The Virgin Goat of Goatalupe

One of the reasons that I raise Alpines is that they come in a variety of colors and patterns. I would get so tired of looking at goats that all look the same. Every year I hope to get spots and stripes and bands, and am disappointed when I don’t. Any goat that is born on my farm with spots or splashes has a guaranteed place on my farm. Forever. Even if she is fat and non-productive. I yearn for the goat with the Mickey Mouse pattern on her side. I pray for a Virgin Mary image. A map of Maine would do.
I am constantly tempted to add Nubians to my herd. Not so much for the butterfat, and certainly not for their hideous voices or frost-bite prone ears, but for the possibility of spots and frosting and new colors. I need to be able to look out the window and see a canvas of patterns in the herd.
Last year we added a Nubian buck. Of course we claimed it was for the butterfat his daughters would add to the milk. Secretly, though, I was hoping for those spots. His kids turned out to be oh, so cute, and oh, so marketable. Of course, those kids went first, and we’re left with monochromia (if that’s a word). So, this year, we’re adding a Saanen buck. Perhaps next season we’ll have little white babies running around. With spots or an image of Jesus.
But our farm is still not open to the public, so the faithful need not stop by to check.

The Year of Little Pea


I have no idea why we named her Little Pea, other than she was only 4 lb. when she was born. Smaller than a peapod or a peanut? She was so little, I bought a special bottle for her. And of course she was spoiled rotten. She became our farmers’ market mascot, riding in the truck on Claire’s lap. Customers adored her.

We lost Little Pea last week — the saddest loss this year. She struggled so hard to deliver her first kid, and we tried hard to help her. We took her to the vet, a caesarian was indicated, against my better judgement, and she didn’t make it. She never got very big, and her kid was 10 -1/2 lb. Way too big for that little body to deliver. I’m so sad. All the yearlings miss her. Another disturbance in the force.