Thursday, December 4, 2008

Goat Herding

Across the street from us in our narrow valley is a goat farm of Nubian dairy goats. I love seeing them graze in the pasture below our home and have gotten quite attached to them.

One morning last week, I looked out and the herd was looking to the west in the pasture instead of grazing. I followed their gaze and one old billy goat had gotten out and was sauntering down the road out to the main drag. Horrified he might get hurt I jumped into the car and drove over to try to corral him. He was confused and very docile - probably wondering why he was outside the fence. By clapping, yelling and nudging him from behind, I got him headed back into the pasture. It seems like the wind the night before had caused a tree branch to break off and fall on the fencing wire, dropping it to the ground level. Mr. Goat had simply stepped over the fence and out he went!

I was unsure what to do since more would get out if I walked the mile or so to the house of the owner. Another neighbor was driving by on his way to work and stopped to see what the commotion was. He was sweet enough to offer to call the owner for me. Sure enough he came down in his truck and fixed the fence although he seemed surprised that I had come over and herded the goat back inside. I guess I am an animal rescuer - no matter what kind.

I thou hgt you might want to know a little bit about the goats!

The Anglo-Nubian, or simply Nubian in the United States, is a breed of domestic goat.
The breed was developed in Great Britain of native milking stock and goats from the Middle East and North Africa. Its distinguishing characteristics include large, pendulous ears and a "Roman" nose. Due to their Middle-Eastern heritage, Anglo-Nubians can live in very hot climates and have a longer breeding season than other dairy goats. Considered a dairy or dual-purpose breed, Anglo-Nubians are known for the high butterfat content of their milk, although on average, the breed produces less volume of milk than other dairy breeds.

Anglo-Nubians are large, with does weighing at least 135 lb. (61 kg.) and 175 lb. (79 kg) for bucks. The minimum height of the breed, measured at the withers, is 30 inches (76 cm) for does and 35 inches (88 cm) for bucks.

The typical Nubian is large in size and carries more flesh than other dairy breeds. The Nubian breed standard specifies large size, markings can be any color, the ears are long, pendulous, and the nose is Roman. The Nubian temperament is sociable, outgoing, and vocal. Because of its elongated ears and sleek body, the Nubian is occasionally nicknamed the "Lop-Eared Goat" or "Greyhound Goat".

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