Living with Goats ...and Guineas...and Chickens

It's been about 2 weeks since we brought Sissy and Pippy home. We've had to deal with some things, but mostly it's just been fun.

About a week after we got them, we noticed some white, rice-shaped things in the poop. Turns out it's tapeworms (gross). The stress of moving can do that to goats though, so we called up the sweet Ms. Jane that we bought the goats from and she brought over some medicine to clean them out. I've read since then it's a good idea to deworm a goat as soon as you move it to your property. Ms. Jane taught us to use natural remedies to keep worms at bay, but sometimes when you have worms it's a good idea to bring out the big guns. The day after the medicine, both goats were hyper and eating much better. We also started them on a round Molly's Herbals wormwood formula a week early just to ensure we got all the worms.

So all that was kind of scary and gross, but it's taken care of and now we have some goats who are feeling much better. We're thankful that we caught it early.

The fun parts are everything else! We walk outside on the porch and they hear the door close and start yelling for us. They love to play; all three kids and goats play on the logs inside the fence. And now the chickens get in there too. Yep, we've started letting the chickens and guineas out during the day. They all come in quite nicely (well, kind of chaotically) at night to eat and roost in the coop. We don't feed them much in the morning, because we're training them to free-range and find their own food. They all just act like they are starving at the end of the day, but we want them to come to the coop easily so it's working well.

So our "chores" are to head outside in the morning to feed the goats and let the birds out. The kids usually either go before me or stay out longer to play for a bit. Then we come in for breakfast and go back out for some gardening.

In the evening, we'll walk out toward the fence and the guineas will start sounding the alarm. And the goats are yelling, and the chickens are clucking. It's pretty noisy! The chickens are so funny because they run at me to get the food, but then they run away from me because of any movement I make. And it's really hard walking into the coop with the food since they all crowd under my feet. I can't even see my feet right now! I have to walk slowly, and eventually they get out of the way. We feed them, and when we get out of the way, the guineas will run in to eat too. We shut the door, and the chickens and guineas are in for the night. We feed the goats who have been waiting, not quite so patiently, and they sleep under the roof that Jeremy built.

The kids love playing in the fence, they're working on making friends with the chickens. Esmond loves to chase the chickens back in the fence when they climb out. Every once in a while, he'll get a hold on one, poor things. He is still being taught how to be gentle. Jeremy and I set up some chairs in front of the fence and just watch. They make us laugh; it's better than watching TV.

That's part of the day in the life of newbie homesteaders!

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