Monday, August 1, 2011

The whole Goat story...

So I have to just live with not being able to upload pics for now. There are so many new and different experiences up here, I need to be better at keeping this blog updated.

So remember when we got our goats back in November? The day we went into Temecula to do a big grocery shop. Well, a couple stops before we actually got to our destination and we end up with Chickens in crates in the back seat and goats literally on our laps in the front. We spent our grocery money on Goats and Chickens. We even went through a Macdonald's drive through with animals in lap, because we had just planned on eating at the grocery store. Hmm, that in and of itself sounds redneck.

Well, we are rookies, and didn't understand how ANNOYING nubian goats are. We just wanted them for the possibility of milking mama goat. Nathan and I were raised on goat milk because we were allergic to cows milk. Our boys were also allergic. We were excited for the possibility of fresh goats milk, learning about the new things we would be able to make.

We put the goats in the area with the chickens. Great big area, fenced in. Plenty of room for a chicken coupe, goat shelter, and lots of trees. The first couple of weeks were great, while the goats were getting comfortable around us. It was fun. Then, they started getting too comfortable. They would jump out of their area and just be roaming around our property. Okay fine, they can roam the property and eat our unmowed unweeded acreage. Sounds great. But no, they were brats. They would poop everywhere, lay on the hood of my car, and literally sit at our front door and BAAAAAAA at us. Ugh, and the girls goat (Peggy) was by far the most miserable. She would BAAAAAAA with her tongue hanging off to the side and her face, wow, I just wanted to punch her in the face. Oh, and they would buck and claw at the chicken and bunny food and eat all their food (even when it was in a tight container) and that would give the goats diarrhea.

SO, we tried electric fencing. Now, electric fencing is literally just a box that you hook up near the fence. And the box has the power in it. Then you plug the box in to an outlet. Now, you just clip wire up all around the top perimeter of the fence. Then connect the wire to the power box. So, it was one day around dawn. We got it all hooked up. it was so exciting for us. We envisioned Peggy just putting her front hooves on the fence, getting shocked, then simply not trying it again. WRONG! So we got it all hooked up. So excited, the box was powered, Nathan even gave it a test run. Yeah. It was good to go. So we put Peggy in her area (this is the original chicken/goat area) and we went a little behind the bushes and just waited. It wasn't a minute later that she started towards her escape corner. She looked around (to make sure we were out of sight) then she did it. Immidiate shock! But the outcome was not what we expected! She kept on standing on it! She was trying to jump forward to get out. She just kept getting shocked, so it was buzzing and she was BAAAAing and we rushed over to turn the power off, just watching her be the biggest idiot we'd ever seen. Her body just flailing around getting shocked trying to still escape! So just as we got to the power box, she ended up getting out after all. She was free. She stood there, looked around and BAAAAAAAA with her stupid tongue hanging out of her mouth sideways. SERIOUSLY PEGGY!?! So, that wasn't supposed to happen. Well, by now, we were having to use a flashlight to see anything, but we re-wired the escape area, made it super secure, so the fence had no give in it. It was solid, there was nothing she could do this time. The fence was secure, solid, no give, her only option if she were to try to escape this time would be just to fall backwards. SOOOO, we put the power back on, put her back into the area, hid in the bushes and waited. She did her thing, watches to make sure we're not in sight. She goes right back to the escape area and puts her hooves up on the fence. This time its even worse! Its harder for her to push forward but she's just getting zapped BAAAAAing, flailing around, not being able to escape, all's we can see is this flailing goat BAAAAA,,,,ZZZZZZZZZZ!! And then she does it again! She manages to shove her way through the fence! Then you can just imagine what she does. Yep, just stands there, looks out and with her stupid tongue hanging out to one side, BAAAAAAAA. UGH!

So our enthusiasm for electric fence turned into pure annoyance. What the heck do we do now? Well, we've seen and heard of people just putting their goats on a long leash or chain in the middle of a grassy field or right by a lush tree. So that was our next plan.

Oh my, here it is a week later that I'm getting back to this post. Anyway, we tied them to trees and Peggy literally would go crazy all day trying to get free. Then she somehow busted up her leg pretty good. Well, that was a blessing for us becuase it made her just be calm and in recovery mode for like 3 weeks.
Then we made Alcatraz. Literally a rectangle of fencing, barbed wire, stakes, wires running over the top and underneath, so much effort, so many, "I'm going to shoot her", and finally we made it. A goat area that they couldn't escape. AHHH! It was heaven. It was bliss. They were on our time and at our mercy, finally. (goodness, and we thought getting goats would be fun. We could breed them and have goat milk...blah!). So we had them in Alcatraz for about 3 months. Loved it. Then Nathan got pigs. I told him he needed to sell the goats first then buy pigs with the goat money. Well, I guess when you find a good deal on pigs, you just gotta jump on it. I'll post about pigs in a minute.
So, we put the pigs where the goats were and now the goats are being chained up around various trees on our property. And guess what!? I think they learned that being attached to a tree on a generous amount of rope is a hole lot better than being in alcatraz because now they are quiet and they mind their own business and they just sit in the shade after a long day of trimming back the trees for us!