Spent some time this evening in the goat pen, which includes the chicken, duck and rabbit pens. I had a few things I needed to do on top of the normal feeding, watering and petting everyone. Doing anything extra is quite a feat with my three new "helpers" underfoot, even a simple thing as going in and out of the gate. I've never had goats before (my Daddy did though) so I've been learning a lot since getting the three amigos...learned some stuff today too! For example:
2. If you lean said wheelbarrow on the fence the goats will have to go behind it to see what's back there. If you lay it on its side so they can't knock the wheelbarrow over, they will put their front hooves up on it to see if they can knock it over (they can).
The thrilling part of this little fight over being hand fed blades of grass is that Juan came up to me yesterday to see what all the fuss was about and even took a blade from me! I'll win that handsome guy over one way or the other.
Yesterday I was going to put up a tarp (actually a cheap plastic tablecloth with flannel backing I found at the Goodwill Outlet) to provide the ducks some extra shade. That didn't happen since Obi decided the red tablecloth was food and every place I attached it to the fence she attempted to eat it off. So today I executed Plan B...their leaky kiddie pool is now upside down on four sticks I pounded into the ground. I put it up in one corner of their pen and ran a longer stick catty-corner through the fence across the top of the pool to keep the wind from blowing it off. It's a temporary fix until I can come up with a Plan C.
Today I discovered that I can NOT set a bag of feed down in the goat pen while opening the gate to the chicken pen. The three stooges almost had that bag of scratch chewed open in the few seconds I had my back turned to them! I guess it's partly my fault...I give them bits of corn out of the chicken scratch and they probably thought I'd brought them a 50 pound bag of treats!
5. There's a reason you need good fences for goats and it is not because they'll jump over them. No, the reason you need good fences is because goats like to rub on the fence...and rub...and rub...and rub. Now my goat fence bows out all the way around the pen.
6. Goats are affectionate, fun and good company. Until I got Obi, Juan and Kenobi I didn't realize just how companionable goats could be. I know my Daddy's goat, Junior, followed him around like a dog. As soon as Daddy walked outside in the morning Junior would jump the fence and follow him all day long. In the evening Daddy would tell Junior to go back to the barn and the goat would jump back over the fence into his pen for the night.
Obi, Juan and Kenobi start calling to me as soon as I round the corner of the back yard in the evenings, or if they see me in the front yard. The two girls follow me everywhere in the pen (with Juan doing the same at a distance) and they love to be petted, to have their ears and bellies scratched, their heads patted and their ears rubbed. They listen when you talk to them and they will jump up on you to get your attention. When you leave the pen they will cry after you (unless they're still busy munching on something yummy like sweet gum branches).
7. Last, but certainly not least, I've learned that I really REALLY like having goats and I love Obi, Juan and Kenobi with all my heart!