It is my kids’ favorite time of year —- when the weather cools, leaves are ablaze, autumn books and décor come out of storage, expectations of Thanksgiving run high.
And goat breeding is in process.
We own 4 does but no bucks. Two of our does are Saanens and seasonal breeders who come into heat in the fall. To encourage them to “get in the mood,” my kids must perform a rather unpleasant duty twice a day. After the milkings and while our Saanens are still on their milking stand, the boys open a Ziploc baggie and allow the does to smell the stinky buck rag inside. The unpleasant part is that the kids get a good whiff of that buck rag too. It is unavoidable as the stench is so strong that it can be smelled BEFORE they even open the bag.
For those uneducated on goaty matters, a male goat is called a buck and he is a nasty, nasty creature. He is quite odoriferous, in part because he enjoys urinating all over himself. I have even seen bucks urinate on their faces and appear to drink it. Female goats, which are called does, are much more sensible and appealing creatures, turning their delicate noses up at the nasty habits of their male counterparts. Our does are clean animals, only getting dirty if we get behind clearing out their barn or if it rains a lot and there is mud and muck for them to wade through.
However, a doe’s weakness is her attraction to that bucky bouquet. Since we don’t have a buck on the premises, we obtain a “buck rag” from a buck-owning friend, so we can carry that bucky balm back home with us and unleash it on our does . As you have probably deduced, a buck rag is simply a rag that has been rubbed over a buck. Once the scent has performed its magic and begins our does’ cycles, we haul them to our friend’s farm for breeding. One hundred fifty days later, we get baby goats and milk.
So one morning last week, Lincoln comes in from the morning’s milking laughing about our doe, Gegi. Sidney had milked her and then let her smell the buck rag while she was still on the milking stand.
“Man, Gegi loves that buck rag. She was in a DAZE! She didn’t know what she was doing, like she was absent-minded. She was lost in a world of romance . . . . . .except when Sidney tried to get her down from the milking stand. She didn’t want to go. It was ROMANCE on the milking stand!”
I laughed to myself, imagining the look on the boys’ faces, if I revealed that I have always been entranced by their Dad’s scent.