Throw Back Thursday – New Goats

This is a follow-on in a series of stories posted on a blog back in October 2008. If you need some back story visit the previous #TBT blogs from 5/21 & 5/28. Enjoy:

New Goats

AspennTundraSo just after the skunk episode, dd and I returned in the house and cooked breakfast. At breakfast I prayed for our usual wisdom, discernment, and help to plan a wonderful day. So after breakfast I was cleaning up the kitchen and in my mind planning the day. Then I was thinking how it might be a good idea to get some does for now, even if not Nigerian Dwarfs, just so we can start our herd and have some goats to sell for meat, etc. Well as I was concluding my kitchen tidying my dd walks up and tells me the same thing I was just contemplating in my mind!! A little astonished at what had just happened I called dh at work and just told him what happened. He concurred with the plan to get 2 does from this lady down the street. I had been purchasing chicken eggs from her, but since we got the Indian Runners our need for chicken eggs has dwindled as we’ve had plenty from our ducks. As far as I know ducks ARE kosher. I have had many ask me about this. Our friends went to Israel this past Passover and were served Duck as a kosher meal on Passover. I researched this and yes, they do raise Muskovy duck in particular for this purpose. Anyhow, I do not plan to eat any of our little flock of ducks, only their eggs. Which to me are much closer to chicken eggs than the normal, extra oily of mainstream (no pun intended) ducks.

Anyhow… I phoned up my neighbor. Last I had been to her house, she had this precious little baby white and tan doe born to a ½ Boer/ ½ African Pygmy that was close to weaning age. She also had another Momma African Pygmy Doe with 3 triplets, I thought they were all black. The father to all is a typical Black African Pygmy with some again, typical markings. So upon talking to the neighbor, it turned out she still had ALL the babies and they were ALL does. We discussed it and made a business deal via telephone and my dd and I went to pick up the little girls. The lady I had spoken to, the owner of the goats, was at work so I had to meet her husband. He was waiting for us and knew kind of what we wanted to do. He knew for sure that we were going to take the little white & tan female, but he didn’t know we were also going to take one of the triplets. The husband is slightly handicapped, it looks like he may have had some kind of accident and has lots of scarring and clearly some missing musculature on one of his arms. Poor guy, he still manages well, I suppose he is on disability of some sort. So I asked him if he wanted me to help catch them, he nicely said, “no I can handle it, I have a special way I like to get them.” He goes and gets a bucket of food, brings it in the pen and pours it on the ground. Of course, being goats, they all greedily run up and start gobbling up the food, but they also see him hovering there with a rope of some sort (a dog leash, looped like a noose), this makes them wary and nervous. He then SWOOPS in and tries for the little white & tan goat. She runs, and this carries on for about a good 8-10 minutes. Finally he catches her and is ready to wrap up so I remind him that I would like also take the second little goat, one of the triplets. I insisted because I wanted to bring the 2 girls together so they would not feel as intimidated in their new surroundings. So I tell him again, that I’d be more than willing to help him catch the next one, since I could see he was already wrapping up. Again he said, I’ll get her, it’ll just be a minute. So I stand back again and watch, for a few minutes. I was sort of coaching from outside the fence. It was clear to me that the goats were on to him. They knew which goat he was trying to capture… a little chocolate and white one with a big white splash. That little goat stayed well away from everyone else to avoid capture. I told him he should pretend he was after a different goat so she wouldn’t be so wary. This worked, well kinda… she relaxed just enough to … almost capture her. Well, he asked me if I wanted to come later and he would capture her. I assured him I was not in a hurry and that I was more than willing to assist him in capturing her. So then he said, well sure come on in then. So he put a BIG branch of hackberry in a small pen and his plan was to corral her in there and capture her. This actually worked. We caught all 3 triplets, they went in the pen, but then found a set of stairs that connected to a fence and bounded up and out of the small pen! Oy vey!! So the man then moved the stairs and we tried again. Being that they were his goats, I had to kind of relent in my experience with working with sheep and goats as he felt he had the ONLY way to do the job in his own mind. So I picked up a 4 foot stick as an “arm extension” and we worked together (kind of) and began pushing the ENTIRE goat herd into the small pen. He felt we were moving to fast as they were understandably feeling the pressure, well one broke off because in my opinion we were going TOO SLOW at that pivotal point where we should have pushed them hard to get in the pen. They took that weak point and once the one bolted from the group, then they others all did the same. This time I picked up a second 4 foot stick for my other hand as a second arm extension. Again we pushed and this time I called the shots, but made it as though I was walking him through it. I told him to “keep pushing through” so that they would not split up. We pushed hard, now, this is not a physical push, it is a “pressure point” push. SUCCESS!! We got the whole herd in the small pen and once in, they were so happy to be there silly goats!! There was hackberry in there and they again greedily grabbed at the scratchy green leaves. I closed the gate and the man was able to fairly easily noose the little goat. YAY!! At last, this gives you a literal meaning to “getting a run for your money!” HA!! We paid the man, jumped in the vehicle and headed home!

