My partner Art and I hope to qualify for a state agricultural exemption, which would save us lots of money on property taxes. Problem is, to get these farm exemptions you have to actually, y'know, farm ...
We are planning to raise and sell 'Tame Nigerian Dwarfs With Sweet Milk.' This would mean I'll be birthing babies once or twice a year. (Pass the Huggies and Diazepam.) Naturally, as our herd increases we'll have to fence off another acre or two. I'll eventually build another website, similar to the one we had when we rented the beach cabin. I intend to name our little livestock venture "The Art of Goats." I expect it will take at least year before the business is up and running.
Introducing an uncastrated billy to the paddock is not an option - they can be fractious and unpredictable, I'm told. Stud services are costly. It's too late for linebreeding since Bushrod and Cricket have already been neutered. So we've decided to attempt artificial insemination. Here are a few things I've learned: You can purchase goat sperm online for $25 dollars per vial from a company called - I'm not kidding - The Buck Bank. Units of measurement for caprine semen are referred to as "straws" and they must be kept frozen in liquid nitrogen. (Note to self: Clearly label and store away from the milkshake straws.) Once the goat jism is defrosted, you have about an hour to insert the baby batter into whichever doe is in heat. (I grow faint at the prospect, but we're on a fixed income and the tax savings are enormous.)
You may recall that Angel had a difficult time delivering Cricket. When the ordeal was over, I promised her she would never again have to go through the agony of childbirth. (Yes, I make promises to my goats.) That leaves Sister who is strong and, judging by her teeth and the absence of a beard, considerably younger. Although we will be offering Sister's future progeny as pets - with stern requirements for prospective owners - our classified ads will likely read: "milkers" and "gentle herd sires." We might get a third Nigerian Dwarf nanny for breeding purposes.
Our success in gentling Bushrod and Cricket has astonished the local vet. When Dr. Lucy last came out to the farm, she cuddled the bucklings and said they're more affectionate than those she's seen which were bottle-fed.
Apparently, we're doing something right. We respect the animals' natural intelligence and curiosity and use their passion for raisins to break up quarrels and occasional displays of jealousy. Sometimes at dusk, when the goats gather around me, I grab the guitar and sing "Patches" to them. During the chorus, they bleat and bleat like their little hearts are breaking. This sets the dogs to howling, It is a melancholy scene.