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Welcome, Levi!

I don't need another buck, but . . .

By Kimberly J EganPublished 19 days ago 3 min read
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Young Levi at his breeder's farm. Unlike my other goats, who are Nigerian Dwarfs and a Nigerian/LaMancha mix (I'm looking at you, Gus!), Levi is a purebred LaMancha buckling. His earless appearance is characteristic of the breed. LaManchas either have "gopher" ears, with little to no cartilage and ear leather no more than one inch long, or "elf" ears, with cartilage that points either up or down and ear leather that doesn't exceed two inches.

Back many moons ago, when I was still working for the orthodontist who started my love affair with dairy goats, I had a favorite buck named "Erroll." He was a super-special purebred LaMancha buck, sweet and gentle even though he weighed close to 150 pounds. I could lead him around with a rope around his neck, although he was strong and could have crushed me like a bug in his paddock. Erroll was born what most people would consider "red," but his color faded over time to an almost clear white. His massive forelock and his ridiculous long beard gave him a nearly comical expression. I was crushed when we discovered that the abscess on his jaw was symptomatic for Caseous Lymphadenitis (CL), a disease probably brought in by a buck or a doe that had been purchased within the previous three years.

It was a death sentence, not just for Erroll, but for most of the bucks and some of the does. Does that contract CL become unthrifty and their milk production drops. CL is chronically infectious, passes easily from doe to kid, and stays in anything porous that an infected goat may have rubbed an open abscess against. The bucks and the does were not kept together, but they did share short sections of fence line--and CL can get into the soil, too. Small favors being what they were, Erroll was a prolific sire. He had several dozen kids to his credit, many of whom were already producing.

Erroll Flynn on the left, 2013. Levi on the right, 2024. Although I don't remember Erroll having socks like Levi's--the picture of Erroll is a bit overexposed--he did throw kids with that kind of marking.

I mention "my" lovely boy Erroll because he happens to be one of Levi's great grandsires on his dam's side. This kid is almost the spitting image of his ancestor at close to the same age: I think that in the side-by-side pictures, Levi is one week older. When I saw that image on a local farm's Facebook page, I knew that I was looking at an Erroll descendant. I was thrilled and amazed to find that he was for sale--but, sadly, not at a price that I could afford. I told the seller to keep me in mind if he didn't sell at the price she was asking. I let her know that I was looking for a doe, too, since she had a few for sale at the time. We agreed that, if she had a purebred doe that didn't sell at her asking price, that she would offer me Levi and a doe for a package deal. Wheeling and dealing for bucks isn't uncommon or rude. Bucks are the "seconds" of the goat world, so bargains are common. I once knew someone who would throw in a buckling for every doeling purchased--but I digress.

Dramatic Levi during weaning. Momgoat is in the background, unconcerned about her hollering child. All goat kids tend to be dramatic during weaning, but Levi is super-duper good at it.

About a month later, I was once again perusing the same farm's Facebook page, when I saw that Levi was still available and on a "last chance to pass on his genetics" warning. Little Levi was about to become a wether! Gak! I immediately got in touch with the seller and reiterated my interest in this buckling, who I honestly did NOT need and in whom I was invested on sentiment alone. After a short period of negotiations, I was assured that little Levi's family jewels were safe from pillaging and that I could pick him up somewhere around the end of May, when he was fully weaned.

That day is almost here! I already have a flat-sided bucket for him, hanging on the fence line, a new order of goat food and hay that will be waiting for him when he arrives. The doeling? She may not yet be born--or--I might end up with an irascible doe in milk that everyone fondly calls "The Turd." Either way is fine with me, because unlike all the other times that I've bought goats, the doe is the afterthought! All I know right now is that 1) I am back on track with starting my mini LaMancha herd and 2) that part of my wonderful friend Erroll is back with me on my journey. At the moment, I am a very happy woman.

In memory of Erroll Flynn, pictured here at two weeks and shortly before being taken by CL. He retained his sweet nature throughout his life. Thank you for being you, Erroll. I miss you.

Thank you so much for reading my little stories about my homestead. I hope you enjoy them! If you'd like to see more, please consider subscribing!

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About the Creator

Kimberly J Egan

Welcome to LoupGarou/Conri Terriers and Not 1040 Farm! I try to write about what I know best: my dogs and my homestead. I'm currently working on a series of articles introducing my readers to some of my animals, as well as to my daily life!

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  • Lisa Priebe16 days ago

    What a sweet story! Looking forward to hearing all about the Adventures of Levi ☺️

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