Happy Birthday to me - my parents gave me a birthday goat! Now all I have to do is feed it, shelter it, tend it, and milk it for next dozen years or so. It's a gift that keeps on giving!
Shopping for a goat was fun. I got to communicate with lots of interesting goat loving folks from Craigslist. This goat's owner said, first thing, "now this goat's done been stepped on by my horse and mauled by my dogs twice." What a sales pitch, right? When I asked if it was okay, she reassured me that it "heals up real fast." Good to know. Brandon and I drove for over two hours on Sunday, deep into the beautiful mountains of eastern Kentucky, up a long narrow road, through a creek, to the house at the head of the hollow. A giant orange horse was grazing in the front lawn of a picturesque cottage with a gourd vine growing on the porch railing. There were lots of pretty roosters, each with it's own shelter, near the creek. Three big dogs with bright blue eyes greeted us at our truck.
The owners bought the goat two months ago because they wanted to milk her, but didn't have a pen that would contain the goat, so it wasn't safe from the dogs or the horse. They decided it would be better for the goat to go to a different home before it was hurt again. Brandon and I were worried that it would be hard to make the goat get in the truck, but the owner just picked her up and set her inside. She started eating hay immediately, like it was no big deal. This is one cool goat.
She's a Nubian goat. I was told that she gave birth to twins once before, was trained to the milk stand, and was supposedly bred before she was purchased by her last owner, two months ago.
She might be pregnant, but after being mauled by dogs and stepped on by a horse, she might not be. Can you see her spots on her back and rump? She wears a collar, and has some scars on her neck. I think we'll call her Peaches.
She captured the attention of the donkey and the dogs right away. After living with a giant horse and three big dogs, she doesn't seem worried about Rufus or Puck and Wendigo. I've got her locked safely in a stall so she can get used to the sights, sounds, and smells without anyone bothering her for few days. She has already eaten a chunk out of the barn wall. Doh!
I think her steady calm presence is already good for Rufus. So they could each have their own space in the barn, Brandon installed a gate right in the middle. He was using drills and banging on things, and the goat just calmly chewed her hay. Rufus would start to balk at a noise or motion, see the goat calmly eating, and chill out and graze too.
This is forth gate that Brandon has installed, and just like the other three, he installed it wrong the first time! The gate sits on some hinged bolts, and it makes sense to set the bolts in the wall so the gate brackets can be fitted over them. But then we remember that the gate can be easily lifted off the hinges this way, and that the top one is supposed to be facing down. Sigh.
This morning I was up early to see how the goat was doing, and Rufus was standing in his stall on the other side of the gate. I feel like he might be less lonely just having another herd animal nearby. I'm not sure I trust him with the goat yet, so they will have to take turns with the pasture.
While Brandon made a run to Tractor Supply for a gate and goat pellets, it began to rain. I went in the corn crib and spied on the donkey and goat from between the wall boards. I stuck my cell phone through the crack and made this video. I'm not very stealthy, and Peaches spied my phone pretty quick. Watching donkey and goat ears as they listen to the sounds of the world is one of my new favorite things.