers.

Anonymous said...

Send them to me!!! I wish.
I can sell goat milk for $20 a gal here. I'm clearing woods with them so the feed is free!

Might have to drop your prices...That would stink.

Thank you for writing so much!! Not sure why I've stopped commenting. I read every post and am enjoying them immensely!

Kris said...

I know how you feel. I cannot seem to sell the goats I have on CL either. I'm wanting to sell my LaMancha does and bucks and go to Nubian does and a Boer buck. I can sell them much faster right now. But haven't had a single call on my goats. I do hope yours sell really soon so you can get one f those nice cows. It just takes that one person to come along and they will.

Beth Rankin said...

ll I can say is God forbid you still have them when I get there I will milk for you if you need someone to.

Rose said...

Eat them! At least if you put them down yourself and butcher them out you know that they went to a good place. They didn't get neglected or abused by the person you sold them to and you don't have to feel terrible that you are not capable of taking care of them the way they deserve. They went to support you and your family. To me that is a noble sacrifice and it is a humane way to get rid of unwanted goats. Even non-meaty dairy goats will make a decent amount of sausage. I have seen so many Craigslist goats become unwanted, unloved, and abused that I am now only using my extra goats for meat. It is very hard to put down a 10 year old milker who you have had forever but it is better than watching her waste away and be neglected when you don't have enough money or time to care for her anymore.

Good luck with your goats! I hope you find a good solution soon.

Goat Song said...

Oh dear! Rose, I don't think I could bring myself to eat them! Not when I paid $500 for some of them! o_O I feel like that would be a huge waste and loss of those genetics too... For example, my best doe has 6,100 lbs. of milk behind her on her dam line; it's rare to see that much milk on a Nubian! She's also extremely correct in conformation. It would be pity to see her go in the freezer, instead of sticking around to pass those genes onto future generations.