On this weeks edition of GotW, I am so honoured and pleased to introduce you to one of the most important men in my life. This little guy stands a whopping 18.5 inches tall and although he is heavy, I am sure that is just the weight of his amazingly impressive horns! This tiny little gentleman is sweet, gentle and so very level headed. Giggy as he is know here at the farm, was part of the inspiration behind my breeding program. Without him to do the important work of making babies with some carefully chosen ladies, we would not have the herd that we do today. This little guy is so special to me that he has even been immortalized forever on my shoulder as part of my tattoo work. Perhaps I'm a little more than goat crazy, but this little man is worth it. Gigalo has been retired for a few years now and I am sad to say that he is definitely showing the signs of his advanced age now. I fear my old boy may not see the spring, but I hope I am mistaken. The average life expectancy for breeding bucks is surprisingly low at about 8 years. My main man Gigalo here will turn 11 in April of this year. What a legacy this small but mighty buck has made for himself! Within my herd are his many times great grandchildren. He joined my herd and my life right back at the very beginning of my crazy idea about building a herd for the purpose of therapy work. He has witnessed the birth of many generations of his progeny come to be, and he has survived long enough for us to make a new home at an amazing new location. For Gigalo, I can't imagine anything else he would need in order to make his life complete.
I purchased Gigalo in the spring of 2011, along with our Herd Queen Bonnie from a friend and breeder in southern Ontario. That was back before the Nigerian Dwarf Goat became the highly sought after goats in Canada that they are now. Finding males or females for sale was rare at that time, so I jumped at the chance to buy both Bonnie and Gigalo. Little did I know that my friend Sue was very happy for my jumping and her unloading them both lol - I am sure that was all due to Bonnie though. Gigalo has always been a sweet and quiet little guy at my place. For many years Gigalo has kept the peace within the buck herd, always ensuring that the boys were all respectful to each other. Fights have rarely broken out amongst my boys over the years, and even though Gigalo has not been top dog in the herd for a long time now, it seems to me that all of the younger males respect and take care of Gigalo - in their way of course. If you track Gigalo's records on the CLRC, you can trace his progeny to many herds, including 4 of his sons that are herdsires for other breeders herds. Within my own herd, Giggy's grandson Cosmos replaced him when Gigalo was retired from breeding, and his daughter Cassiopeia was one of our main foundation does, who has since also been retired and two of her daughters have taken her place to continue on the lines within our herd. Nine years later it amazes me to see how solid the temperament on this little mans genetics are, and that many generations down the line it is still evidenced each and every kidding season by his progeny and descendants here, as well as on other farms.
Over the years on the farm Gigalo was almost like a hidden secret. UNless you came to visit us at the farm, chances are you didn't even know about him. Due to his horns we were unable to show him as it against show rules, so unlike my other boys that were able to compete and earn titles, Gigalo was not. His Grandson, Sky River Meadows Cosmos on the other hand did very well in the ring winning 1 Grand Champion leg and 3 Reserve Champion legs to date. I honestly don't think Giggy would have placed well in the ring anyways. I chose Giggy for his brains not his confirmation. He sure is a cutey though, and always has been a gentleman. Over the years Giggy has done some crazy things to keep it interesting having a buck with horns like his. I will never forget the year he used those impressive horns to push himself THROUGH the page wire fence to access the girls on the other sie. We were already well into our breeding season by that point and had to intervene on a few unwanted breedings. My boys have always kept me on my toes and with the biggest learning curve too. Trying to stay 10 steps ahead of raging testosterone such as theirs during full rut is a challenge some years. I've been grateful for Giggy's leadership amongst the boys - cool level head and all. As much as I love this old man, I do know that a day will come soon when I will have to say good-bye to him. As sad as I will be when that day comes, I know I will not mourn him for long. His legacy is incredible and within my herd are many pieces of the great Gigalo, who's incredible amber coloured eyes and amazing calm personality shine through. When the day comes that this great king passes away, his children, grand children and many times great grandchildren will be here to remind us all of him. Until then my Gigalo, enjoy your continued retirement and please never stop strutting your stuff <3