Monday is Auction day. We need to reduce our herd of goats (the price of grain and hay has increased dramatically in the last few months) and we haven't been able to sell through private sales. So, three goats are heading to the auction this week.
One is a buck that we have used for the last three years. Just about everything here is related to him, so it just isn't smart to keep him. Limburger is a buckling that was born here to our other really nice sire and a doe that has a great udder. Abby has decided to keep her buckling this year out of the same sire as Limburger, and since we don't need that many bucks... The last one to go is a doe that we purchased from out of state three years ago. She looked good as a kid, but just never grew into her legs and shoulders like we had hoped. She is a doe that we struggle to put weight on every year after she kids, so she is being culled.
We are in the process of debating whether or not to keep the horse. Honey consumes a LOT of grain and hay and we have always maintained that animals that live here must be giving something back. Honey is a great horse for kids as a backyard friend and for trail rides, but Hannah has decided she just doesn't have the time she needs to spend on keeping Honey in shape. Which means Honey isn't giving anything back. Ever since the discussions started, Rachel has begun to take an interest in the horse. Every morning this week she has groomed Honey, picked her feet, and lunged her. Sam and I are waiting to see if this new interest maintains itself, or if it's just a passing trend brought on by our discussions. If Rachel keeps up caring for the horse, she'll stay as she will be giving back as she teaches Rachel responsibility.
We've eliminated a few more goat shows from our itinerary for the summer. Gas prices being as they are, and several conflicting family events, have caused us to rethink how far and how many shows we really want to do. We have talked with Abby, Hannah, and Samantha (the three most involved kids) and have started them thinking about where they want to go with goat showing. They are considering what they're goals are and what the financial and time spent consequences are of those goals. I have a suspicion from the gist of our talks that after the Topsfield fair this year, there will be a sell-off of a large portion of our herd.
Making decisions can be freeing, but it is also filled with angst. We wonder if we are making the right decision. Are there consequences that are down the road, that we just can't envision from where we stand? Are we seeing the whole picture? Is this a knee-jerk reactionary choice based solely in our emotions? Are we just choosing what is simply easiest at this moment?
"Hindsight is always 20/20," is a saying we use around here. Many times the consequences of our decisions don't come to fruition until months, even years later. Sam says that if a ship is going in a direction, any direction, it is far easier to change the direction than if the ship is just standing still. (I take his word for it since he grew up near the ocean with boats, and I did not.) So now it seems, we are changing course. Our girls are growing up, they are getting new interests, new goals. Are we heading in the right direction? I don't know yet. But the journey will be an adventure, and I like adventures.