New Additions: Royalia

Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in Farm Blog, Goats | 24 comments

A few weeks ago a couple of young does caught my attention when they came up for sale. Unfortunately, my timing was a little off, and by the time I inquired, both had just been sold. A little disappointing, but then I reminded myself that we still have a few pending kid reservations for next spring, and we’ll be breeding our own does in a few weeks. We’ll just wait and see what transpires next season.

Of course, often when you stop looking for something, it suddenly turns up where you least expect it. Out of the blue, right after I stopped looking, a young first freshener doe, from a dam I very much admire, suddenly came up for sale.

This is Castle Rock Royalia.

Castle Rock Royalia

Castle Rock Royalia

Known simply as Lia to her friends, this lovely young first freshener is the daughter of GCH CRF Castle Rock Roxanne 1*M *D, and Castle Rock Bentley *S.

I already knew quite a lot about Lia as we’ve been watching her dam, Roxanne, in the ring this season, and she’s an impressive, and productive, dairy doe.

GCH CRF Castle Rock Roxanne in a Best In Show lineup earlier this year

GCH CRF Castle Rock Roxanne in a Best In Show lineup earlier this year (milked out)

Roxanne is one of those does that immediately catches your eye when she steps in the ring. She’s a smoothly blended, level, and angular doe, with excellent width between her hocks, and a well attached, high, wide, and capacious udder.

Lia's dam, Roxanne

Lia’s dam, Roxanne (far right), at a Nigerian Dwarf specialty show this spring

Lia has inherited many of the qualities of her dam, and sire, and is a nicely level doe (she’s not posed in the picture below), with excellent length of body, wide rib spacing, and a long neck, and, like Minnie, Lia earned her first Grand Champion leg as a junior.

Castle Rock Royalia

Castle Rock Royalia

We almost missed the opportunity to bring this Roxanne daughter into our herd though. The afternoon I found out she was for sale our technology conspired against us in the form of a network outage with our high speed internet provider. I didn’t have a phone number to call instead, and the cellular internet connection here is flaky at best, no doubt due to the fact that the farm is buried in a canyon, and we’re surrounded by 100 ft tall trees. Really? Seriously? A network outage? NOW?!? Some days I think I live by Murphy’s Law.

Castle Rock Royalia

Castle Rock Royalia

However, I did manage to scrounge up enough cellular data bits, and untangle my thumbs just long enough (I hate typing on cell phones) to get a message through that I was very much interested in purchasing this doe, and wondered if she was still available, or if I’d already missed her. The lag time due to our sluggish connection resulted in a nibbled fingernail, or two, over the following few minutes, but soon a message was returned to say that…she was still available! The rest, as they say, is history.


Lia discovers the alfalfa

By that evening, after leaving the farm in search of a faster data connection, I was able to start planning to bring our newest herd member home to the farm.


Castle Rock Royalia

Of course, by the time I returned to the farm that night, our internet connection here had completely been restored. Of course it had, I didn’t need it now! Bah! Setting my 21st Century frustrations aside though, let’s get back to Lia.

Earlier this spring Lia freshened with triplets, and although she’s now dry for the remainder of this season, her first freshening udder was capacious, with good all around attachments, excellent udder texture, teat size, and good placement. She’s a lovely doe, with a very sweet disposition, and is a wonderful addition to our small herd.

Lia is now here at Curbstone Valley, and is getting settled in, and adjusting to her new coastal climate, herd mates, and surroundings.

We started by introducing Lotus to Lia, through the fence

We started by introducing Lotus to Lia, through the fence

Of course, as with any new herd addition, there’s always a period of negotiation, to determine one’s place in the order of things.

Lotus and Lia then had a chance to enter into one-on-one negotiations

Lotus and Lia then had a chance to enter into one-on-one negotiations

Minnie insists though, to anyone that asks, that the position of herd queen is, quite emphatically, non-negotiable.

"I just want to make one thing clear. She can stay, but I'm still the Queen. OK?!"

“I just want to make one thing clear. She can stay, but I’m still the Queen. OK?!”

Fortunately, Lia is very easy going, and doesn’t seem all that interested in usurping Minnie’s position in the herd, so Minnie will get to keep her crown, for now. It really didn’t take long, and everyone settled down, had a snack, and started to relax.

Lia relaxing after brunch

Lia relaxing after brunch

Needless to say, we are very happy to have been able to bring Lia to the farm. She really is a tremendously sweet, affectionate doe, and loves to be around people. I think she’ll have absolutely no trouble fitting in here, although I’ll have to get the girls to teach her about blackberries as she doesn’t, yet, quite seem to know what to do with them.

Lia likes to explore, and she'll figure out the blackberries soon

Lia likes to explore, and she’ll figure out the blackberries soon

After she’s settled in, she’ll be bred to Zedoary this fall, to kid again in the spring of 2014.

Lia has a very sweet personality, and loves to come running up when people are in the barn

Lia has a very sweet personality, and loves to come running up when people are in the barn

We’re very excited to see what Lia will bring to our herd, and how she will perform in the show ring, next year, as a second freshener.

Castle Rock Royalia

Castle Rock Royalia

Welcome to the farm Lia, we’re very happy you’re here, and thank you, Carol, for entrusting her to us!


