I love Fall. In no uncertain terms, I love everything about it. I love the way the air smells, I love wood fires in the evening, I love cooler temperatures and a tiny hint of frost in the mornings, I love soup, a cast iron pot of chili simmering on the woodstove all day and, forgive me the cliche, I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes, too.
What I find significantly more challenging, is that Fall also brings rut. This year, I have two Angora bucks, three (soon to be four) Nigerian Dwarf bucks, and one Jacob ram on the property. The hormones are flowing freely and Tipp (pictures above) has turned from an agreeable, sweet creature into the proverbial battering ram. Never before have I had probelms with him challenging my fences, but this year that all changed.
For a full two weeks, I fixed the fences in some place or another every. single. day. I kid you not. He has destroyed chain link, hog wire and cattle panels, and holds the record for greatest destruction yet: he actually snapped a T-post clean in half. How, I am not sure, but it wasn't rusty, bent or otherwise compromised and, frankly, I was as impressed as I was ticked off.
Tamarac has had full access to all his lay-deez, and I have high hopes for lots of babies come Spring. So far, only one of the does has re-cycled, and she paid a return visit to the buck pen.
I never really see Tipp breed the Angora girls, but I am hoping beyond all hopes he gets the job done. So far only one of them has cycled, but the rest should follow soon as the days shorten. Tamarac is more than keen to help him out with his job, so I'm having to keep a close eye on fences and potential escape routes. Even a 50lb+ Nigi buck can make himself deceptively small when he wants to squeeze through a gap.
Whether the young ram will get all the Jacob girls bred remains to be seen. He's right around nine months, and there's a good possibility he might not get it done. But with the other bucks in close proximity to him, I'm hoping it might jump-start his hormones. Only time will tell....