Vinny Came for a Visit

Agnes and Greta had a visitor last month, a Nigerian Dwarf buck named Vinny, who stayed with us for about three weeks. Though we took him home a week ago, I can still smell him when I visit my girls.  This was our first experience with a mature buck, and it was interesting.

My original plan was to carry the girls to a farm about an hour away to be bred to a LaMancha buck, because they are LaManchas themselves.  But in the face of the stud fee we couldn’t afford right now, the necessity of knowing when they were in season (wasn’t sure I would be able to tell), and just the general trouble of taking them to the farm, probably one at a time, I decided not to breed them this year.  Then I ran into a friend while out grocery shopping and we started talking about goats.  I mentioned my girls and the fact that we had decided not to breed them, and she offered her little stud goat if we were interested.  I initially declined, but after putting some thought into it, we decided that this might be a good idea, after all.  Breeding a LaMancha to a Nigerian Dwarf typically gives a mini version of a LaMancha.  They are considered good homesteading goats because of their smaller size.  Ultimately, no matter who we breed the girls with, there will be milk, which is the main goal.  But, I didn’t want to breed them with just any old goat, because we may want to sell the babies.  We’re not currently looking to have a huge herd of goats!

When we arrived at my friend’s farm to pick Vinny up, I smelled him before I saw him.  He’s an adorable little goat, but his smell is crazy bad.  Strangely, if you ask Larkspur she will tell you that he smells good.  Once we made it home, we placed him in the enclosure with our girls.  He immediately went nuts.  My entire family stood there on the outside of the pen, a rapt audience,  watching this goat do all manner of gross things, while Agnes and Greta did everything they could to stay away from him.  This went on for maybe a half hour.  It was kind of a hilarious scene with me trying to convince all the younger kids that they needed to go inside the house right that minute (no one budged) and Jonny saying that we needed to take Vinny back home right away because he didn’t like seeing Agnes and Greta being terrorized by him.  I convinced him that this was all normal, and that hopefully the girls would at some point decide that they liked Vinny, because that was kind of the point of his visit.  But I felt bad for them too.  Vinny was really obnoxious and the girls just wanted to stay close to us, and far away from him.

Jonny managed the care of the goats during Vinny’s visit because I couldn’t bear his odor.  Vinny didn’t like Jonny at all, so he butted him at nearly every feeding time.  But with everyone else he really was a sweet goat in many ways (no young children were allowed in the enclosure though), and Seth made friends with him.  Of course that friendship resulted in me shouting nearly every day, “Oh my gosh, Seth!  Did you wash your hands after petting him?  You did?  Go change your clothes!  I  mean it!  Now, now, now!  And wash your hands again!”

Because the girls are full sized dairy goats and Vinny is a dwarf, I am not completely positive that everything worked out.  I did some Googling around about making this kind of pairing, wondering if we needed to assist in some way.  I couldn’t find much information, but also realized that if this were going to happen, it would have to happen naturally, because there was no way I was getting involved.  We definitely saw signs of the girls coming into season while Vinny was here, and that changed their attitude toward him, but only briefly.  Only time will tell if they worked things out, but if they did, there just might be babies in April!  I do hope so.  I think they will be awfully cute.


  1. I loved this post and I loved it even more when I got to the comments. What a goat-loving bunch of readers!

  2. Vinny is a great looking guy in a shaggy, ruffty, tuffty kind of way! He has a lovely beard. Fingers crossed he and your girls make cute little goatlings come the Spring. Hmmm, I would wager a bet that you might be looking to grow your herd enough to keep some of those home bred babies.

  3. Oh Ginny, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… I LOVE your goat stories! Thank you for sharing them. You should publish them. “Goat Stories,” wouldn’t that make for a good title for a book? And I think I can just smell Vinny through the internet, haha.

  4. Oh my! This post made me laugh! But I do really hope it works out for you!

  5. Marie-Josée says:

    Tonight, I am making Ms. Eve’s Automn Gratin (see October 16th 2012 post) for the first time in this ‘snowless’ winter of ours, here in Québec, Canada. What a great recipe! I simply love it. It’s become a comfy cuisine classic of mine… if this mkes any sense in english! : ) Thank you so much for sharing it back then!

