Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ten Goat Challenge

Admittedly, I don’t have a perfect set up yet for my does. My barn design needs some work. I have four good sized stalls that have doors, and I usually allow everyone to comingle. But sometimes, there are issues with the critters. Here is a good example of this problem:
Monday evening I arrived home after a HECK-ISH day at work around 6:00. It was already getting dark, and Rick had already had his dinner, so I decided to feed my stock before eating my meal. I turned on the big yard light, and the lights came on inside the barn.

I have seven does and three kids and one wether in this barn. (Yes, I know, I can count too, and that equals eleven. I’ll get to that.) I had put a can full of grain into a bucket up by the hay barn, so the three kids could “help” me feed. I let them out of their barn and they will follow me around until they get to the bucket, then all three are wrestling each other for the grain. This usually keeps them busy for a few minutes, but this Monday HAD to be different. I was tired and cranky, my head hurt, and I was hungry so I had very little patience.
Mistake one --I tried to carry two flakes of hay at once. When I pushed open the door to the barn, Whimsy dove under my second flake of hay and escaped. Crap. OK, it’s just Whimsy, I thought, she is easy to catch. So I entered the barn, dumping my armloads of hay into the feeders.
Mistake two—never trust a sneaky kid. Those three kids have learned how to push open the barn door from the outside to follow me into the barn. MONDAY, the littlest kid, Angel, ran up and pushed open the barn door and held it open for the other goats to escape.
Mistake three—I left the sneaky kid out, while I attempted to force the does back into the barn. Every time I would catch and drag two does into the barn, SNEAKY (I am changing her name) would open the door again and let them out. I really think she thought it was funny! By the time I caught on I was tired and cranky, my head hurt, and I was hungry so I had very little patience AND exhausted—BUT I was laughing so hard that they were all gathered around me looking at me like “SEE don’t you feel better?”

That is when I looked around and saw that Cooper, the yearling wether, was the ONLY good goat in the herd. There he was calmly munching on his hay, oblivious to the antics happening just outside the barn. I started laughing again!  When I came to my senses, I propped the barn door open, walked in with the cookie jar and politely fed Cooper cookies until EVERYONE was inside the barn begging for a cookie :)

"HA! I am smarter than TEN goats!"


  1. Baaaahaaaahaaaaa! That was the best story. Sure cheered us all up here too. Thanks, goats!

  2. Great story, Wendy! And I always enjoy reading/hearing your perspective on things. You're one very wise goat herder. Thanks for sharing!

  3. That was good! I've been promised goats when the pasture is finished and I'll have to remember this technique...