Saturday, November 28, 2009

Those Udderly Wonderful Goats-I can see clearly now...

Sometimes I think goats are THE most inquisitive critters!

Then I recall how nosey my dogs are and have to concede it may be a tie for the coveted ‘My nose got me into hot water’ blue ribbon. I`ll let you all decide which of the two species brings home the first place placard.

First off I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours here on the hillside farm was very enjoyable, small in numbers but large in home cooking and family time. The day after the holiday was a busy one and thank goodness too since I needed to work off that second helping of dressing I had. (We won`t mention the pie and apple crisp that followed.) *Winks*

It started off with a run to the feed store for calf grain then a quick stop at the local farm store for a roll of clear plastic. Then we three still over-stuffed goatherders ran to the grocery store. I generally avoid retail and department stores on Black Friday at all costs. Call me a coward but that kind of intense crowding is not my cup of Joe. It almost reminds me of our goats when we unlock the gate so that they can get their evening grain. Heaven help any poor chicken caught underneath the stampeding hooves!

After the groceries were put away Mr. Yodeling and I ran down to the hardtop to grab a round bale for the steers and visit the farmer who sold us this bale and the other dozen we have stored for winter. While the guys were gossiping I meandered over to admire the draft horses our friend owns while keeping an ear turned to the men as they chatted along. (I would hate to miss anything of worth that we ladies may not have heard!)

We returned home and got Patty and Bubba J. all squared away then grabbed a fast bite and slow cup of coffee. There are some things I won`t rush, coffee is one of those things. Also any movie with Ryan Reynolds but I digress…..

When my Nubian mug was drained we…..Oh! I nearly forgot this little side episode that occurred and which helped the dogs come into a neck and neck in the nosey critter race! As I was sipping my Folgers after out noon meal and chatting with Mr. Yodeling our yellow lab Poe stepped from her napping/vigil spot on the couch.

She walked decorously to the boot rack and proceeded to get sick on the carpeting not four inches from the linoleum. Why can`t they EVER make it to the easily mopped up kitchen?! Now anyone who has lived with dogs for any length of time won`t be shocked by this occurrence in the least. What was unusual about this particular episode of upset belly was what she left on the carpet. I`ll be as discreet as I can about this for y`all.

It seems our grand dame spent her morning potty time run rummaging through our burn pit to dig up and ingest the roasting bag our Thanksgiving turkey had been cooked in. Uh-huh. We had made a point to burn anything we thought would be a temptation to three canine noses immediately after our holiday meal. Ask me not why a bag so rich with grease didn`t catch afire but it didn`t.

You know I`ve heard that charcoal is an effective remedy for a queasy tummy but judging by the amount of burnt offerings that came along with the intact roasting bag I may have some doubts. Thankfully she did bring it up since I can`t imagine an entire roasting bag in a dog`s stomach would be a good thing!

Okay, so now back to the curious goats.

Once the living room carpet was scrubbed we had another job in store, replacing the plastic over the front of our barn. See our barn was originally built for horses and so the upper halves of the two large front doors are open. Since we have dairy goats and not horses we cover the gaping holes with thick plastic to keep the caprine one`s snug when winter winds blow down the valley. The old plastic had seen better days what with the sun and wind and more than one set of goat assisted rends.

Doing anything with the goats present is always an entertaining yet patience pushing task. They are naturally curious animals and think nothing of shoving their noses into places their noses do not belong. Our herd queen Fawn began the investigations by using the new roll as a head scratcher and the rest followed suit.

Taking the tattered old plastic down was quite invigorating to say the least. There was a mad chase of my junior buck Auron who absconded with a chunk of old plastic. Let me tell you goats are darn fast when trying to escape with pilfered plastic pieces!

Right after he was relieved of his treasure Jennifer decided to dig into the bag to see what she could make off with. It was comical to see their reactions when they discovered the upper half of their doors bare.

I would peek in at them and they`d peek back.

Of course the dogs had come along to assist and hopefully NOT eat anything that would make them sick since one round of carpet cleaning was adequate in my book for the day. Trinity did her bit by deciding to carry the feedbag of discarded plastic about in her mouth to earn another merit for that helpfulness badge.

It also is a necessity while working with goats to hug and schnozzle them whenever they deem a fitting time. A fitting time being all the time it seems, which makes getting any work done a tad difficult but much more enjoyable.

Case in point….

As we were finishing up the job our wether Ron (Named after Ron Weasley of Harry Potter fame) had the idea to practice for the upcoming caprine Olympics balance beam competition. What the gymnastic hopeful hadn`t taken into account was the sleet that had been falling on and off all afternoon.

Needless to say his Olympic dreams were shattered as was his pride when he failed to nail the landing and left the pasture gymnasium in shame as titters from his barn-mates rang down upon him.

I hope he doesn`t try to pursue his second dream….synchronized swimming.


Flat Creek Farm said...

As always, I giggled my way through your post! Now you're making me want goats! At one time, we had two, Buster and Dickens. They really make life more interesting!

Glad Poe survived the roasting bag ingestion! Yup, there's an unwritten canine (and feline) rule to let 'er rip on the carpet (never a smooth surface). Especially if it's a freshly cleaned carpet or rug. It's universal law :) -Tammy

small farm girl said...

I think you write one of the best and funniest blogs ever! I can imagine myself there with you cleaning up the prize Poe left for you on the carpet.(I can imagine, I just don't want to be there. lol) And, you are right, dogs can never puke on things that are easy to clean.

Best wishes,


houndstooth said...

When you find out the secret about why they always throw up on the carpet, could you get back to me? It's a mystery for the ages.

I'm curious to see how the swimming works out, too!

Feral Female said...

Boy howdy if I could figure out why they always hit the carpet, or if we`re talking about cats the chair cushion, I`d be happy to pass that info along Houndy.

FCF-I`ll be in touch about that goat yearning in about 4 months. *Winks* All we`ll have to do is figure out how to slip a kid into an envelope. =)