According to my stats, 25 days ago, I wrote a blog about the arrival of Fall and how all the goats were suddenly triggered into uncontrollable, fence destroying, face-peeing, doe-chasing rut. There were some other nasty, anatomically improbable things going on too, which I imagine that seasoned buck-keepers are very aware of, but I'm going to gloss right on over that, because this is a family blog, y'all. And because gag. Just gag.

I'm happy to report that the boys have calmed down nicely, mostly due to the fact that the girls have all settled, and are no longer backing their patooties up to the adjoining fence and wagging their tails invitingly. This is the kind of behaviour that has me carrying industrial zip ties in my pockets at all times, because the much-maligned-during-rut-Tipp will simply lower his head and walk right on through that wire like it's not even there.

My far more polite Nigerian bucks have done their jobs and also helped me to discover a useful little breeding season trick this year. Turns out that the location of my buck pen, half way between the barn and the pasture, is a good place for it to be. Every morning, as I herd my ladies out of the barn and out to munch grass, they have to walk past the buck pen. Those who are not cycling and those who are already bred, simply trit-trot on past, and head on out to graze. Those who happen to be re-cycling, pause on the way past the stinky boys, and wag their tails, sending the boys into blubbing ecstasy. Kind of like a goat-sieve, if you will, that catches the ladies needing a return vist to the honeymoon suite. Darn useful, I have to say.

I had hopes for lambs this year but, being new to sheep, I'm not altogether certain that my young ram is redy to breed the girls yet. I've not seen anything exciting happen, but then again, they can be shy. I remember saying the same thing about my angoras back when I first got them, and then being delighted by a full complement of babies!

I can't wait to see what spring brings!

On an entirely seperate note... does it strike you as the right time of year for this?!

A broody hen. In November. She's sitting on a dozen eggs, but I've lost count of how long she's been there. Maybe she will surprise me with little peeps at some point, but honestly, I think it's simply too cold out there. She may be out of luck until next year. I do love this about the buffs, they're so naturally broody. It's a trait that's been bred out of so many of the production breeds, and I do love to see it in a true heritage bird.

I leave you with this fina; image of the very interior of our woodlands, leaves browned and falling - and the tree stand already up! While hunting season isn't open here yet, we sure are enjoying brisk fall walks and the sight of groups of deer playing at the edges of the pastures.

If you're celebrating the spoils of bow season already - happy hunting!