Goodbye Boris. The End of an Era

We had hoped to write this farewell as a retirement note, with a tone of sadness to see him leave our farm, but joy in knowing that he was going to keep grazing and wooing the girls.  Where he would retire to an even smaller farm where he could keep some nice does in milk and kids and charm a new set of admirers.

But this goodbye is a harder one.  A sudden inexplicable illness/injury that twisted his innards left him immobile and hypothermic this morning.  Not what I expected to findon this cold morning.  After doing our best to warm him up, including sledding Boris down to the Greenhouse , (perhaps not the most dignified exit) our vet arrived and his range of symptoms did not add up to anything treatable.  So we made the tough decision to euthanize this nearly 9 year old buck that we all had grown so found of.  Thanks to Alison and the Elmers and our team for their key roles.

Boris was a handsome fellow with lots of admirers.  Someone who travels our road even stopped once when I was with the goats on pasture, to ask if they could take a picture of Boris, as they so admire him every time they pass by.



He did have perhaps the most handsome beard, ever long and gorgeous, until two summers ago when he got into the burdock, which wrapped his long locks up like they were in curlers.


Handsome, yet quiet.  His soft, demure bleat sometimes verged on pathetic truly.  His life here in the early years included some lonely months, away from the does, sometimes hanging with sheep or the sows, which just weren’t exactly his type.  In the past few years, he graduated to our best camp counselor, teaching our bucklings about life and thriving on pasture.



His favorite role, of course was breeding the does. And oh how he wooed them with his sounds, scent and actions.  Not always pretty, but always effective. And his markcontinued into the kids, his Oberhasli coloring and stripe showing up so very often. He sired 59 kids, several of whom are still around.  His final contributions to the farm will arrive in March, the kids from Jenga, Grace and Ingrid.

We often described Boris as the easiest animal to manage on the farm.  Thanks to Angela Miller, owner of Consider Bardwell Farm, who trained him to walk on a leash better than most dogs and cultivated a calm, friendly and generally charming buck.  Boris came to us after his work was done at Consider Bardwell, his exploits there are forever recorded in Angela’s book, Hay Fever.

Boris saw a lot of changes, growth and improvements in his nearly 5 year tenure which is not the longest on the farm, but close, equal to Jenga and just a year behind Grace & Ingrid.  And he made quite a mark on the land and the people with his grazing and grace.

Our hearts are a bit saddened today, he will be missed.


More photos of Boris are in a Facebook Album