  6. what a riot…. just wanted to let you know I got my dish rags and I am so happy… glad to be able to help out…. let us know if you host another fund raiser…

  7. Your re-telling of this little ‘adventure’ just made me laugh so hard!!

  8. Oh Ginny, this was so funny! We don’t have goats but we live on a farm with other animals so I understand.

  9. Great story, Ginny! I don’t know how well I’d do with male goat smell, either!

  10. Others may have already said as much but just in case, Nigerian Dwarfs breed full size ladies — no problem! He found a way, you can be sure. If his sperm is kicking, your ladies are surely bred.

    Baking soda to remove buck scent, both off hands and laundry.

    Tell Larkspur I like the smell of bucks, too. I think this is an omen she may be a true farm girl.

    What makes me happy is knowing: Y’all will have baby goats! Y’all are about to discover to joy and rich pleasant routine of daily milking. And then y’all will know the delight of fresh goat milk. Even though I am a cowgirl through and through. I can’t deny well produced goat milk is a nearly magical elixir and far superior for things like hot cocoa and macaroni with cheese.

    I wasn’t altogether sad when my kids witnessed their first buck in rut. Once seen, no young lady will ever misunderstand the intentions of certain male behaviors. No further explanation needed.

  11. Linda Gaylord says:

    your story brought back so many memories of my teenage years in the 1970’s raising dairy goats in a two car garage on a half acre mom got them for the milk,and my sister and i raised them for 4-h.we had to travel up to an hour away with a goat in heat in the back of a ford pinto station wagon up the highways in upstate ny.oh,the looks we got! and we travelled to various ones,so that we got mixed bloodlines,with no close relatives involved.well,when you have ladies who were not raised around the bucks,they have absolutely no idea what is happening to them! and they want no part of it,heat or no heat!!! so,after driving and paying stud fees,you are SO going to make it happen–and i was the one who got “elected” to “make it happen”…it is a hilarious memory of holding a female in place,clamped between my knees,while the buck had his “way” with her,all the while trying to duck my face out of the reach of that tongue of his….O.M.G…i was 14 the first time i had to provide “mating assistance”…usually,you only have to do that with virgin does–most girls that have been bred already don’t seem to mind the bucks at all…in fact,we had one that you just had to open the car door and she would run straight to him! it is great that you could borrow vinny for a few weeks and let the girls have a “honeymoon period” with him.he will be a welcome visitor in the future,if you decide to use his services again.and,right along with everyone else,i’m taking bets on the upcoming size of your herd,because when your whole crew goes through labor and delivery,and feeding/watching the babies nurse,your littles are never going to let you part with those goat kids…they are just the best part of goat keeping,hands couldn’t keep me out of the “barn” as a kid…good luck….

  12. I’m not really into wagering, but I’ll bet a nickel that any baby goats that come from this experience will stay right on your homestead … can’t imagine your littles being able to part with anything that cute!

  13. What a hoot–thanks for sharing your stories with just the right amount of details! Not sure I could handle the smell. Those poor girls–hope there are babies in the spring though. And props to Jonny for braving feeding time for you 🙂

  14. You can have your does ultrasounded for pregnancy at around a month and a half after breeding, if they don’t come back in heat. Or you can just wait and see, but it’s nice to know, so you can plan! My husband also hates the buck smell and refuses to drink the milk if our buck is housed near the does, so our buck lives way out back with his wether companion. They have their own shelter and fenced area. I make sure not to go in with them right before I’m going somewhere off the farm!

  15. OH my….I do remember that smell. My friend had a buck goat named Eisenhower…….he was so smelly, and so obnoxious, and wanted to “love” every and anyone he came in contact with, which included a lot of humping and butting….None of us liked him much. Mostly because his predecessor was a wether and was so very sweet, and much less smelly. He had “big” shoes, albeit unfairly, to fill, poor Eisenhower.

  16. Wow! I’ve read that bucks pee on their beards – is that one of the gross things he did? I see your brown goat – I’m sorry I forget which is which goat – rubbing her head on Vinny like a possessive cat – Is that during the brief time when they changed their attitude toward him? This is so cool!

