Goat Day

Yesterday was more of a Goat Day, and all around ended up being a Good Day! 6:30 a.m. I was prepared to conquer the world, at least to conquer my desk and all the notes and writing ideas piling up. But, like anything in life, there are detours. My detour was 11 Goats and how to wrangle them.

Sipping coffee, I glanced out towards the woods. There is a desire to take my phone and get some of the beginning beauty of the leaves changing color. One day they will be slightly turning orange or red, then all over the ground.

All thoughts of getting anything accomplished, diminished when I saw Stitch, our only male American Pygmy Goat walking down the drive with all 7 of his girls following.

Stitch got the girls up on the bales, then went down to the right to try to keep Moses from busting through his gate.

If there is ever a time for my brain not to compute, it was after throwing on work gloves and shoes, I stood staring at their mangled gate door. The photo below does not show how torn up it was. Questions began to pile up. Had Stitch got his horns caught, panicking, wrenching the door? Had a small tornado come through, because that is what the door looked like?

Or…..and, if you live on or visit the farm, you would look over your shoulder like I did. Delilah. Our Nubian. She stood innocently on her large wooden spool. She even had the nerve to question me! “What happened over there?” her eyes asked. Pursing my lips, and staring her down, made her try to look even more innocent. “I know what you have done.” I said.

She found a weak place in her fence over by my large favorite tree. She worked the spot for days probably, until she could squeeze under. She climbed over large hay bales, and began to hit the gate door until it was nicely peeled to one side. My limited strength right now, was useless. But, I could try to block the entrance. Here is where we all can laugh! Please feel free!

Grabbing a bucket and getting some food, I drug a work table over from the shop to block them from leaving again.Luring the goats back in was simple. They are gentle, and the whole family, and the grandkids, can go in and feed them treats. They love to meet us at the fence to have their noses rubbed, or just to curiously see what we are doing. Shaking the bucket, filling their bowls, they all came back.

What else could go wrong? Our Boer male goats, Moses, the Big Daddy, and Sampson, and conniving, Delilah wanted food, attention, and to join in. The large goats plowed through my obstruction like it was paper, and Moses began to chase the females. Never have I been more proud of Stitch. He stood up to Moses, hair raised along his back, horns down. Stitch would get some of his girls protected, only to have to run to the help of the others. Sampson just wanted to play, but seemed too clumsy. And, Delilah just got in the way.

Thankfully, my daughter and son-in-law came to the rescue. Glancing down at their phones, they both saw I had texted, “Help! All 11 Goats are running wild!” They live about 15 minutes away, but when they arrived, gates were mended, and everyone was back to nibbling grass and laying in the sun in their own fenced areas.

The weather was sunny and warm. Chicken was frying in the oven! And, everyone stayed safe through the night. Have a blessed day! Love to all our family and friends! May the Lord richly bless you :)Jen

On This Farm We Wander

My name is Sampson, and I am the baby of Delilah and Moses. My momma, a Nubian, is the best at getting under fences, climbing over hay bales, chewing through bungee cords, and pushing in one spot till she breaks free. She gets out and enjoys the other pasture until she gets bored. She works her way through the barn, and if the gate is open, she stands just outside.

My dad, Moses, a Boer, is happy and content to stay in the warm large side of the barn, or out in the large pasture. He is very laid back, laying on his large wooden spools in the warm morning sunshine. When he is getting ready to be fed, brushed, and people are talking to him, he loves to smile super big!

Last Thursday, my momma, Delilah, broke fencing and began exploring. She visited the Nigerian and African Pygmy goats, pushing on their gate, till she nicely dented it in. The male, Stitch, though young, stood his ground. He let out noises that sounded like hisses and grunts to protect the 7 young females he proudly adores.

The exploring part looked like a great opportunity, for myself, to also experience wandering. Finding a way out, I joined my momma, and asked if we could walk the drive and look in the windows of the farm house. Wouldn’t those people that feed and care for us be surprised?!!

Feeling large gravel under my hooves was rather interesting. The two of us walking together on a different adventure! Hearing the farm house door, my heart felt nervous and excited. She, the lady that always says, “Good morning Handsome”, stood outside with her boots on, hair tied back, and shiny things in her hands. Might she have a treat? Maybe I would try to smile like my dad, Moses.

