A couple weeks back I was telling Krista some stuff about Marion and she was surprised and intrigued, saying she never would have thought that. This gave me an idea to start a blog post series called "Animal Profiles" and give some background and little known information about some of the animals. These posts will appear during dry times of the year, when I can't think of anything else to post about.
Beings the idea was sparked with Marion, I thought Marion could be my first animal to be in this series.
Full name: Annes Alpines Marion McAlpine
Barn name: Marion
Name inspiration: Character out of the Elsie Dinsmore books
DOB: April 30th, 2015
Marion is one of our biggest does, 2nd highest producer, and is one of my favorites. She can be very noisy, temperamental, and flighty, all things I hate, so I don't know why she ranks at the top of my list. Marion thrives on routine, and is terrified of strangers and little kids. However, as long as they aren't up near her head, she is fine. She is often used as the demo milking doe, and allows most anyone to milk her, and doesn't twitch a muscle.
Sometimes, something will spook her after I get done milking, and she will shoot off the stand and light for the door, cowering into the corner when the door isn't opened in time for her to race straight out. She is very easy to work with-when she doesn't spook and drag me away or run into me trying to escape some make believe boogie-man-and even moves over to the edge of the milk stand when I sit down, so that I can milk her easier. She loves to be pet, but only on her own terms, and otherwise is hard to even catch.
Marion had to endure being tattooed on the tail this spring, after Kate pulled off her right ear, leaving too little left to retattoo(all registered goats have to be tattooed).
Marion is wild. She would really prefer to not have humans in her life. Her dam was pretty skittish and Marion learned from her to fear humans. When her dam died leaving behind a 3 month old kid, I thought the kid would draw more from the older, gentler does she attached herself to, but she didn't. She remained so wild into her second year, that I decided to pull her kids and bottle raise them, so that they would be as wild as she was. This also happened to be the year we had CAE, so I didn't really even want the does licking their kids-I wanted to take them right away after birth.
We were watching on the cams when Marion was kidding, and after #1 was born, went to the barn, took it, and waited for her to have the rest of the kids. She wouldn't have them. She didn't like us there and just stopped her labor. When I pulled the kids out, they were right there, in position and about to fall out on their own. This year, though I did take her kids away, I just watched on the cams and didn't go outside until an hour after the last kid, to avoid having her shut down her labor again.
Taking her kids away works to keep the kids tame, and it keeps Marion tame. She bonds to me, and knows that I will milk her, and is always really tame for the first few months after kidding. About 6 months into milking(like right now), she starts not wanting to come into the milk room, running from me, etc. and it will only get worse as it goes, until when she is dry, and I can't even catch her without work. Then she kids, I take the kids, and the cycle begins again.
Aww, Marionberry-you should be the first to go, but it sure would be hard to see you leave!