Wednesday, May 26, 2010

One Month of Residence....

The goats have officially resided on our humble little ranch for 1 month today. During that month I have learned:
  • Goats love people
  • The procedure of banding a male goat is painful and possibly inhumane
  • Goats can learn their names (especially if you have a very yummy incentive for them)
  • Cow milk can be fed to kid goats and they'll never know the difference
  • If you drop a treat or hay on the ground goats will not eat it
  • Human/animal companionship is an absolute necessity in the everyday life of a goat
  • Dogs and goats can be friends
  • A halter can be made out of the nylon rope from hay bales
  • A diet high in date fruits will disrupt the digestive system of a goat
  • Pull a goat, don't push it
  • Goats jump
  • If a goat escapes her pen, she can be easily lured back with treats

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Learning to Walk

Along with training my goats to recognize their names, I'm attempting to teach Francis to walk on a lead with a halter. Of course, the halter doesn't fit his miniature head (why should I think that the smallest halter labeled "kid goat halter" would fit?). So, getting him ready for these training activities is quite the challenge. He doesn't like the bulky thing on his head so he throws his head from side to side for a good solid minute...much like this photo.

Today's session went exceptionally well since Francis followed me around far outside his pen and into new territory. One minor drawback to this excursion, which had not crossed my mind previously, was the response by the girls.  The minute Francis was out of their sight they freaked out. Not only were they bleating they were screaming. Clearly the little girls have a special place in their hearts for my boy. 

Monday, May 10, 2010


Goats are incredibly curious. They're so curious that you cannot get a new toy into their pen without them pushing and pawing at it before you get it through the gate. 

Pretty much anything is a toy to a goat. Shoelaces, shirt sleeves, tree branches, boxes, and empty milk jugs are all fabulous toys. Today, I added a wood plank and a large plastic pipe to the goat pen.  Before I could place the plank between the upside planter and the shipping crate they were already walking/jumping/chewing on it. When I rolled the pipe in they were crawling all over it and falling over each other.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Name Calling

I have decided to teach my goats tricks. I want to teach them their names. I don't care if I sound like the "crazy wacko lady who personifies her very un-humanlike animals", I just want the goats to come when I call them. 

Personally, I do not think this will be very difficult to achieve.  Yes, I know that goats are not dogs with the canine inherent desire to please but, I have high hopes that my caprine friends will pull through. For starters, I'm using a great Second, it's a food that is well liked by my current subject, Francis--the castrated male.

I began by stuffing my pockets with little pieces of dates (these types of dates) and then waiting until Francis lost interest in my presence. After I walked about 5 feet away, I knelt down and called "FRANCIS" and when he reached me I rewarded him with a date piece.  He eagerly munched on the sweet treat and then I began the process all over again.  After the first two times it became increasingly difficult to walk away from him as he continued to jump on/search me for the extra dates hiding in my pockets. He could smell them through my linen pants and was confused by my reluctance to give him the excess pieces.  However, I managed to do this process six times, each time he was rewarded with his favorite treat.  My guess is that in the next three weeks my little wether will come whenever I call "Francis" with or without the dates.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Goats and Bikes

Two of my favorite things in life are my new goat kids and my Cannondale Caad 9.  After a long day at the office, with crazy old clients complaining about money, it's incredibly refreshing to hit the road for an hour long ride. It is especially refreshing when the end of the ride concludes with bottle feeding baby goats. The lawyer world seems thousands of light years away with every bleat.