Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Goats

I sourced the animals from various districts in Kelantan. My main goal is to have a better genetic pool. Almost 90% of them are of the native breed (katchang/katjang-variations on the theme). Very hardy, docile, colorful, productive and full of curiosity. These are some of their attributes. To me, they look a bit like the N. dwarf, only bigger in size.

All of them came here, with an exception for few, in somewhat poor condition. Severely underweight and underfed. With some extra food and proper medication, they have become the most beautiful/handsome goats I have ever seen.

For the first couple of months,  they were kept in their pens with food catered to them everyday. They needed to be kept like that because I wanted them to familiarize themselves with the barn, the surrounding areas, the sound of tractors and people on the farm. The third month was when I gave them the freedom to roam around the farm area. The new animals that arrived after this period followed the existing herd almost autonomously, no need for crash course in getting used to the farm.

On most days, they would go out on the pasture as early as 10am. They would come back to the barn for a drink when the day is at its hottest. Just when the heat subsides and a bit bearable to the kids, they'd go out again grazing until it's almost dusk. They'd come back with full bellies and rest for the night. I usually give them a handful of goat pellets to each one of them and that's about it. No hay, no grains,  just water for them to stay hydrated through the night.

I sometimes follow them out on the pasture. They seem to enjoy the company of each other, take turns jumping from a termite mound, do silly things as goats would. The kids are usually busy kidding around, the does graze the most. The bucks, they are always on the look out for does on heat.

I have two bucks in the group, both are equally responsible. Especially the older one, he usually calls out for the kids so that they won't miss or get lost from the group. He's very strong and athletic. As to date he has fathered around 25 kids altogether(not all of them survived though, but that will be in another story). I do not know his exact age. When I bought him from his owner, the owner told me that he's 4 months old which makes his current age approximately 13 months old. But I doubt it, I think he's much older. The other buck is almost the same age as him. They rarely fight, that's the most wonderful thing about them.

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