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  • Writer's pictureTina

Ace Ven-Churro

Last week, we added a new member to our farm family. The Bibbed Wonder decided we needed to add new blood to our breeding program. For the past several years, our buck, Abu, has been our only billy. Abu is a beautiful black and white moon-spotted Boer goat. When Abu came to us, he was almost feral. We could not get within six feet of him. Abu was probably six to eight months old when he arrived. Over time, with patience and gentleness, Abu learned to trust us. Abu has become a loved member of our barnyard family. Abu is now five years old; this past rut season, we noticed a difference in him.

During rut season, we keep Abu separated from the girls so we can plan and regulate when the girls become pregnant. Abu has worn a path along the fence line in the past, trying to gain the girls’ attention. We have always been able to go into his pasture field, feed him, brush him, and walk to the pond without issue. This year, Abu would not permit us into his area. We had to attach a feeding trough to the gate because we could not enter his domain without him charging us. He rears up on his back legs, swings his head, and bounces on his front feet. Abu is probably close to two-hundred pounds and has a beautiful set of horns. My boy went from a friendly fellow that enjoyed attention and scratches to an intimidating beast.

We expected this hostile behavior to end when the rut season was over. Sadly and frustratingly, it has not ended. With the baby season well underway, we spend much time in the barn and pasture field. Most days, Abu is civilized. However, the further we travel into the pasture field, the more aggressive he becomes. We know the aggression is right under the surface, and we understand if/when he decides to act on this aggression, he can really hurt us. I have begun carrying Jordan’s ax handle into the pasture field for protection. I have not had to use it, but when he jumps at me, I hold it like a baseball bat and tell him, “No!” So far, it is enough to make him back down.

We all understand that Abu cannot stay here with us. As much as I have enjoyed him and love the colorful babies he produces, he has become a genuine threat to our safety. I spoke with Aaron Simpson from Lone Oak Farm, and Aaron told me they have the same issue with their Jersey bulls. The bulls are fine until the age of four or five, and then they become aggressive. It seems to be the same situation with most stud animals. Sigh.

The Bibbed Wonder has chosen little Oliver, aka Ollie, to be the buck for our Boer goats. Ollie is a friendly little guy born here on the farm last year. Ollie is a lovely marled black and white with very distinct markings. He will make an excellent addition to our meat goat line. However, Ollie cannot produce the milk lines needed for our dairy goats. The Bibbed Wonder and I went back and forth over adding a Nubian buck to our farm. We questioned the direction we wanted to take our bloodlines. We contemplated adding show stock and champion bloodlines. However, we concluded we are not in the business of show animals, nor do we see ourselves going in that direction.

Our girls are registered and have good bloodlines, but we are more interested in healthy, well-mannered ladies with sweet dispositions. Our girls are pets, and we love them. I have no desire to raise show goats with possible genetic issues and poor personalities. Kudos to those who do raise show goats. It’s simply not my area of interest. Enter Ace. Ace is an adorable Nubian buckling from our friend at Caprine Ridge. He is a sweet, fawn-colored bottle baby who eats up attention, loves to be cuddled, and will knock you down if he sees you with a bottle full of milk.

Ace comes from strong milking stock and champion bloodlines, but we are more interested in his sweet disposition and lovely long ears. Ace is the color of cinnamon and sugar. I struggled for several days to find an appropriate name for him. I considered Crème Brulee because he is the color of my favorite dessert. Jordan always calls us “Bruh,” which I find endlessly annoying. I thought we could call him Bruh for short. The Bibbed Wonder informed me, “That was stupid.” Sigh. I then considered calling him Churro, like the delicious Mexican dessert covered in cinnamon and sugar. That name was also rejected. My bean, who has developed her father’s sense of humor, God help me, giggled like a maniacal squirrel and told me we should call him Ace Ven-Churro. Get it? Like Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, but change it to Churro. She and The Bibbed Wonder thought it was quite clever. Thus, the name Ace.

Ace looks so different from our Boer/Nubian mix babies. We have forgotten how long and leggy full-blooded Nubian baby goats are. And those ears! His little ears go on for miles. He is a beautiful little boy, and I am excited to see what color combinations he will produce in the future. This summer, everyone who doesn’t make milk will go to our friends who need their pasture cleared. Ollie will be among those goats. It will be Ollie’s job to produce babies with our Boer goats and our Boer crosses. Ace will remain here at the farm with the girls who make milk, and he will be responsible for creating full-blooded Nubian babies.

Ace has buddied up with Midge and Lester. They make an adorable threesome, much like the baby goat version of The Three Musketeers. I enjoy watching them bounce and play. All the babies are now venturing out into the pasture field with the herd. Their favorite game is to climb on the downed dead tree in the back corner. They line up like children waiting to go down the sliding board. Just like human children, nobody is allowed to skip line. If one does try to take someone else’s turn, they are head-butted and sent to the back of the line. It’s quite humorous.

We have a lot to be thankful for and look forward to. Life is good here at the farm. On this chilly sunny spring day, stay safe, be smart, welcome the new, and keep washing your hands.

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Just be sure to keep him away from Einhorn.

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