Merlin At 11

PGCH Whirlwind Farms Merlin celebrated his 11th birthday October 26, 1997, at Whirlwind Farms, residing comfortably in what is fondly known as the garden. It is a flat fenced in area with grapevines along one fence line and several flowering Crepe Myrtle Trees and Periwinkle on another side. There is a small Dutch barn with a large shake roof overhang with a platform and feeders underneath for Merlin and his roommate, PGCH Whirlwind Farms Montana, who will be celebrating her 9th birthday in January of 1998. The area was originally intended for a garden, but the Bermuda Grass won, so it is kept green by overhead Rainbird sprinklers and mowed to make a nice carpet of grass for them.

When its very hot in the summer Merlin and Montana, being old and wise, lay just fractions of an inch away from where the sprinklers spray to cool themselves off. This winter we will have a heat lamp in one area they can get under if they feel the need. They are both a little Arthritic and the heat will be welcome.

Merlin and Montana have had several offspring together and there are many of their grandchildren here also. Merlin has sired 159 animals, 22 of which are Permanent Grand Champions. At least one of those PGCHs is also a Montana son.

There are probably many reasons Merlin is so healthy, happy and productive. One of them certainly is being lucky enough to have good genes. But hes never been cared for like anything but a goat. Hes always been on a regular maintenance, worming and vaccination program and has received top quality alfalfa and grain, but has never been given extra weight producing or coat growth supplements. All of the animals are maintained on the same program. Enough food and exercise to keep them happy and healthy, but let them go through their natural stages of development. Bucks grow fast, look terrible, and then come back to their own. Does do the same, but never to the same extent. Too many unnatural additives probably are very hard on their organs.

Merlin has been keep in pastures with lots of slopes. Until about two years ago his feeder was always at the top of the hill and the water and the house at the very bottom. He and his harem of girls had to do a lot of exercising every day. He and Montana have been alone together for the better part of the last two years, away from the thundering herd of pushy mature does pushing them out of the way to eat. Merlin and Montana dont have to climb the hills for their food anymore. They live in their little kingdom and are the first ones fed and checked every day. They are getting lazy and lay around all day, but they are up and ready to eat every morning. They may not be truly King and Queen, but the way theyre treated, nobody could convince them of that.

This article also recently appeared in MEMO.

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