First, this song always brightens my day. This specific version. I loved this guy's voice and the ukulele... makes me want to steal back Tiff's ukulele and get back to learning to play it myself, even though i totally can't tune the thing properly (I never seem to be able to get it tuned right, it is always off, and that is likely because it is a cheap uku).
Now that I am teary eyed and smiling... (and now listening to more Hawaiian music by the late great IZ)
I almost got a cow. Not recently, I mean when I got the goats I had originally considered a small cow instead. Someone had Dexter cows (I.E. "pony" cows... like, little cows) and had a bred female for $600.
Dexter cattle (images shamelessly stolen from the internet):
Now that was only about $100 more than I had planned to spend on my goats (I paid a lot less, but it was what I had planned to spend originally), and if i wanted to start with a female calf instead I could have picked up a slightly over sized one for $200. Still smaller than a full sized cow, and easy to handle and house but just not small enough to be a good quality Dexter.
Cows are... well, for many people a milk cow of any size is a much much MUCH better choice than a goat. For one, I could keep it with my horses and use my existing fence. Cows have their moments but they are not like inviting pure unadulterated chaos into your life the way goats are.
You want to know what the number one reason was I decided against a Dexter cow? I absolutely hate, detest, ABHOR cow feces. I find the sight, smell, texture... everything about them gross. From the sound they make hitting the ground and the sight of slimy crap dribbling over the cows hocks to the way over time they dry into a roughly Frisbee-like brick of partially digested fiber I hate cow pies. It's like they always have the runs. ALWAYS. And the smell makes me gag. Driving by a cattle yard just grosses me out. I have to breath through my mouth and then it's like I can TASTE it, ugh. Don't get me wrong, I adore cows. They are very awesome animals. They are not as dumb as a lot of folks think they are and they have a lot more personality than folks think... but to own one I would have to deal with... cow pies. Given the choice... NO THANK YOU!!!
Now, for contrast... THIS is what comes out of a goat:
So, even had all things otherwise been equal (which they weren't, there were other reasons I preferred goats as well) I'd have selected goats on the form of their feces alone.
So imagine my delight when I went out three days ago to give the goats their dinner and was greeted by a reeking cowpie in the goat pen and Sage's butt covered in gross cow-pie-like doodoo. GAG!!! In a cow this would just be consider poop. In a goat... this... this is scours. And a goat dropping cowpies is a goat that is not, at that moment, a healthy goat. In a cow scours is something even more shocking and troubling because their already sloppy doo becomes... well... let's just say scours in a cow is a whole other lower level of animal husbandry hell.
Luckily Sage was acting normal, aside from her butt and tail being coated (and I mean COATED) in liquid feces she seemed normal. Perky, active, noisy, obnoxious, irritable, hungry and prone to climbing on things. I assumed that in the sled full of grass and weeds I had tossed into them that morning there had been something that didn't agree with her, but she had eaten it anyway. Regardless, she needed some TLC, and *gag* some clean up. So I brought her out of the pen, gently rinsed off what I could get off without scrubbing (she objected to the rinse but not nearly as much as she objected when I tried to scrub it off) then she got a dose of baking soda (to settle her tummy), a dose of lamb and kid paste (all full of nutrients and probiotics and blah blah blah), a dose of Goat Nutri-drench (jammed full of nutrients to give a sick or weak goat a boost) and just as a reward for being so compliant (IE fighting me tooth and nail but not actually trying to kill me) I filled her mouth with molasses.
I put her back in with her buddies so she would shut up. Everyone else was fine. And now the fun part started. The watching and waiting.
Sage, being a redneck weedwhacker:
See, I'm going to be a bit brutal with my culling of goats. I need tough, sturdy, healthy, worm resistant goats. A goat who gets sick easily, needs wormed once a month, and is a hard keeper and needs a lot of food to keep weight? Not gonna stay in my program and reproduce. Period. I've already got a watch on Rosemary because she doesn't hold weight like Thyme and Sage (I'll see how many and what quality babies I get out of Rosemary and how she milks before i decide... since I think she is my absolute prettiest goat, and pretty doesn't fill the freezer but it does make me smile) and if Sage is not going to be healthy on good basic care and is going to require a lot of veterinary intervention she has to go. Thing is I think she is going to be my best milk goat. She has nicely formed teats, and doesn't mind being handled (unless you are trying to trim her feet or medicate her) and there is just something about her that looks dairy more than my other does. And I REALLY would like a doe out of her with Parsley to keep back.
Parsley, hopefully ready to share some dairy genetics with Sage, and possibly some funky ear genetics, too:
Rosemary, being lovely with those gorgeous ears:
So, watching and waiting. Dreading cow pies. Every few hours for the last few days I am out there, watching, waiting to see if she will have more cowpies or give me delightful virtually odorless little goat berries. She responded to my meds within two hours by firming up a bit. THANK GOODNESS! Still gross as all heck, like dog crap, but not gag inducing cowpies. And at breakfast this morning she gave me perfectly normal goat berries!
Over goat crap.