I've had enough of goats - for the moment at least
By Judy Evans
November 1, 2018 6:57pm CST
For the past fortnight I’ve been helping my sister and nephew with their goat stud. One of the main chores was bottle-feeding 40+ little goats. This might sound a cute and cuddly job but let me assure you it was a fight for survival – mostly mine! The kids were separated into groups of varying sizes (usually six to eight in a pen) mostly according to age and/or sex. My nephew milked the adults while my sister and I were responsible for the feeding. We could feed four at a time so we would split the larger groups by shutting some in smaller areas within their pens. Say we had a pen of eight, they would all follow us into the small pen so that was the easy part but then we had to get out of the pen ourselves and hopefully leave four behind. That was the hard part. If you managed to get the gate half-shut on four they would all push and shove to get through. While you were pushing one head back, three more were shoving for all they were worth. The older the groups of goats the harder it was to split them up. Once you had split them you had to fasten the gate. Although the fastenings were quite easy to manage you’d have at least three sets of tiny teeth trying to suck your fingers while four others would be chewing on your shoelaces (they were past masters at undoing laces), your shirt, your jeans or bunting you anywhere they could reach trying to find milk. Once they were finally split feeding was the easy part. However it was all good fun. Some have now been sold and will soon be going to new homes. In the photo they are browsing on some branches that we have tied to the fence. If you mentally replace the branches with a gate and me, that is what we were contending with. The closest one is Mouse and the spotty one is called Blizzard. I’m not sure of the others. At the moment, I am pretty much over goats!
14 people like this
• Paso Robles, California
Goats are cute and I enjoy watching them. I would not want the work of caring for one even if it did give me fresh goat's milk. Over the long haul it's probably cheaper to let someone else to the work and buy the milk. I think a video of what you described here would be a real winner, but if you had a body camera the goats would probably try to eat it.
• Paso Robles, California
@JudyEv When I was very young, someone gave me a picture book called Can-Can. I think it was illustrated with photographs, but that was about 70 years ago and I don't think I still have the book. It was about a little billy goat that had seen a billboard of a goat eating a tin can, and he was determined to eat one himself. Of course, his mother was against it, but he finally got his wish and it wasn't as good as he expected. I loved the photos.