This past week we got to go out to Doffen’s farm and meet him and his owners. What a beautiful spot. Doffen’s ‘folk’ have several acres including both forest and pasture, leading down to a small lake on an island, but close to Tønsberg, the oldest town in Norway and now a small city of about 42,000 people. What a lovely place to live, and what a fantastic life for Doffen! There are two other female dwarf goats there, one who has just given birth and one who may do so any day now.
Doffen (left) and a pregnant doe.
Doffen was personable but not cosy with us- of course, we had just met him, and he clearly has some pride! He is still a teenager, less than a year old, but male african dwarf goats can handle the task at hand when they are only a few months old, as the recent birth of babies on his farm shows! We noticed how much smaller he is than our girls- I think Kara may give him a run for his money! But he is so beautiful, and also gentle.
We took a rag and I tried to get close enough to Doffen to rub it on him, but he was having none of that. Finally, I put some goat kibble in it and let him eat from it. When we got home we hung the rag up on the gate. Kara didnt take much interest, but Izzie rubbed all over it and pulled it to the ground. Female dwarf goats go into heat about every 21 days, for just a couple of days. We discussed our strategy and decided the best thing is to board our girls there for a month, to be sure they have been in heat and been serviced. A month! I don’t know if I can stand that- I will have to go and visit a few times!
Doffen in his enclosure.
I worry that our girls might not get along with the two other females, especially the one doe who is pregnant, so we decided to wait until after she has given birth. Our girls will not be on their own territory, so hopefully they will not be agressive, but if they are frightened, I tnink especially Kara might be hard to handle. We will not know until we try!
This is all so exciting and new to us, and obviously it will be new to our girls too. If all goes well we will have our girls down in Tønsberg in the next month or so. I hope they will love the beautiful place, the contact with other goats, and of course, Doffen!