I’ve been a member of a few online groups with other goat owners and the thing everyone eventually says is Goats = Crazy. It’s our way of making light of the ridiculous ways our animals behave and/or make us behave. The following is a slice of reality right now. I’m not complaining, I’m just telling it like it is.
There has been a fair bit of crazy going here at Helser’s Haven thanks to the goats. There is a downside to backyard farms is the lack of space – when the kids are born, it gets crowded. When those kids start growing (and getting loud and obnoxious as most of them do while they are growing into big kids), it gets hectic. Sometimes they don’t sell quickly and have to hang around here for awhile, growing, eating, and taking all the milk. Throw in a special needs goatling who was rejected and I end up managing a 3 ring circus 3-4 times a day.
The last few weeks have been a circus for sure. The two older kids are in an obnoxious phase right now. The mean to the younger goats, cry for food nonstop, and one of them likes to bite me. They really do not like Luna and have been thrashing her every time she’s out with them. Luna is too small to take the beatings so for now she is hanging out in the yard during the day, and in the house in a dog crate at night.
Here’s my routine right now just so you can see how crazy it can be. The goat shuffle begins in the evening at 8 pm. I have to pull Cinderella out to the milk stand so that Luna can get a bite to eat. That is the only way Cinder will feed her. (we have been using a bottle too, but Luna has trouble with it) The other goats all get some grain too because I can’t stand the hollering that will commence as soon as they see that one of the herd is getting special attention. Then I drag Cinder back to the goat yard because she is stubborn and doesn’t like to go back in.
Once it gets dark I leash Perdy and Cinder to the fence and shuffle the doe twins and the buckling into the one stall we have so that they cannot nurse their mamas dry all night long. This is the only way I can get milk for us, and it’s not even that much because they are only separated for 8-9 hours so the udders don’t fill completely.
Once I get the door slammed shut, usually having had to run and get one that escapes, they thrash around and holler and cry and it sounds like someone is torturing them. I pray every night that nobody in the neighborhood can hear and calls the police to investigate the disturbing noise.
Eventually they settle down and are quiet until my hubby gets up and turns on lights which sets off the older goats start hollering for their food at the crack of dawn. I stumble out to the yard in my under-caffeinated state to pull Cinderella out so that Luna can eat – she has to go first because she is slow. I also milk out a little extra because Luna will need it later on. While that is going on, chaos erupts because the twins know I’m out there and they want their mama. MAAAHHHHHHHH, they wail. I hurry to get Perdy on the stand and milk out a couple cups for myself. Not too much because if I take it all, the twins – who Perdy would nurse forever- will carry on all day long and they can be very loud which is not good in a neighborhood like ours. I really try not to disturb other people’s peace.
Then everybody gets hay and that satisfies them for awhile. Luna will need a feeding mid-day and so I pull Cinder out again and put her up on the stand and if there’s not enough milk in the udder, then I get the bottle out and finish feeding Luna with that.
They all start screaming for dinner around 5 and I take out more hay.
Luna needs another feeding around 8 so I pull Cinder out again, which causes the screaming from the other goats. They get grain one more time (it’s really not that much, a cup for 4 of them to share)
Then I tie up the mamas so that I can herd the kids into the stall for the night. I am a hot, sweaty, exhausted mess every night when I finally come in. I am ready for the twins to move on to a new home so we can get back to the quiet calm that I prefer. It’s amazing how 2 little goats can be so disruptive.
p.s I know that I bring this on myself. Every year I say I’m going to bottle feed them and get them sold right away, and every year they are just so stinking cute, and Perdy is such a good mama that I cannot hold to that. Darn the cuteness of little goats! heeheehee. As soon as they go to new homes everything will settle down and we won’t hear a peep out of Cinder or Perdy. I will have made it through another season of kidding, whew. And maybe I will convince the hubby to build me one more stall so that things can be a little easier next time around.
How is the crazy in your world? Do you have a 3 ring circus of farm animals?