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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Goat tricks

I love goat tricks.  Not tricks that I teach them, but the little quirky things they do that make them so endearing.

Fedra decided early on that a large round feeder was perfect for sleeping in. She retires early so she gets first dibs; once she's bedded down, there's no argument about whose spot it is. 

I had thought to catch dropped hay under the hanging slowfeeders with another round feeder.  Silly me, I should have known that would not happen.  As soon as Fedra eyed it, that became her lounging area.

She wasn’t reckoning on Dandy, though, who watched for a day or two and then appropriated the “bed”. It doesn’t fit her nearly as well as it fits Fedra; she almost pours out of it.  Goats do like snug little spots and Dandy is no exception. so I shouldn’t have been surprised to come out one morning and find her all curled up.  


To her credit, Fedra took it in stride.

Dandelion is my most amusing goat, always up to something that makes me smile.  Take the milking stanchion, for example.  The barn is built on a hill, so in truth, the "ground" floor is two stories high on one side. The window in the milk room overlooks the downhill slope, and every day Dandy pauses to gaze out the window for several moments, observing the pasture and treeline, ascertaining dangers that might lurk for unsuspecting goats.  

Once she’s satisfied, she grabs another bite of Chaffhaye before heading out the door.  It's important not to leave any morsel untouched.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Grass is Always Greener

When I was a small child, 'way back in the '50's,  we used to watch a Boston-based TV show, "Big Brother Bob Emery".  He always opened the show by singing "The Grass is Always Greener" to the accompaniment of his ukelele.

     Oh, the grass is always greener
     in the other fellow's yard.
     The little row
     we have to hoe,
     Oh boy that's hard.
     But if we all could wear
     green glasses now,
     it wouldn't be so hard
     to see how green the grass is
     in our own back yard.

I think of that song often when I see my goats in the yard.  Mind you, they have about 30 acres of pasture, not including all the brush and trees which they can munch on anytime they wish. There's just something about a fence that a goat must challenge.

Yesterday I looked out to see them cropping grass on the lawn.  A bit later they'd jumped the fence for the dog's yard and were munching in there.  They made the rounds, wandering over to the Rosa rugosa bushes and wiping them clean of rosehips, exploring the remains of the garden plot (which I did not plant this year since they wiped it out last year), then discovering and eating, with gusto, the chrysanthemum in the planter by the house.

The paddock, the orchard, and the far pasture.  Beyond those trees is a multi-acre field with copses of trees and brush.

Another pasture, the front pasture, which extends beyond the photo, to the right.  Lots of trees and brush there, too.

Off to the left, there's a hill and another field that can't be seen.  They frequent that pasture in the summer when the upkeep on the fences is more stringent.  You can see that there's plenty of room to roam, graze, and browse.

And this is where they want to be, right outside the house. Okay, I admit it, the grass really is greener on the other side.

 Zoë is still a source of fascination. Enlarging the picture (click on it) will reveal Zoë on the step by the side door of the barn.  Some of the does are watching her, but she's oblivious, having interesting smells to explore.

Fedra and Dolly, especially, wanted to keep an eye on that dog.

After a while they wandered to the other side of the house...

Hannah just had to introduce herself.  Zoë seemed to be more leery than Hannah.

They really enjoyed those flowers.  I was not as thrilled.

Finally they wandered back toward the gate.  The source of interest for all of them?  
Zoë, of course.