The first day of October came in cold, overcast, and very windy. Cool enough that when I headed for the barn this morning, I came back inside to get a hat and some mittens.

 I love October and this morning reminded me of some of the reasons why. There is a small fire in the wood stove and when you walk outside into the crisp air, you can smell the fall air, woodsmoke, the leaves, the earth.

Inside the kitchen, a big pot of split pea soup is simmering away and making the house smell like peas, thyme, and, bacon. It's delightful.

Now that I've set that scene for you, let me tell you about the rest of the day.

I was sitting having my coffee this morning, with the dogs on my lap as usual. I looked down at Douglas and noticed he had an extra black spot on his face. With his light colored fur, black spots stand out. Especially ones that don't belong.

What was it?

A tick.


I pulled him out and ah... disposed of him.

This is the third tick in two days. First one on him - second on me. Thankfully the ones on me had not dug in yet, they were just looking for the right spot to bite me on. The dogs are on preventive medicine for ticks, so I'm not worried, just bothered by them.
Another reason I'm looking forward to the colder weather, the ticks will calm down. I've had them on me in past years in January however since it doesn't get as cold as it used to.

After breakfast I cleaned in the barn and got a pen set up for the ducks. With the temperature dropping, it's going to be too cold for them to stay in their summer pen. They have a shelter, but it's just not going to be enough in the cold. I have an empty goat pen in the barn, which was perfect for them.

Everyone got some of the leftover apples, which they enjoyed.

The morning was going well enough. Then I noticed something odd.

Butterfly, Buckets second kid from this past spring, was strutting around with her hair up.

When she was born, she wasn't right. Her female parts were there and intact, but she had a very strange vagina. So I held her back. I had planned all along to keep her sister Brie anyway. She grew well, nothing changed in her rear end area, for the better or for worse.

I noticed about a month ago, she grew a beard. That wasn't that unusual since her mother has one. But Brie does not.

Then, a couple weeks ago I noticed she had started to grow really long wispy hairs along her back. You see those?

Uh huh.

Today, she was chasing one of my does around and sniffing her lady parts. Then right in front of my eyes, she looked at me and did this:



I grabbed her and turned her over on her back, and finally saw proof of what I expected all along.

She's starting to form to testicles. I had ideas in the spring she may be a hermaphrodite, but I had no real evidence of it except a little bit of a larger vagina.

Now there is no further question.

She has all her female parts, at least the outside ones, and testicles. She can't breed, either way, so there are no concerns there. Although she has male hormones and thinks shes a male goat, and she is acting like one...I'll neuter her to calm her buck behavior.

I can't believe it. Well, I can, because I had my suspicions. I read a lot about polled genetics after a discussion with goat breeding friends this summer. I was unsure as to whether this particular doe (her mother) was naturally polled, since I got her as adult and the owners didn't offer much useful information. She's had kids in the past, all beautiful, healthy little kids. But my other buck was horned.

She is the only doe I have that is polled... I have other goats without horns, but they were de horned as kids. There is much discussion about the increased chance of hermaphrodite kids when two polled goats are bred together. Much debate about it all too. Here is a great discussion on it.

A lot of people have very strong opinions on it. All I'm going to say is, I won't be breeding this doe this year to my buck, I'll wait until I have a buck with horned genes. Just to be safe. I do love my buck and I've had no other problems with him, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Polled goats have been becoming more attractive to people buying goats because they don't want to deal with the business of dehorning. I personally like horns on a goat, and don't bother, but most other people see them as a problem, so they look for naturally polled goats. I'm by far no expert on this, but I'm learning. It's not all that rare, but rare enough I didn't expect to deal with it in my small herd of dairy goats. Some breeders only breed polled goats and have had no problems, where as others say it's always a nightmare and there will always be problems.

Regardless, I now have yet another oddity here.  In the middle of my research this afternoon (I'm kind of fascinated by it all) Kevin comes in the living room to stoke the fire and he says to me in a very calm manner... "Donna, don't worry about it. It doesn't affect the goats well being at all. She just likes girls and boys that's all."

I swear, sometimes I can only shake my head.

To add all this, last night there was a doe and fawn at the house. While we were watching them, I noticed something was strange about the fawn...

Then I noticed what it was, he has a pretty big lump on his chest. 

See it? I have no idea what it is... I had a hard time getting a good picture since he wouldn't look straight at me, but hopefully I'll see him again. We've seen deer with abscesses on their face, but never in this spot, or on a fawn.

Yesterday before the cold came in, Kevin and his helper got the big camper winterized so nothing will freeze...

We don't have much color still, just a little bit.

Even in the village, it's still pretty green.

Well, I've had about enough excitement for one day, and it's only 3:30 in the afternoon. I'm going to head to the kitchen to do some baking before heading back up to the barn to get the ducks settled in their new pen and do evening chores.

Douglas has pretty much decided what kind of afternoon he'll be having by the looks of things...


Wow! Keep looking for those ticks. We haven't had an issue with them in our area yet, but like you we spend so much time outdoors, I worry about it.

Hmmmmm...strange about that goat. I'm surprised that she would be fertile at all?

I love Douglas!
Boy, my family has had awesome experiences with ticks. One time, when I was a kid, my brother came home with a tick in a very special place and I remember telling him, very seriously, that the tick was going to suck all the blood out and leave his b@lls shriveled. I was mean like that. He was only 9 years old and went through the house screaming while holding his scrotum in his hands begging for ANYONE to remove the tick. It was the most hysterical thing I ever saw...I even wrote a warped poem about it in our adulthood and named it, "There's a Tick on Me." He had to read it outloud to everyone at Christmastime. My family is so special to me. :-)

Anyway, I never heard of goats having such issues, glad to know of these things BEFORE we move to the farm full-time. Keep on sharing!
Sorry about your tick problem...I am hoping to get some Guineas to take care of some of those here...and to make lots of noise because having a toddler I just don't have enough annoying loud sounds out here in the country hehe.

I am a little baffles what the "that" is...I am still learning about goats...now I have to go research polled goats.

Hope you enjoyed your soup and the ducks are all tucked in safe and sound.

Blessings Kelsie
Chai Chai said…
I so hate ticks! That is why I want to keep my guinea population up here, they wipe those nasty ticks out!
ticks, yuck!

Luv the helper.

Is that big dog gonna eat that apple or only want it to keep somebody else from eating it.

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