Sunday, August 12, 2012

I Think the Goat Won This Round

Its been an eventful weekend. As they've eaten down almost all of their fenced in area, things have certainly gotten interesting. I'm glad I've read so much on COTH about goats!  Yesterday was jsut te beginning. One goat decided she really liked getting her head stuck in the fence.  6 times in 2 days.  And she wasn't very cooperative with our efforts to free her.

This morning as I went back to feed the horses, I found the gate between their pasture and the goats was wide open.  I'm sure I sprouted several new gray hairs when I saw that open gate and couldn't see the goats until I got down to the fence. Amazingly, all the goats were still where they belonged, down in one corner of the woods. Horses were up by the barn but there was clear evidence that they'd been down in the woods 'visiting'.  Owners came out this morning and said they'll probably move the fencing tomorrow or Tuesday.

Then, around 5:30 I go out the throw the horses some hay - goats are all yelling down in the woods - and I notice a bunch of them are on the WRONG side of the fence. Total 3 ring circus trying to round them up and get them back where they belong.  A few of them made the mistake of going into the horse's paddock and Inky literally tried to kill them.  I now realize that we have a very nasty, territorial horse with other animals.  I guess we won't be getting any goats as horse companions.  Get everyone safely back where they belong, reinforce fence, call goat owners to let them know what's up and reassure them all goats are accounted for and safe. (Where IS that sweating bullets icon?)

Owners come back out, say yup, they've run out of fun things to eat and are ready to start getting into trouble, so we decide to drop a few small trees to keep them occuped. 2 husbands, and 3 teenage boys playing Paul Bunyon while Cindy and I watch laughing our heads off and enjoy the spectacle of boys AND men being boys. I sure was missing my video camera!
Dumb and dumber are locked in their stalls tonight just to be on the safe side.

And of course, I now have poison ivy.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Land Clearing the Green Way.

I'll admit to being something of a closet hippie amd am a firm believer in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  I try very hard to keep the environment in mind in my daily life and am very conscious of the fact that the earth has a finite amount of natural resources.  I compost.  I don't dump 1/2 full water glasses or old water bowls from the pets down the drain, I dump them in my plants instead. 

I desperately wanted to get the 'back 40' cleaned up and usable.  Its almost an acre of land that is a wasteland of downed trees, deadfall, poison ivy, briars, and weeds.   We tried several years ago to have a contractor clean it up, but the results were short lived for the expense and aggravation of having the heavy machinery  brought in.

Then I learned about goats!   Amazingly, Dave agreed it was a great idea.  We found a local farmer who rents their herd of goats for land clearing.  They put up the fencing and check on the goats daily.  We get the weeds and undergrowth knocked back so that we can get in there and clean up without having to wear armour.  We put money back into our local agricultural economy.   The goats are fun and entertaining, eating to their hearts content, and our land is cleared without heavy machinery.  Although the horses took a little bit to accept that they weren't the dreaded 'horse eating goats' eventually they also decided that they're kinda cool.

All in all, a win/win, I think.  And did I mention how cute and entertaining they are!