Saturday, May 15, 2010

So you REALLY think you want goats? REALLY?

In the last two years I have noticed a huge interest in goats, and that is part of the reason why i ended up interested in them again myself. It seems as people want to provide more for themselves they realize the benefit of a small "easily manageable" livestock animal that can provide meat, milk, and other usefulness.

I have to wonder how many people get smitten with a cute kid and bring them home expecting them to be like a cute puppy or something. i KNEW what i was getting in to and to be quite honest i find them charming. even when i step outside to find this:





But please remember before you cave in to the cuteness that goats are NOT for everyone!!!! If unpredictability bothers you in your animals... just do some serious research first.

I once read that if your fences can keep in water they might keep in goats. lol. For proof I went in search of photographic evidence of how challenging having goats can be....

Inviting goats in to your life, most of the time, is like inviting chaos into your life. They are bright, active and creative. And they have no conscience. They are little hooved sociopaths.


They defy the rules at almost every opportunity.


They play with their food.


The beat the crap out of each other.


They climb...


and climb:


and climb:


they walk all over their people:


and all over their pasturemates:


They will try to go over anything you do not want them to go over:


and under anything you don't want them to go under:


and if you aren't careful they might even storm the castle and overthrow the kingdom.


Friday, May 14, 2010

yes, Ma'am, what ever you want, Ma'am!

When i went out to bring the horses in from pasture last night Sparrow walked up to me with shame on his face and stood quietly with his head at my hip while I put his halter on. I tossed the lead over his back and went to catch Brego and Sparrow stayed at my hip as if I were leading him. he was calm, quiet and very attentive to my every request.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sparrow and I had what some folks call a "come to Jesus" meeting.

Yes indeed, the little snot needed the fear of a higher power put into him.

It started with chores this morning. The weather was beyond horrible. Think pouring rain, thunder, lightening, wind. Keep in mind my barn roof lost three panels this past winter (well, it has been missing one for years now *sigh* but just lost two more) so there really is no completely dry place out there. So all three were huddled in the corner where they are able to stay mostly dry... looking miserable.

When i went to give Brego his breakfast Sparrow tried to mob me and get his head in the bucket before I could get it to Brego's pan. I had to whack him with the bucket to get him out of my Personal Space.

Well, i didn't want to stick them out on pasture while it was storming and I am out of hay until saturday (they are on pasture right now so haven't been getting hay at all for almost a month now, just the goats have been getting hay on days I can't take them out to browse, so a 4 day period of being Out Of Hay isn;t a big deal. No one is missing meals, the hay I am getting is mostly for days like today and for next winter. I stock up EARLY if I can) so i figured i would wait until the weather cleared some before moving them.

So around 10:30 it cleared up and I went out to catch them but all three of them were being rowdy so i said, "fine, maybe ya'll know something I don't. I'll give in another hour to clear before I take you across." Sure enough a storm popped up even though none had been on the radar and hit fast and hard. Good thing I listened to them that time!!

So once that went by I tried again. Mary and Brego were eager to go out almost stuffed their heads in their halters but when I went to catch Sparrow the little $#!# pinned his ears and turned his butt to me and COCKED A HIND LEG!!!

I swung his halter and lead rope at that butt so hard it launched him forward about 12 feet in one stride, and then took Mary and Brego to pasture while Sparrow glared at me. He tried to rush the gate while i was taking them out but I managed to get it across in front of him and zap him in the chest.

Well, now he was alone in the paddock while they were in the pasture and he was MAD. He was stomping and pawing and tossing his head and screaming and occasionally bucking. So I took my catch rope (10 foot rope with a loop in the end that can be made into a makeshift rope halter just by laying it over the neck then pulling a loop through the end of the rope and putting it over his nose) and started to chase him off with it. I got him into the area I use as a work ring and closed the gate and proceeded to make him move those feet.

And move them.

And move them.

And when he tried to slow down I made him move them faster. I made him run until he was breathing hard and chewing and licking his lips and I could see in his posture that he was tired and thinking it might be a nice thing to stop. I let him stop and walked up to him and the little *&@#!% pinned an ear and pinched down his tail and cocked a leg at me again. I went to town on his cute little red butt, and made him run again.... ran myself right out of my boot and ended up ankle deep in mud in my sock. he was STILL bucking at me each time he went past, once I got my sock off and my boot back on i kept pushing him and pushing him until he was so tired he was starting to stumble. I finally let him stop again and I got the rope on him and as i started to lead him off the petulant little stinker tried to nip me! I saw it out of the corner of my eye and as he came at me I just whacked at him and it sent him backing up in shock. Then he lowered his head, looked away chewing and licking his lips and sheepishly followed me with a loose rope out through the paddocks, through the paddock gate and the pasture gate, and stood calmly while I took off the rope and let him go.

Once was was about 10 feet away he looked back over his shoulder with his nostrils pinched and his ears back, heaved a heavy sigh, then tossed his nose into the air with a snap that was clearly meant to say "Screw you, lady!"

I just went out to check on them and when i walked up to Sparrow with his halter in my hand he dropped his head and stood very still and just looked at me with one eye. I put the halter on, petted him, took it off again and left him alone.

I hope he got the point.

He hasn't given me an attitude like that since before he was gelded!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"As God Is My Witness, I'll Never Go Hungry Again!"

*Presses back of hand to forehead, flutters eyelashes and flings herself onto the couch with a deep sigh*

*southern accent* I DO declare! I am simply beside myself with exhaustion!

So, a small amount of history. My big barn is full of crap. Not just my crap, but the crap left behind when I moved in, the crap left behind when my ex left, the crap left behind when I left, the crap left behind when my in laws left and the crap we wedged in there when we came back.

Most of it had been infested with rodents, covered in bird feces, and buried under dirt kicked up by woodchucks and opossums. IE most of it is trashed. But to clear it out we would need a dumpster. I'm not in a position to rent one at this point so to clear out room for hay this meant picking a spot in the barn to sacrifice as a temporary dump. I moved about a ton of stuff (not joking) and then hauled in pallets and such for the area for the hay.

It took me almost three days and I am wiped out.

But I have room for hay. YAY!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

And then I said, "Seriously? SERIOUSLY?? more RAIN?"

Rain, rain, thunder, wind.

Sleep. No sleep.

Husband's chest pains. Night in the hospital. Tests.

More rain, more wind.

All results clear, no explanation of his chest pains.

Cold, but sunny. Hard work in the barn. Room for hay almost ready.

More rain. More wind.


So much to do outside, so little cooperation from the weather.

At least the rain makes the grass grow. The grass feeds the animals, so at least there is THAT.