Goat Wrangling

Twice in the past week, I've had to wrangle the goats back into their fence. Twice! They like to get out after they've eaten and while the chore person is looking the other way.


I've almost walked away from them both times. But having a newborn inside the house will make you want to give up easily. Because knowing your baby is in the house takes the stress from a 4 to an 8.


But eventually, we got the goats in. The first time it was just me, and the second was with Gideon. Goats are not like dogs, they won't come unless they want to or have a reason to, like food. So, we get some extra food and stick it in their faces and once they get tired of the Bradford pear trees out front, they come back to the fence. But if they can get into the garage where all the food is kept, it's almost impossible to get them out by yourself.

They are growing, though. And they've gotten thicker coats for the winter weather. I am probably revealing my ignorance here, but did you know cashmere is from goats? It's their winter coats, not their regular coats. You can learn something new every day!

As for the guineas, they wander off every day but return home at 4:30 every afternoon. Sad news is, we've lost one. We don't know how or when. It could have been hit by a car. We've had hawks circling the yard in the past few weeks, so it could have been killed by one of them. But it's true, even though Gideon insists it must not be. He hasn't counted them, so he denies it, but Eowyn and Jeremy have both only counted 11.


The guineas have also had the hardest time adjusting to the goat room. They do not like change and the new walls apparently scare the dickens out of them. We have to have all the right conditions to get all the guineas inside the coop every night. That can also be a bit frustrating, especially when your only help is a 2 year old. Poor baby, he did not see that guinea coming at him the other night and got scratched on the arm. I'd asked him to hold the barn door closed for me, but 2 year olds don't know what that means.


Our chickens are getting nice and plump, and they should be since they ate all of our fall garden before we got any of it! Yes, yes they did. We'll need to do something about that for next year. I'm thinking we'll either fence in the entire garden with chicken wire, or something else.



There's George!

We have two roosters, the one barred rock and a big Rhode Island red. They have both improved their crows so much so that they sound like real, grown-up roosters. We really do have a beautiful flock of chickens, though. I love seeing all the variety in colors and designs. We throw out scraps to them out of our side door, so they hang out close. They love my front porch and poop all over it. It's Esmond's job to scare them off the porch when he sees them. He loves it.



The kids have finally gotten in a good rhythm of chores, and don't get in trouble nearly as often anymore. For a while, it was "don't chase the chickens, don't scare the guineas, don't lock the goats in their room." Gideon takes care of the morning chores and Eowyn takes care of the evening. I'm always so relieved when it gets to this point with the kids. While I'm teaching a new skill, I often forget how many reminders it takes before a kid starts remembering, but then it finally starts clicking.

Anyone else wrangling goats this week? I'm sure everyone else's goats are much too well behaved to try to escape.

8 comments

  1. Sometimes it's not only goats that need wrangling, at our farm it's pigs. I often forget how many times you need to tell the children before it sinks in too, I need a bundle load of patience. Thanks for sharing this great post at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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    1. Oh, we're thinking about pigs for next year! It seems like it would be even harder to get a pig back in a fence. Goodness, what am I getting into? Anyway, thanks for reading Terri!

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  2. Jennifer,

    The very first day our twin Nubian girls (Pippy and Lilly) were in their pen they escaped. It was quite a day of goat wranglin' here too. As a host of Homestead Blog Hop, I will be featuring you on this week's hop! Thanks for sharing!

    Jen

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    1. Another Pippy! Ours are Pippy and Sissy. We read plenty of things that said goats get out, and we're happy they haven't gotten out of the fence, they just use the gates. Which is human error more than anything else. Thanks for reading and for the feature! I'm excited, and I'll check it out tomorrow!

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  3. I have 3 goats, 2 girls and a billy. The girls escaped no less than 15 times this past week alone, and the billy - bless him, he just stays in his pen like a good goat! I can get the girls back in by myself but I have to act like the shovel I carry is an extension of my arm or they just hop back and forth over the fence for hours. They won't even try to go back in the fence for my husband. We also have chickens, we bought 25 to start and had just one red hen. So naturally my son loved that red hen and we knew at that moment that the first chicken that got killed would be her, and it was. So i built a 6+ foot fence all around my front yard for them, and they fly right over it. We also have a horse, and over the summer she decided the grass was greener on the other side and kept getting out. She has quit now that its winter. We were thinking of getting pigs next year... I might rethink that now :-). As I type this my 5 year old has informed me that the goats are out again...

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    1. Fern, we got such a kick out of reading this! Jeremy said you sound like our type of people. I hope you got your goats in again!

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  4. I think EVERY goat gets out at least once in her life. I've had some that escaped more than their fair share. :-) Thank you for sharing this post at the HomeAcre Hop; I hope you'll join us again this week.
    Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead

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