May 26, 2011

Weekend activity?

Bored up in the Bay Area this weekend? Want to come see a goat show? Come over to REDGA Saturday or Sunday and enjoy one of the best shows of the season!

Go to for full flyer details!

(and I am sure I will blog about the results next week sometime)

May 22, 2011

Red Bluff (NVDGA) Show 2011

We attended the Red Bluff – North Valley DGA show last year for the first time. The fairgrounds have a lovely set up with pens large enough for the does to spread out and a beautiful grassy area where the owners can set up tents.  Last year we had a great time camping and enjoying the people.  This year we enjoyed seeing people – but the weather was as uncooperative as possible.
After a few days of 90° weather in late April we were inspired to clip everyone enough to be ready for the show. All the kids got a full clip and the milkers were mostly clipped (with an udder clip). Boy did the weather play a trick on us. The balmy 70-80’s dropped down into the 40’s with a wind and rain chill. Few things are less fun than tent camping in the rain with water blowing into the tent.
The does (who now have almost no hair) were very cold and miserable. They do not like being cold and the fact that water was involved was just too much. They all looked hunched up and cold. Even looking that way, Arizona had a great weekend. She placed first on the first day and second on the second day! Out of a large class of almost 8 other goats, we couldn’t be prouder! The rest of our does fell somewhere in the middle of their classes, but with that weather – I couldn’t fault them if they lay down on the ground and refused to get up. I certainly felt like doing that.
Our kids were somewhat of a mixed bag. Most of them we put coats on in an attempt to keep them warm. While it made it possible to keep them comfortable while in their pens, I think it made them colder when we took them off to put them in the show ring – creating the same hunched up appearance as their older counterparts.
Bermuda looked beautiful and incredible long and won her junior leg. This means that she probably won’t come with us in many future shows this year but still I’m excited to have another doe with that start to her show career. Bamboo took first in one ring and almost made reserve junior champion. When the judge announced she was going with a different goat, Bamboo was royally offended and turned and screamed (and yes, she screamed, not just hollered or maa’ed) at the judge. Thankfully the judge was good natured enough to laugh along with us at Bamboo. Berkeley really impressed us by placing second in her class several times just behind or in several cases, between several animals out of top herds.  Overall we were really proud of our junior does and how they did in their classes.
Even our successes did not outweigh the relief we felt upon returning to our house which was significantly drier and a tad bit warmer. All the goats were glad to be able to wait out the storm in their own shelter and huddle with the rest of the herd for warmth.
Hopefully the next show coming up this weekend will be just as enjoyable with the people and the goats and several times more enjoyable with the weather.

May 10, 2011

First Show 2011

For the past few years we have been on a schedule – the show season starts with the closest show. At only 40 minutes away, we can bring lots of kids, we can bring all our 4Hers, and overall a great show to ease into the season.
Last Saturday as we were discussing who to bring and who the 4Hers could do showmanship with, we were suddenly confronted with an upheaval to our nice little plans. They were looking for an emergency replacement judge down in Chino for a 3 ring, 1 day show. Taking one for the team (and because it sounded really fun!), we agreed to head down south and bypass the close show.
We still sent a few 4Hers with their leased goats up north to do showmanship and practice. Reports indicate that one of our 4Her’s even got a special trophy for the Lamamcha specialty show! Sometimes it is good to know some things can run without us.
Since I would be the only one showing, we had to make sure we had only one goat per class. Most shows we can get away with more goats in each class since we can both be showing. Additionally because we see most of the same people at all the shows we normally go to  - we can always ask our friends to help us out. This time around I was going solo and wanted to make sure I was only showing one per class. So we took 3 senior does to show (Arizona, Alba, Xymphony) and 4 jr does (Bolivia, Brea, Bianca, and Ballad). A mishap with Brea’s papers meant that we did not get to show her and Yodel came along for the ride since she would be very uncomfortable without Ballad.
I got the opportunity to deliver the second Saanen wether to his new home where he is to be a slightly spoiled pack goat. I had seen the ad asking for a bottle baby Saanen back in February and figured there was no way I would be able to get a goat all the way down there, even if one of my boys was a good fit. This trip made it all work out. There is nothing that warms your heart more than seeing one of your animals go to a new loving home. I have no doubt he will be very happy down there.
It was cool to see so many other people who we don’t normally see and compete against lots of animals you don’t on a regular basis. The highlight of the show was Bolivia going Reserve Jr champion. She walked out in the that ring like she was a star. Ballad and Bianca did not act as polite (although they placed respectably in their classes). Bianca walked through the ring hunched up and cold while Ballad danced on 2 legs most of the time. That is part of what the show season is for – teach the animals a few manners and how to behave like little ladies.
After a 7 hour drive down and a 12+ hour day of showing and judging we loaded everyone back up and headed home. Although we arrived at 4am (and had to milk a very angry Katie) it was a really fun experience and a great change of pace.