Goat-O-Rama Kids of 2015
These two guys are becoming the clowns of the herd. They're running around like racehorses and getting into all kinds of mischief these days.

It turns out they are very appropriately named. Unlike Snickers and Sputnik, who were always pretty good little buddies, Sledge and Hammer can get into some pretty serious fights! The hackles stand up, the necks stiffen, and the next thing you know they're churning around the yard like a tornado and smacking each other hard enough to give me a headache!

Hammer also likes to pick fights with Delilah. Ever since he "pushed" her off the rock wall, he's under the impression that he can beat her in a fight and he keeps trying to score another victory. From the look of her ear set, Delilah appears to be taking these challenges pretty seriously!

Phil still managed to get both the boys up on his lap, but he won't be able to do this much longer! Even one of them is starting to be quite a lapful!

Sledge and Hammer are right in the middle of that adorable but annoying jumping and chewing phase. "Up! Up! Up!" they say. And then when you pick them up, they squirm around and try to eat everything in sight--your hair, your sleeves, your buttons, your arm hair. So you put them back down where they promptly step in mud (or worse things) and then jump their filthy little toes all over your clean pants. Still, there's nothing more amusing than ticklish baby goat feet drumming on your backside while they tug on your shirt or braid and clamor for attention.
In all the excitement of new babies, we can't forget the older goats!

Pac-Man is always amusing us with is rolling and scratching antics. Half the time he looks like a colicky horse the way he paws, rolls, twists, and stretches out on the ground. Today he was plowing his head into the grass.

"What? I'm gorgeous!"

Finn is also gorgeous, and he's the first goat I've seen since Cuzco who is completely aware of his own looks.

Delilah lets me know what she really thinks about all this picture-taking!

And we wrap up with a picture of our two big boys grazing serenely together in a vivid green pasture. Incredibly, these two have been getting along lately. I don't know if Cuzco is getting too tired to fight, or if he's grooming Pac-Man to be the new herd king, or if Pac-Man has simply matured enough to be allowed into the upper echelon, but they have actually been sharing a shed recently and hanging out together more. It's also possible that this is a strategic move on both Cuzco's and Pac-Man's part since it protects both of them from the more aggressive Finn. Finn is constantly harassing and challenging Pac-Man, but he's not yet bold enough to go after Cuzco. On the other hand, I know (and Cuzco probably knows) that if Finn actually did challenge him seriously, the old fella would have a hard time winning at this point. Perhaps the big boys have formed their own alliance to keep Finn in his place a little longer.
Such cool pics! All are great looking goats, but there is something extra striking about Finn and Hammer Smile
Why thank you! I agree that Finn is one classy-looking goat (one reason we kept him!), and you can certainly tell that Sledge and Hammer are his boys! I love that the white goes all the way across the back on Finn and Hammer--that's probably one reason they catch your eye. But I also love Sledge's "donut" face marking. It's very unique. Other than Hammer's slightly turned-in front legs, the boys really take after their father with their long, level backs and strong, deep shoulders. I'm so glad we opted to breed Finn last fall. He's such a nice boy that I wish we could have bred him for more seasons, but at the same time, he's such a nice boy that we needed to wether him so we could start working with him. Catch 22 right there!

I think Sledge and Hammer will make lovely packgoats. I need to start advertising them soon! I'd love to find a home for them by the time they're weaned in a couple more months. I hope people aren't put off by the fact that they are dam-raised. Some folks seem to insist that their packgoats be bottle babies, but you'd never know the difference with these two. They LOVE people and will drop everything for some human interaction. I think it's more about the time you spend together than about who feeds them.
I finally have a moment to post photos from when Phil's family visited us at the end of May. We had a great time and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the goats. The babies were an especially big hit, and it was obvious that our visitors were a major source of entertainment for Sledge and Hammer too.


The boys developed a particular taste for hats during this visit.



Tigerlily wasn't so sure about all these strangers, but she was forced to put up with a lot of fussing and petting because of course everyone wanted to hold her.

Uncle Steve was especially fond of the two rascals. He spent much time sitting on a rock or laying in the meadow and letting them climb all over him like a jungle gym and nibble his hat, his shirt, his arm hair... Uncle Steve is always a big hit with kids!

Ruthanne concentrated very hard and got some milk out.
How are Sledge and Hammer doing? Their markings are awesome! How are their size and personalities developing?
Funny you should ask! Phil and I took Sledge and Hammer on their first hike a week ago and I just haven't had time to post the photos (I think I took too many). They did awesome! They're getting quite big, and although I haven't officially weighed them, they feel about 40 lbs. each right now. I think they're going to be really nice boys.

Snickers is shaping up to be a super packgoat too, actually. He's quiet (when I leave Sputnik home), obedient, not fussy or stubborn or spooky about anything, and he really seems to love getting out. He's not overloaded with personality or smarts, but he's not high maintenance or an idiot either. He looks like he'll grow up to be a good, honest, hard-working goat, and he's got nice conformation to boot. Perhaps not ideal packgoat conformation--like his father, he's a bit too mutton-withered and round in the back, which makes saddle fitting harder. But I saw at the Rendy that many of the Boer crosses that are getting popular also have round backs and no withers, so perhaps we'll start seeing saddles made for these broad types. On the plus side, he's got wonderful hooves that trim themselves perfectly like Cuzco, and he's got excellent bone substance in his legs like his father. I think he's going to be a real nice goat when all is said and done. Now I just need to find a good home for him since we can't keep them all if I want to breed any more this fall, and I already chose Sputnik to be my project.
Too bad Washington and Colorado aren't closer, I would be honored to buy one of your boys for my pack string. Finn, Sledge, and Hammer really catch my eye. Not just their coloring, but they have great structure and muscling too. You should be proud of the quality of animals you have been producing!
Aw, you're very kind Nebs. Thank you! I really do love Finn's structure--there's a reason I used him for a buck last season, and I really wish I could have kept him for breeding except then he wouldn't be a very nice hiking companion. Maybe one day we'll have someone in the area who can collect bucks and we can save the semen from the really nice ones like Finn, but it wasn't in the cards last year. More's the pity, because it turns out he really does stamp his offspring with his lovely conformation and personable, gung-ho attitude. Sledge and Hammer are going to make great packgoats for someone, I can tell.
And now for that hike I promised to post photos of... 

We took Finn, Snickers, Sledge, and Hammer for a hike up the Greenhorn Trail last week. This was Sledge and Hammer's first time out. They cried at first, as babies tend to do when you pull them away from mommy, but they seemed to enjoy themselves and quieted down by the end. Finn and Snickers provided a good example of how packgoats should behave on the trail, although we had to teach a few lessons about not cutting past people. Finn was especially determined to get past me so he could follow Phil, so I swatted him in the nose with my hat every time he would try to sneak past. It was pretty effective, but not always, as you can see from this picture. Smile

Phil with Finn and his boys. They sure do look a lot like their papa! 

The little guys really liked this big rock. 

Sledge discovered that the best part about hiking is the wide variety of delicious foliage. 

Hammer eluded the camera for almost the entire hike. When I finally did get a shot, this is what he gave me: 

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