Then those shiny things began to bang together and with shock, momma ran back towards the barn. She is a stubborn girl, I have heard the lady and man say. But, not today. If she is not going to be stubborn, then I will be! Feeling brave and strong, I start to turn around. My horns are quite impressive on my powerful head. My body is strong and I am young and want to explore. Ladies voice gets much louder, as do the shiny things. Before I know what I have done, I am back in the barn. Watching Lady close the gates, I hear her say, “Thank you, Handsome.” :)Jen

Farm Live Along With Good, Bad, and Trying Times, 2020

All three of our Dogs play well together now. Fear was that they would not all get along when Zoey came to guard the farm animals. They are best sisters and watch out for each other.

Today I woke up excited that it was Friday, May 1,2020. The sun was shining at 6:30 and I was going to conquer the world, or maybe what needed to be done on the farm.

But, the bad had to mingle with the good right away. The dogs went out and I went to feed the ducklings, goslings, and chickens. Just as easy as you can lose a thought, the dogs were gone. One place in the fence line out by the road gets washed out when we have a lot of rain. They seem to know when that is, and they scurry under and run the neighbors field and check out the cows. If you have an English Bulldog, you know they can not run free. They can run a couple of laps, then they need water and to take a nap! They finally came back and thankfully weren’t hit by a car. Daisy will probably sleep all day!

I have said it before, we get a lot of rain, and boots and raincoat always stay by the door. No complaining when you can look out and see wildflowers, flowers, and green trees. We have three large garden plots that might need to be mowed before we can plant seeds! πŸ™‚ The good part is that we should be able to do some tilling tomorrow and plant our seeds since we have had a few days free from storms.

The chickens are ready to go to the coop and they turn 8 weeks old May 5. We have not been able to put them out there because of temperatures dipping back down in to the 30’s and 40’s through the night. We have ducklings and goslings that need to take over the larger part of the nursery. Then turkeys are arriving in a week and a half.

We still have 2 goats that like to escape their pen, but we have goats that are content. They are a joy to watch run and play, butting heads and doing a goat binky. Our oldest daughter told me her bunny binkies, but I had not a clue what she meant. It is one of the cutest things to see as they run and jump. They look so free and happy! If I can get the goats on video, I will share with you.

My parents live with us, and the good is that they live with us! I can still laugh with my dad. I can still ask my mom how she stayed on such a great schedule every day and still cook, clean, shop, garden, can, go to school, be a pastor’s wife, and raise children.

We miss being with our huge family during these trying times, but we have so many ways to connect and we are very blessed. Always in prayer. Have a blessed day :)Jen

New Goats, Dog, & A Mystery Pig

We now have 11 goats, soon to be 12!! Boer, Nubian, Pygmy-Kiko-Nigerian Dwarf mix. Learning is wonderful fun, exhausting, and rewarding!

The older goats, Moses, Delilah, and their buckling Sampson are extremely friendly. Delilah might be using me though, to see what snack I have for her. Raisins, bread, carrots…

Moses was intimidating for me, and still is because of his size, but during this season he is as gentle as a kitten. One morning, I was stuck in one of the stalls in the barn. Going in to get their feed, we knew the door needed work and would stick. Pushing and kicking was getting me nowhere, and I would have to stay in there all day till Gary got home that night. Moses was so concerned, (NOT about Me) but that I had his food in there. When I would push, he would stick his giant head in and try to pry the door open!

Their buckling, Sampson, is enjoyable right now. He jumps in the air, runs all around, butts his head against your hand, and loves to play all day like a pup.

Our other goats are small and very fast. Two got out in to the field, and giant Delilah got over in their area. I spent three hours trying to repair fences and chase little goats with long sticks to guide them back around the barn and in to safety. And for fun, I did it all over again the next day. By then, I was laughing and upset at the same time.

Spying and sneaking around the outbuildings was how I discovered who the culprits were. Zoey, our new two year old Great Pyrenees and Delilah (Our biggest sneaky trouble maker) was going through two places in the fence and a couple little one’s wanted to follow. Delilah would come right back, happily content that she was getting rid of the small goats. Early on we realized, she is a handful πŸ™‚ and does not play nice.

Zoey is amazing. She is kind with our whole family. Her head stands up to my waist and one paw could knock me over! She wishes she could sit on my lap! When I walk the farm, she leans against me. I picture myself growing old, my body completely tilted to one side!

Our neighbors have giant farm dogs. Zoey early on went over for a visit and one morning she was laying down with one of the farm dogs back in our field. Made me think of the Looney Tune Cartoon where one Great Pyrenees is clocking out for the day, and another is clocking in to watch for Wile E. Coyote to appear.

A MYSTERY TOY appeared a few days later, maybe Zoey took it from the dogs’ farm as her own, or they brought it over as a piece offering!! Could she be a Klepto?? Oh, NO!