Well, we are down to just Pasqualina and Pinta in the pen.
Carmelina and kid Nina and Margherita and kid Colombo have moved on to greener pastures, literally. We were always going to sell the kids of those two dams, but when the opportunity came up to send off the dams *with* their kids, we decided it was really for the best — for all of us.
Forgive me if I don’t include a photo of them in this post. It’s all still a little raw, even though the transfer was made a week ago.
The biggest issue for us has been finding room to store all the hay that our goats need throughout the year; since ours mostly stay in the stall and graze very little, they go through a lot of hay, and you can only buy it twice a year when it’s bundled. So that means we need *a lot* of room, and we just don’t have it.
Compounding that, though, we (mostly I) also aren’t crazy about the idea of breeding four or five (or more) dams every year and having to sell off so many kids to slaughter; the hard fact of consuming dairy products is that there are lots of unwanted kids, especially the boys, so we’re aiming to keep our herd very small for now and play it by ear.
This way, if we eventually do want to build, we’ll do it around our best milker, Pasqualina, and her kid Pinta. Pasqualina was always non-negotiable anyway as she was our first doe, but besides that, her breed is a dairy breed; the other two are more “meat goats.” We’re still looking toward breeding Pasqualina and possibly Pinta in the fall, but nothing is decided. We may just keep them for “bellezza” as Paolo says — for beauty. And they are beauties!
And the final issue was that the other two dams bullied Pasqualina quite a bit, and we were worried about accidents and injuries — and already it seemed like Pasqualina may not have been getting enough to eat with the other two pushing her around.
BUT on the bright side, the Big Four have gone to the good home of a young couple who lives in the village (and they have some good grazing land), and we will still get to visit them. Plus I love that they’re all staying together, so I’m sure they’ve already adjusted quite well.
Pasqualina, on the other hand, has really missed her buddies; she has taken to crying for us when we walk away, which she hasn’t done since she was a kid, before we got Margherita. Pinta just kind of looks at her like, “What’s the matter, Mamma?” and chews her cud. Very sweet.
I’m trying to be brave, but it’s truly a heartbreaking change for me. And yet, I know it’s for the best, and I’m sure sooner or later I won’t tear up when I look at photos of my goats gone by, and I’ll also get around to adjusting the information on this site, change out the header, etc.
For now I still want to see their faces every now and again, though, as I realize we were lucky to have them as long as we did. And I have no choice but to regroup as I still have two adorable, sweet faces to scratch in the pen . . . and even a little bum when she sticks it up in the air.
Don’t you just *love* when they “kneel?”
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