I bought goats for my farm because I thought they would be a great little group of employees. They could eat all the stuff that grew too big while I’m at work and in the process give me some good fertilizer for the nitrogen-baron fields. Except that the goats don’t really do that (turns out sheep would have been a better choice) and mine were almost completely un-tamed when I bought them. So Lola, Rico or Dulci have been on my farm in a fenced 2 acre field for almost four months and I haven’t been able to get within three feet of them the entire time.
Things are getting better though. They are talking to me when they are hungry and for the most part will let me be in the stall with them at breakfast. The smart kid at the Yamhill County Fair told me what I needed to do to get them back into shape – physically and attitudinally. It involves restricting their freedom and food availability. The trick is making sure they know you are the “boss of them”.. according to a 9-yr-old’s 4H exhibit. Okay, not exactly my style, but the blackberries are growing quickly and I’m feeling like a reject ’cause my goats are the only ones in the entire universe that aren’t friendly.
The other day my goaties were giving me some sass so I threw a few apples into their area. They started gnawing on the golf-ball sized drops but couldn’t bite into them. I cut some up and threw them in, too. For being as flighty as they are, Lola didn’t even flinch when I accidentally clocked her in the head with one the pieces. I gave them some alfafa cubes and blackberry vines that night to see what they liked. Those little piggies ate everything I threw in there! I am quietly hopeful that after it cools down a bit more I can get them locked up in the stall for a couple of weeks and finish the job. The journey of a thousand days…
originally posted 08/23/05