David, our buck, has been such a nuisance lately. He’s waited for months until his girls were no longer pregnant, and now he is in rut again, although no one will be in heat until the fall, and they run away from him (you can’t blame them).
He’s started to pee on himself and stink again, and has just been obnoxious – harassing the girls non-stop, sticking his tongue out, and making the “whro-whro-whro” courting noise that sounds so idiotic.
The baby goats are huge, and more playful than ever in their little gang. I’ve been having everyone out grazing since the babies are so big now. They have been jumping fences and going where they please, and only show up to be milked. Twilight showed up with four babies skipping around her yesterday, and there was nary a sign of the other goats. She was pleased to be milked first, and tried to nurse Mustardseed afterwards. Oberon tried to get just a sip, and she showed him what-for.
One of Allan Nation’s book reviews in The Stockman Grass Farmer caught my eye this week. It was about a book called The Serengeti Rules, by professor Sean B. Carroll from the University of Wisconsin.
Carroll studied the ecosystem of the Serengeti to try to find out how it worked. He identified three distinct habitat zones that were constantly changing based on how the animals were using the land. Populations that used the land differently (such as grazers like the buffalo versus the browsers like elephants and giraffes) altered the land as their populations pulsed. Periodic droughts pulse the population to low numbers that allow the plant growth to recuperate.
One of the observations was that healthy ecosystems all start with large ruminants. They were the ones (along with their predators and population controls) that were the basis of the ecosystem, and it was their impacts that created the habitats. I found this so interesting, as there is so much in the environmental movement against domestic ruminants. If mismanaged by human beings, they can destroy, but it is only our misunderstandings and lack of insight into the workings of nature that cause them to be destructive.