As many of you have noticed by now, I am no longer writing for Woman Not Dabbling in Normal. You can still catch the other ladies, and now a man or two on Not Dabbling in Normal.
Here are a few more tidbits for you first timers.
Many books will tell you that goats are not social animals. I was very surprised the first time I read that, and I saw it over and over in many different goat specific books. But let us not get confused between needy and social. Goats are very social, they play, they protect each other, and they are happier when they have a play mate, no matter the goats age. The majority of the time a goat isn't needy, or clinging to a companion, like sheep do. A goat needs someone or something to play with, be it another goat, a cow, a sheep, your kids or yourself. Don't just stick a goat out in your yard by herself and only deal with her at milking and feeding times. Go out and play with her if she is alone, and no, chickens don't count.
When you buy your first goat, make sure to find out how the owners move her. The preference would be a goat that has been trained to lead. Usually this is a dog collar and a lead rope. You don't want to have to carry her or grab her by the horns. If you don't have a large herd, or other livestock, shaking a grain can will work as well. Just don't get trampled.
You know you can interrupt at anytime and change the subject for the day.
Escape artists. Goats test fences. You can stop that by using a Y shaped tree limb. Place their head between the V of the Y shape and tie it. Not to choke or be super uncomfortable. This make it almost impossible for them to squeeze through holes or jump over fences. It will take a good 6 weeks before they are broke of this. Remove the yoke, and it should be over with, if not, replace it for a day or two as a reminder. If the doesn't work, picket the goat like you would a dog on a chain. All this will help you to prevent he goat from escaping. You don't want to have to reimburse your neighbor for their trees.
Tomorrow (if nothing good happens here or you change the subject) I will talk about pregnancy and kidding.
Sounds like a good, first hand primer for goat owners. Useful information, I'm thinking!
That's just brilliant! I wish I'd known that a few years ago when I was trying to keep my goats inside a page wire fence! Our only neighbor was all to often bringing them home, as his precious lawn was their favorite place to graze... His comment to us one day was, "The devil himself couldn't them in!"
Can't wait to hear about pregnancy and KIDDING! We have two pregnant does. Last year was our first try at it and boy did we get initiated. Everyone we know who has goats remarked on the ease of birth..."Ususally I go out in the morning to feed and there's a baby goat." Our experience was very different...both does needed assistance. I am looking at this years season with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Surely this year will be easier!?
You are just too funny! =) I love to read about your life.
I totally love your posts! No one else entertains and educates quite the way you do.
And seriously, what is not love about a goat?
I put a y on my goat and the little bugger figured out how to wiggle her head until it was through the fence!
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