  1. One word…Cute! Okay, a few more. Loved reading this post, your herd, all of them, have winning personalities. gail
    Gail´s last post…Wildflower Wednesday: Hardy Blue Mist Flower

    • That’s one of things I love about goats. I’ve never met two the same. Everyone one of them has a different personality, and they’re just so personable. Lia, though, is unbelievably sweet, and I thought Lotus was a sweet doe!

  2. She’s beautiful. Congratulations on the new addition.

    • Thanks, Kitty! I’m very happy she could come to Curbstone Valley 🙂

  3. She’s very sweet. I’m always impressed by how thoroughly you get right into things!
    Country Mouse´s last post…Local Wildflowers for the August Garden: Madia Elegans

    • I am, quite frequently, accused of never doing anything by halves, at least not once I set my mind to something 😉

  4. She’s lovely. What a nicely balanced herd you have.

    • Thank you, Stef. We’re trying to get a nice balance of both production, and good conformation in our herd. It’s difficult sometimes not to go crazy adding to the herd though :mrgreen:

  5. I have to admit that I was confused as to why a photo of a goat was included in a post about Royal, Iowa, but soon figured it out. 😉

    I’m accustomed to reading posts jammed with jargon: scientific, technical, horticultural. This one had me wondering a bit (and squirming a little too), as I never thought I’d be reading about udder characteristics.

    BTW, in a canyon, surrounded by tall trees — climbing one of them to get better cell reception would have made a great addition to the story. 🙂
    Alan @ it’s not work, it’s gardening!´s last post…Roadtrip: leaving TRNP

    • Sorry for making you squirm, but when evaluating dairy goats for purchase, it’s a particularly important feature 😉

      You’re right, it would have made the story much more interesting, as I tend to get a serious attack of vertigo much past a 3rd rung on a ladder, so climbing a tall redwood would have been…entertaining…to say the least!

  6. I am thinking this is a lot of milk coming your way! What will you do with it all?

    • Good observation! We’ll definitely be investing in a dedicated freezer this fall. For soaping, I freeze all the milk first anyway. I’ll also need to get a LOT more serious on the cheese making front too.

      Right now we’re trying to decide if it’s sensible to do our planned kitchen remodel over winter, as I can’t not have a functioning kitchen in the spring during kidding season, or with the does in milk! Working around the goat year definitely presents some challenges, as construction in the midst of our rainy season isn’t that smart, but we like a good challenge 😉 We definitely have a few things to think about!

  7. Congratulations on your growing herd! Lia is udderly charming! I am fascinated by your technical descriptions, but I am also thinking about how busy you must be!

    • Yes, there is the busy part. I’m supposed to have my fall garden planted by now, but…well, I don’t 😛 Our schedule these days is very much set by the ‘goat year’, and in this case, if I was going to bring a new adult doe into the herd, I wanted to do that, and have a chance to have her integrate into the herd, before I start breeding my does this fall, to minimize stress to the herd. See, I should be thinking about kale and collards, and instead, I’m thinking about next year’s spring kid crop! Maybe I need help? 😛

  8. I love these posts about your goats! I didn’t even think I liked them that much, until I started reading your posts. Now I think they’re as cute as can be. Congratulations on the new addition.
    PlantPostings´s last post…Traveling back in time to celebrate a wealth of local wildflowers

    • Well, Mr. CV nagged strongly suggested adding goats to the farm years ago. I’d worked with goats, and I like them well enough, but I realized that until I actually had my own, I didn’t fully appreciate these animals. They’re very sensitive creatures, love human contact, have diverse, and amusing personalities, and I love having them around. Don’t tell Mr. CV though, then he’ll know he was right all along 😉

  9. I loved this post, especially how you describe the “period of negotiation” and the “nonnegotiable” alpha position.

    We’ve watched goats sort those kinds of things out many times, often laughing about how our “epic goat battles” are a form of entertainment out here. 🙂
    Bill´s last post…“Natural” Flavor

    • I’d much rather sit and watch the goats, than TV. I think they’re much more entertaining. The ‘negotiations’ can be especially amusing to watch 😉

  10. Clare, what a cutie pie…a great addition to your herd.
    [email protected] Eye View´s last post…Gardens Eye Journal-September 2013

    • Thank you, Donna. She is a pretty, and feminine, little doe. She’s fitting in very well with the girls, and getting settled in. Lotus and Minnie have even managed to convince Lia that blackberries are NOT to be missed! I may need to plant some more 😉

  11. You are very fortunate to have the space for beautiful livestock. We have limited livestock options here, due to space (less than a fifth of an acre) and city ordinances (suburban San Diego). But, we look forward to chickens in the spring, and bees and turkeys in the future — in small batches.
    Jason´s last post…Some berries

    • Some big cities, including San Francisco, are accepting of small livestock, like Nigerian Dwarf goats, as being acceptable urban hoofstock. Honestly, our goats, usually, are quieter than our turkeys, and usually less fear-inducing with the public than bees. Who knows what you might end up with some time in the future 😉

  12. Such beautiful goats, I just love their markings. I wondered if they would have problems with each other, thanks for posting about how you introduced them. You just never know how animals will get along, or not.
    Marguerite´s last post…Garden Tour Finale

    • Although I’ve read of some goats ‘just getting along’, most need a period of adjustment to get to know each other, and sometimes reorganize the herd order. Our girls seemed to accept Royalia quite quickly though. Minnie still reminds her once in a while that she’s the boss, but they all eat together, and sleep together in the barn at night, and have formed quite a cozy little group!