This is what Peaches was doing last night. She's standing with her front feet on the gate to the pasture, her head over the gate, and staring into the darkness. She is quite, and still, but very intent. She is yearning.
She's looking for love, I think. If you remember, there was a possibility that Peaches was pregnant when I got her in October, and if she was, it was rumored that the kids would be born sometime in December. Well, I think the evidence is pointing toward a lack of pregnancy. She seems distracted, she lifts her tail when I touch her back, and the River boys are fighting with each other with an intensity that left Light River with a big raw spot on his head and blood in his hair. I kept the goats put up the other day since it was so cold, and when I got home from work, Light River had pounded the top of his head so much he was pink with blood, and poor Dark River had spots of blood all over his body.
It didn't take long for me to figure out that the blood on Dark River was from Light River's head as he repeatedly rammed him in the head, and in the ribs. Light River was gruesome with his bloody forehead, and his tail was held high and the hair on this back was standing straight up. He's not able to breed Peaches, since he was unmanned at an early age, but obviously he still has some buck-like instincts that respond to Peaches pheromones. Who could blame him, right? That's a face worth fighting for!
The goat lady agreed with my diagnosis, and said Peaches' heat will last three days, so I should give them plenty of space during this time. She did warn that the cycle will happen every twenty-one days, so I should be prepared. It's time for me to track down a buck. I've begun the hunt, but I know that most good breeders aren't going to let Peaches on their farm without documentation that she's healthy, so she needs to visit a vet for some tests too. The picture above is from the door way on Rufus's side of the barn. You can see the ceiling and solid walls that Brandon built for the goats, to help them stay warm during this cold weather. I've been piling hay on the floor too, so they have dry bedding that hopefully will begin to compost, and add some heat.
This picture is from the goats doorway, looking toward Rufus's side of the barn. His side has a half wall too, and also had a tarp draped over the opening. Rufus's floor is dirt on the high side, with hay and straw on the low side. The dirt is easier to clean his droppings from, and he eats most of his bedding anyway!
Rufus's wall is made form a piece of plywood that Brandon salvaged from the art building at the university where he works. It has a funny graffiti-like painting on one side, so it's a good thing Rufus has an appreciation for art. I kind of think the character with the big smile resembles Rufus when he smiles, don't you?