Colorado State Fair
It was a fun weekend at the Colorado State Fair. Phil and I took Nubbin and Petunia for the milking competition. I have high hopes that Petunia can get her milk star this year since she's been in lactation for so long (440 days or so at this point), but we'll see. Naturally the girls give less milk the moment they get to fair. 

The most important event of the day was of course the costume class. As usual, Phil and I were the only adults competing. We did a group costume this time. I was Cinderedna, Phil was Prince Capricornicus, Nubbin was the Fairy Goat-Mother, and Petunia was a pumkin. There's nothing quite like shuffling through shavings and goat poo in high heels and a floor-length gown!  


The highlight of the fair was when we saw the couple who bought Snickers, Sledge, and Hammer. The boys are doing very well and their new owners adore them. They've already taken the boys out hiking several times, including a pretty long hike with several water crossings, and they have nothing but good things to say about their new hiking companions. The boys follow them everywhere and come running for loves (especially Sledge). They agree with us that goats are therapeutic. They've hiked more miles now with the goats than they have in ages. They're even talking about taking them on a trip to Utah this fall. It thrills me to no end that the boys are happy and thriving with people who love them.
We had another fun show this past weekend. We took the girls and headed up to Longmont for the annual Colorado Dairy Goat Association Harvest Show. This was Jezebel's first time leaving home and she did very well with all the new experiences like getting a haircut, having to be sociable with strangers, and having her udder handled and shaved for the first time. She and Tigerlily also had to be separated at night since Jezebel needed milk in her udder in order to show next morning. This was a lot less traumatic than I thought it might be, and Tigerlily did not jump the fence to get back in with her mother. Petunia was kind to her little pen-mate, but I cannot say the same for how Nubbin treated poor Jezebel. As a somewhat stunted three-year-old first freshener, Jezebel could not hope to win anything, but I have to say she has a really nivr shape to her udder and the best attachments of anyone in my herd.   

Phil has gotten to know a boy named Mason over the course of several shows during the last two years. Phil's and Mason's goats also hit it off during the lineup.  

Petunia and especially Nubbin truly enjoy having their faces brushed with the soft horsehair finishing brush and couldn't get enough of it during our show prep times. 
The first day of the show, our herd did pretty respectably. The judge was impressed by Petunia's extended lactation as a first freshener (about 450 days at this point, and she's still giving about 3 quarts/day). I think he truly has an appreciation for our mixed breed "homestead" goats, and he gave Petunia Reserve Champion Recorded Grade Doe (not terribly prestigious in such a small division, but it felt good to get that big, shiny ribbon). 

Petunia had her own reasons for appreciating the ribbon. 

The first day's judge was so thrilled when he saw me putting Petunia through her tricks at the side of the ring while we were waiting for the best of breed lineup that he called an impromptu break between classes to have us come in the ring and show everyone what she can do. He later pulled me aside and asked for training tips. He raises Nubians and he said he didn't think most were smart enough to learn tricks, but he had one he thought might be capable and wanted to know how it was done. He was a very fun judge to talk to, and he fondly remembers the year he met Cuzco at the Weld County Goat Extravaganza and got a cart ride through the show ring. I think it took him a few minutes to realize we were the same people who gave him a ride on the "Colorado Limo". He told me he loves sharing that photo with people.    

This same judge also loved Tigerlily and awarded her Grand Champion Recorded Grade Junior Doe. This is our first Grand Champion ribbon, and it was fun to be in the lineup for Best Junior Doe in Show. We did not win the Best in Show ribbon because Tigerlily "lacks refinement", but I was actually happy to hear those words. We're not really breeding for refinement but for substance, and Tigerlily definitely has substance! This four-month-old already weighs a good 70 lbs.!  

That night we had an ice cream social, and I brought the ice cream. When we came to Harvest Show two years ago I was so excited when I saw "Homemade Ice Cream Social" on the schedule because I was sure that any homemade ice cream served at a goat show would have to be made from goat milk. I was disappointed when it turned out to be pre-made "homemade ice cream" mix from a carton. The ice cream social was on the schedule again this year, so I put my oar in and said I'd provide the ice cream mix myself. I mixed up a gallon of vanilla and a gallon of mint chip at home from cream and milk donated by my goatie girls and brought it with me to the show in a cooler. A man there had a wonderful ice cream churn made from an old fashioned washing machine motor, a wooden bucket full of ice, and a metal canister. It was great fun to have proper goat milk ice cream at a goat show.
That sure sounds like a lot of fun. Makes me want to find a goat show to go watch. Your girls are as good looking as your boys.

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