Goats

The Goat Whisperer …

My daughter snapped this awesome picture of me with our pygmy goat, Snowbell.

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Look into my eyes!

 

I was, most likely, lecturing her on her bullying ways with the other two goats.  Let’s just say that this big mama runs the goat lot!  I’m afraid when the other two (they’re “mutts” – around 18 weeks) get another five or six months behind them, they’ll easily overtake her in size.

But I’ll bet that she’ll still run the lot.  😉

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Lumberjack Snack!

I have this horrific Bradford Pear tree in my front yard.  The lower limbs are like shark’s teeth.  Every year I trim them, then new ones follow gravity down into their place.  It’s impossible to mow under the stupid tree.  Honestly, it’s way past its normal life span.  I keep waiting for a big wind to split it in two.  I would like to have the space for more actual fruit trees.

Anyhow … I cut some limbs today and my goats were just across the fence.  A captivated audience.  So I had an idea.  I thought that I might toss the limbs into the goat lot and let them snack a bit.  When they’re done, I’ll just drag them to the burn pile in the back of the lot.

Well … let’s just say that the pear leaves and little tiny pear nuggets were a big hit.  They’ve been feasting all day!

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Muncha, muncha, muncha ...

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The Great Goat Escape

So … we decided to get a couple of goats for our pond lot.  It is about one acre, fenced, and brimming with tasty vegetation.  I’m actually tired of keeping it mowed and clean, so I thought I would “go green” with a couple of new chlorophyll-devouring machines.

On a fateful Sunday afternoon we purchased Bella and Penny, two recently weaned nannies, from a nearby farm.  At $60 each, I thought they were quite a bargain.  They’re mutts, a mixture of various goat varieties. And they are absolutely gorgeous.

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Bella and Penny

So … we released them into the lot and they ran off on their merry way.  They seemed quite content.  About three hours later I was headed out the back door to let the chickens out for some free-range time.  My wife was doing her Bible study on the back deck.  Then, to our shock and dismay, we heard a cattle stampede in the pasture behind our house.  About forty heifers and calves, and one very large bull, were all baying and running. I’d never seen anything quite like it before, and I had no idea what they were running after or from.

Then I heard this horrible, woman-like scream coming from two little white specks running in front of the cows, and my wife exclaimed, “Good Lord, those are our goats!”

Indeed, they were our goats.  They had probed the fence and found a weak spot and made their escape.  Ungrateful hussies!

So I jumped the fence (Jackie Chan style … still don’t know how I did it, especially since I couldn’t even climb over the fence after the crisis was over.) and set out to capture my goats.  My older daughter joined in the fray.  About an hour later we had them cornered in the pasture.  Bella (the black-headed one) made a wild jump between my daughter and me … and I snagged her in mid-air.  No kidding.  Old-school goat wrangling style.

So she screamed and wagged her tongue at me.  Right in my face.  And she needed a breath mint, for sure.  After I handed her over the fence to my daughter so she could be housed in our garage overnight, Penny decided to try and follow.  She stuck her head through a hole in the fence.  And that’s when I knew I had her.  When I approached her she jumped and her horns snagged on the fence.  So I captured her, as well.

They spend a couple of days in “the hole,” a rather large dog kennel cage, while I added a few new fence posts and secured all loose fence bottoms between the posts.  Once the goat lot was declared secure, I released them back into their habitat.

They have been wandering happily ever since.

So that was our first adventure with goats.  Total peace transformed into complete pandemonium in just a matter of hours.  But, then, that’s what life on the farm is like, isn’t it?

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