This is the time of year when the cry of lonely goat-ladies fills the air every three weeks and their tails begin a-wagging. Our boys become far too affectionate for comfort and their odd sounds and strange faces become our main source of amusement.
However, love isn't the only thing in the air during goat rutting season. There is also... the smell.
The fact is that during mating season, most goat males could knock out a skunk at 100 paces.
Buck pheromones can be not only eye-watering, but cling like a skunk's scent. This means that no matter how many times you shower, people will be looking at you oddly in the office for a few days.
This scent is a combination of the scent glands near their horns - which they will rub on everything - and their urine, which they will spray all over their own face like a cologne to attract the ladies. Yup, if you are forced to touch them, their beards will be wet and sticky for those couple months.
Does may love it, but it isn't wonderful for us.
In some goats, this body odor is so intense it actually flavors the goat milk - and not in a nice way. Often the difference between people who like goat milk and those who don't is whether a buck was kept on the grounds during milking.
So. Being such a fan of my goats and being firmly under the belief that the world would be happier if more people had goats, why do I mention this so emphatically?
Because one of the first thing to ever attract me to San Clemente Island Goats was the lack of smell!
Yup! SCI bucks have one of the lowest scent levels of any goat. When a doe is actively in heat near them, they have a musky scent, of course, but it is nothing like other breeds I have experienced. It doesn't cling to things in the the barnyard, it doesn't spread over the entire pasture and three days later I'm not wondering if I will need to burn my (washed several times) barn clothes.
The Husband had never had goat milk until this year. Between the lack of "goat" and the high butterfat content in SCI milk, he couldn't even tell the difference!
In addition, several breeders who have more traditional dairy goats breed them with San Clemente bucks, both due to the lack of smell, and the rich milk. I've never heard any of them sing anything but praise about these gentlemen goats.
Maybe you should be one a try the next time love is in the air with your goats!