As this year ends, and we evaluate the progress, or not, that we made, or didn't, it's also breeding season again. Here, that means hope grows anew. We've got more kids on the ground that I had didn't get sold than I had hoped for, but that also means that less goats went to homes that weren't ready for them.
While I see amazing sales prices for some animals, I wonder what awaits those animals at their new homes. Will their new owner have realistic goals, or will they expect that animal to complete change their herd's success rates? Will a buckling get to grow up, or will he be asked to do the work of an adult buck, rendering him less productive? What will happen if the kids that are born are all one color, with brown eyes, and still have horns?
Goats are the "in" animal right now, and that makes me smile. However, it also makes me sad, as people are not purchasing goats, they are buying stuffed animals that move. Recently I saw a post that people thought an animal was sick because it didn't bounce anymore. Do people really want goats, or do they want goat kids? That has always been my fear.
So this coming year I am hoping to do more with helping goats find forever homes, and to help people value the whole goat, with all the gifts that come along with that. One of those gifts is a honed sense of patience, which I think we all need.
2018 will see kids arriving here in February. Along with that will come milk tests again, and goat shows, and linear appraisal. Not because I need to prove to myself what my herd does, but because that is now what people are looking for. Some of that I approve of, but to me the goats are worth having even without the accolades, the ribbons, the stars. I wish that my experience, my healthy goats, the predictability that we've developed would be enough for buyers, but I'm afraid it won't be. So, you'll see us being visible next year, unless I see the animals feel stressed, and at that point, they'll come first, and we'll retire to the farm again, where you are always welcome to meet the goats, and pick my brain. I hope you'll join us here.