The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Goat Love

September 22nd, 2015 · No Comments · Posted in Blog, farming


When we bought our boy goat–Tigger–two years ago as a spirited yearling, the breeder warned us, “Do not expect to make a pet out of him.” Tigger lived up to his wild child billing by promptly bolting from the property not five minutes after we got him home and disappearing for a month.

We were extra cautious after that. Tigger lived at the end of a heavy metal chain for a while. But as he got older, he turned not into a monster but a pussycat. Don’t get me wrong. You always have to exercise caution around a big billy goat with long pointy horns. But Tigger has never attacked anybody, although he does like to play a little rough sometimes, especially if you get him riled up.

He nibbles treats ever so gently out of your hand. He loves to be scratched around his ears and especially between his horns. He’s ever so alert for any human presence, and will gladly come when you call him, especially if he sees you have a bowl of grain in your hand.

A pure-bred Kiko–that’s a breed from New Zealand–Tigger spends most of the year with the female goats and has proved an excellent father. This spring he sired not one, not two, but three sets of twins. Around about July, though, we have to separate Tigger from the other goats because that’s when he falls in the “rut,” the male version of goat in heat.

Maybe you remember the Star Trek episodes where Spock similarly fell victim to an alien sort of breeding spell. He was out of his mind. Tigger ends up with the female sheep, where he goes a bit crazy in his attempts to replicate, always unsuccessfully.

I feel bad for him in this frantic state of following the ewes everywhere, bellowing, snorting, pawing the ground. He pees on himself incessantly to make himself more attractive, and nuzzles the girls with boundless affection. He looks a mess, and you can smell him a mile away.

It’s at these time that Tigger especially likes to rub up against any human who might happen to be near. “You smell like goat,” my wife says when I come back to the house. In the background you can hear poor Tigger squealing at the ewes, who look at him with utter disinterest and run from his affections.

Now we are counting down the weeks. When November rolls around, Tigger will go back to the lady goats and do what male goats are designed to do. Meanwhile, the days can’t pass quickly enough.


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