Valentino

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We have a new buck in our breeding paddock.  Johnny’s still there and I expect he’ll continue to be in command, taking care of all the necessary duties for the foreseeable future.  But to keep him properly motivated, we’ve introduced Valentino to the paddock.

That’s Valentino with his mother Nellie in the photo.  He’s a fine looking young goat with thick horns and a reasonable temperament.

Our previous second-string billy goat Ramon died last last month.  I had planned to replace him from outside our herd.  But Cherie suggested Nellie’s kid.  After all, she said, he’s a good looking healthy goat from a very good mother, with a good personality who’s never been sick.  It was a  great idea.

As I considered it I realized there were several other advantages to Nellie’s kid as well.  We would only introduce a new buck if he was young (just weaned).  Only at that size would Johnny not perceive him as a threat.  Adding him as a kid would allow him to acclimate to the herd (and they to him) without a goat battle erupting.  But with Ramon that meant he came in at the bottom of the goat hierarchy and without friends.  He had a lonely and isolated life growing up.  But since it was also time for Nellie to breed, I could add her and her kid together and that would give the lad a natural ally.  And since Nellie is an alpha goat (meaning she gets her way), he wouldn’t get bullied or crowded out at feeding time.  Basically, Nellie protects him during his vulnerable stage.   Finally, as a practical advantage, it was time to take him to market and he was the only marketable kid left.  Moving him to the other paddock would save me a trip to town.

So we solved our temporary buck shortage by promoting from within.

Cherie dubbed the little guy Valentino.  She had the Bangles in mind.  I thought of the Kinks.

So far Valentino is doing well.  He stays close to Nellie and Johnny hasn’t even seemed to notice him.  But from the way he’s growing, I don’t expect that to last much longer.  Hopefully Valentino will have a long happy life on the farm.