Last night we picked up Barnaby, the last of our three goats. Tesco and Silas have been here since June 17th. Silas and Barnaby were listed as “Nigerian dwarf” and Tesco was listed as a “mini Nubian.” None of that means anything to me since they’re not being used for milk or meat; that they’re not huge is all I really cared about.
So far, having goats has been mostly pleasant. It’s quite a bit of work. More than you might think. My schedule is pretty solid. I’m up at 7:30 AM on weekdays and 8:30 AM on weekends. Except now. Now, in the back of my half-sleeping brain, I’m thinking about how sad Silas and Tesco look standing at their pen door, waiting to be let out into the kid pasture. So I’m no longer sleeping until 8:30 AM. Letting them out is the first bit of the day, and it’s one of the most rewarding. They adore attention, being pet, gnawing on my shirt, boots, and pants. Then I have to feed them. It doesn’t matter if I’ve put half a bale of hay in their pen the evening before, half of that hay will be on the ground. We are on our third style of feeder now to try and save the hay. When they move into their permanent shelter this fall, they will get a wall feeder, which will hopefully reduce this massive waste. Then there is the day itself, which initially required trips to visit them and get them accustomed to people once every forty minutes or so. Now that Barnaby is here bellowing, that’ll be the case again.
After the feeding, attention, watering, etc., there is the matter of their poop. They eat 93.462% of the day, so they poop a lot and that poop has to be cleaned up. Today we took everything out of their pen, opened it to the sun, laid down diatomaceous earth (to help combat the lice they came with [free pets, amirite?]), and filled it all again with their various beds, shelters, and food bins. That was a massive amount of work. There were mosquitoes, earwigs, giant beetles, spiders, and sun. On top of that, my Fitbit was dead, so I didn’t even get credit for the active hours!
Brian has started building their play platforms and the extra wood went to making a proper bed platform for their pen. You can see some of the who and what on Instagram.
My graphics card is working now but I haven’t reinstalled my software, so there’s still no editing proper photographs.
Run For The Roses
by Michael Martin Murphey