  17. Too bad he smells so bad…he’s awfully handsome. I’m with you though, I don’t think I would be able to bear the smell of Sir Studley either. Baby goats will make you forget that funk I bet. Thanks for sharing. I needed A good story today.

  18. Beth Burchett says:

    Ginny, you are a treasure! Your blog brings me so much pleasure, from your thoughtful reflections to your honest glimpses into life with your beautiful family–and today you made me laugh out loud. Thank you so much for sharing your world. I love reading everything you write. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  19. This post resonates with me so much…hahhaha! Ginny, I just wrote about our “buck rag” that was dropped off for us the other day to get our Heidi, a Nubian, in the mood for love. Tomorrow, she has a date at a friend’s farm and we hope to have some Nubian kids in April, too. But that buck rag…oh good grief! Gross! I have heard tell that some people will buy second hand clothes just to trim their buck’s hooves because the smell is so nauseating and you can’t get it out of the clothes. We shall see how my Heidi smells after her date. ugh. And my sheep are breeding, too. Lots of babies in April ~ yay!
    xo Jules
    P.S. I think it is funny Jonny is protective about his girl goats…just wait until his daughters are 15, right?!!

  20. You’ve made me laugh. Poor stinky little Vinny standing on his tiptoes trying to impress the big girls. Fingers crossed there will be some sweet little babies in the spring. CJ xx

  21. Oh poor girls. The pics are so cute and funny. Love the one where the black goat is peeking out from behind the tree!

  22. What a hoot! Looking forward to darling photos in the spring! I hope!

  23. What a nice story! Thank you for sharing it with us. Love all the pictures 🙂 Liuba x

  24. Sooo funny!!!!

  25. We enjoyed the break in the smell – it’s back! Hope it worked. I put Vinny in with Leia yesterday and he was super obnoxious. That’s how the studs roll I’m afraid.

  26. Oh this is so funny!!!

  27. Oh, how I love your goat stories!

  28. Oh my…I was laughing so much about this! We could have told you what to expect!! We now have two males on our property, and during the ‘off’ season they are as loving as can be. But mating season? Oh. My. In the initial couple of weeks of mating season, just going out that way will leave you coming back smelling like a male goat! Wow! We have a first time mama this year and she was pretty much terrorized at first by the crazy nature of the male goat’s advances. Ha, ha. We had a Nigerian dwarf male, and two Nigerian dwarf females and two Alpine females. Both of our Alpines popped out twins, one of each set was part Nigerian dwarf….so it is possible for them to ‘reach’. Hoping that your girls will have some wee babes come spring! Baby goats are SOOOO much fun to watch!!


  29. This post made me laugh and brought back memories for me. We had bucks here quite a few times to breed our does. And strangely enough, for reasons I do not understand, I thought they smelled good. I cannot explain it! I sure hope you get some babies in April. Baby goats are the cutest things ever! Nigerian Dwarf mixes are wonderful too.

    • I wonder if some people just naturally like that kind of earthy, animal smell. I’m not sure what goat smells like but I know that fresh manure is actually a kind of nice smell to me.

  30. This story gives the phrase “You smell like a billy goat” new meaning for me! Hope you have little babies next spring!

  31. I loved this post! ha! I was nodding and laughing all the way through it. We raise dwarf nigerians and we have a sweet…slightly….ok not so slightly…. stinky boy named Gus (Augustus Waters to be precise). What you described is exactly what happens. they can be little terrors and completely gross when they are…ahem…in the mood. The ladies will fight them off 90% of the time and theres a small window when they agree to let him close. then its back to fighting him off again. He’s more annoying than anything to them. They like him ok but just want him to give them more personal space 😉 We had our first babies earlier this year when Bella had FOUR little ones! We initially bred her for milk but since she was nursing four babes we left her alone. She fed them all with no outside help and raised them until we found them new happy homes. We let her recover and decided not to milk her ourselves but allow her to get pregnant again when she was ready. Maggie, our other girl, is pregnant with her first…due end of February! We had such a wonderful experience with watching and helping Bella birth those 4 little ones and taking care of them each day was such a pleasure! I hope yours are pregnant and you have just as great a first experience as we did!

  32. Great story! And Vinny is the perfect name for him!

  33. Your poor ladies. What we women must endure to start a family! 😉

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