Five miles journey, back down the road to our home, I was planning the unloading of our new little herd members. We already had picked out names for them. The white and tan goat would be “Annabelle” or “Bella” for short, and the little chocolate and white goat would be “Mocha Latte” or “Mocha” for short. So I back up the vehicle nearest the gate we are going to put the goats in. I have my dd stand gate guard, which at the time I felt was clever, but later I realized I had made a SECOND terrible mistake!!! The little goats were very unwilling to cooperate with us. First I reached in the little crate and forcibly removed Bella. I awkwardly carried her to the gate and slipped her in successfully when suddenly I realized … I heard a sickening noise, only sickening because I knew what it was… it was Mocha… ESCAPING in a NON-FENCED AREA!!! This was my FIRST terrible mistake, I did not secure Mocha in the crate, she was timidly, shying in the back of the crate and I didn’t think of the very real possibility that she might jump out and run away! Most of our property IS NOT fenced and she was now bounding towards the back of our property!!! OH NO!!! I scrambled into action. Ocean, my most advanced herding student, was on hand as she was on guard duty there closest to the vehicle. I knew I could not let her go because she might catch the goat and bring it back to me alright, but it would probably not be the prettiest picture, know what I mean? So instead I kept her on her tie-out line and we hastily made our way to the back of the property. Mocha was bleating and I could see her standing at the end of the clearing not really knowing which way to go next. The good thing was she heard the familiar sound of her half sister bleating back in the goat pen where Mocha was SUPPOSED to be! So Mocha sees Ocean and I coming down the path near her and in her opinion we have any viable options of escape cut off as she didn’t feel comfortable running into thick woodsy areas. She made her move and quickly bounded around and just past us into a narrow clearing in the woodsy area. An area we were already familiar with, we pursued her, there was a log there she went under the log and Ocean ran under the log, so she then bounded back towards me and back through the narrow passage and thankfully Ocean bounded over the log and tangled herself on the log! My fingers were happy because I already had the beginnings of yet another rope burn. With the goat bounding back towards the goat pen I knew I could take a couple of seconds and recollect myself and Ocean and the highly necessary lead. Ocean was now jumping and rearing, she wanted nothing more than to catch the goat. The problem with one runaway goat and a herding dog is that the dog now sees that one escapee as complete PREY, it is like a wolf singling out an individual from a herd, it is only for ONE reason. It is HIGHLY important to keep control of your dog in a situation such as this as it can go quickly awry.

So if you can imagine, I calmly hurried to the clearing up by the goat pens and saw Mocha there touching noses with her half-sister Bella through the fence. I told dd to get Bella in the smaller pen, and then quietly open the gate to the pen. I didn’t matter if the boys got out, it’s not a problem to catch them as they know us and are fairly easy to catch, in fact they are harder to “shake” since they are trying to eat our clothes and check our persons for treats, etc. So after a bit more carousing, utilizing Ocean to pick up my slack, for instance if I went to one side of a tree and the goat double back around the tree, Ocean instinctively would rush around and head her off on the other side of the tree. We made a good team although to most it probably looked like the Comedy of Errors!! FINALLY, we successfully got her in the pen, latched the gate, then opened the small pen to reunite her with her half-sister! YAY! Talk about an awesome recovery effort there, Praise Yah! The only injuries were 2 smallish thorns in my big toe (as I was running about in flip-flops… no time to change shoes you know) and the start of a rope burn on my left middle finger. Phew! Also, I think next time I’ll think through the situation a little bit better! LOL!!

Comment on this story 2015:

What a hoot! I am so happy I wrote about this stuff because otherwise I don’t think I would easily remember all the DRAMA! Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! 🙂

Until next time – Yah bless!



About Maritza

We are a small family of 3 and a bunch of critters.We love God, our Country and it's foundations. We made a BIG move from Texas to Massachusetts in May 2013.This blog captures our 'new' life, there is never a dull moment. There is a lot of charm and character in this place and I plan to unveil it all and bring it to you in the painting presentation of word pictures and more.
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