Springtime on the farm is also 4-H time for the kids. Time to get the animal projects started.
This year Sam and Peter are joining their first farm animal 4-H club. After much discussion and debate, it was decided that the boys would have a market goat project. We would save the pig project for a year when there is a little less on the farm's To Do list. We are still working on the home improvement project so the thought of diverting time and energy to building pig pens and helping boys "train" (ha! HAhahahaha!!! *snort*) the hogs for fair just made our brains explode.
Goats. We can handle the goats. We've been handling the goats, more or less, for sixteen years or so.
So on a gorgeous sunny spring day we headed to the beautiful pastoral goat farm of friends and fellow 4-H-ers so that the boys could acquire their market goat. There were many goats to choose from.
The first application of their goat knowledge meant choosing a kid that was a meat breed (like the Boer goats in this photo) and that showed potential for good confirmation and weight gain. The hope is that they will have a blue ribbon animal that will bring a good price at the county fair auction.
Samuel immediately made friends with this bottle-fed baby. The problem is that the boys cannot pick out their best friend but must choose a goat that will, in the end, get on a truck and head to market after fair and not return home to play in our pasture. It's the sad reality of 4-H market animal projects and the sooner the kids face it the better.
Finally the boys chose two fine little wethers that just happened to be brothers too.
So now the summer will be spent learning all the details of goat ownership- nutrition, grooming, handling and fair goat showmanship.
I'm still glad they're not pigs.