Tuesday, November 12, 2019

hazel catkin

Azalea's daughter, Hazel Catkin, is dressed for Winter
even though she has never seen Winter before.

 Hazel is a sweet goat, and reminds me of her mother as a youngster.
Last summer she would only eat her oats if I held the pan for her.
I would sit in my sketching chair, directly in front of the massive barn fan, holding the pan. Hazel would trot right over - she knew the bigger goats couldn't steal her supper while I was there, so she really relaxed and enjoyed her oats and a bit of attention. For me, it was the best ten minutes of many a day last summer.

Today, when I enlarged the above photograph, I had to laugh:

She reminds me of a kitten who got distracted while having a wash
and forgot to put her tongue away.

I wish I could breed Hazel next year, but I won't ever breed her nor will I breed Azalea again, as much as I love the qualities and personalities of both. You may recall that Azalea had a problem with a weak horn when she was a baby, and to my dismay, both her kids have had a similar issue - one weak horn that, in the general rough and tumble of babygoat life, would sometimes get banged and bleed a bit, and possibly break at the tip before gradually becoming strong and solid. As the goat - and the horns - grow, one horn remains shorter than the other. It becomes only a cosmetic difference, but still, it's not a trait I want to risk perpetuating.

So there we are.
Two of my nicest does, neither of whom will be adding offspring to the herd.

This is just the way things go when it comes to breeding animals.
There are sometimes disappointments, and losses, and hard decisions.
I try to focus on the positives.

Here's my favorite photograph of Azalea.
Notice anything?



  1. You will love her just the same I'm sure. And yes, I see the tongue! Another family trait.

    1. One reason I never call my "a farmer" is that my feelings about each of the goats are mostly based on whether they are pleasant animals to have around the place. But that very quality is one of the factors I try to breed for, so having two "pleasant" does unable to contribute to the gene pool of my little herd is a significant loss. Ah well.

  2. I have one ear bigger than the other, and I had kids, (with nice matching ears).

    1. Yes, I had hoped it would not be an inherited trait, especially since Azalea's mum, Lily of the Valley, produced two other kids who had perfectly normal horns. But Azalea produced two kids - in different years - and it made me so sad to see both Mallow and Hazel develop one weak horn as babies.

  3. Oh, her coat! I just want to give her a big hug and bury my hands in it. That is a shame about the horn flaw and it's a shame to lose good lines. But sometimes it's just the way things are.

    1. I often give Hazel a big hug! Not sure how much longer before she decides she's too grown up for my nonsense, so I'll enjoy it while I can :) But on very cold Winter days, it was LeShodu's coat I would most often sink my hands into, and within seconds feel the cashmere make my hands HOT.


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