Friday, September 19, 2014

Not Made For Goats

A.....w!, such sweet innocent creatures, WRONG!! I've discovered I was delusional for thirty-one years. They are not sweet or innocent. Underneath those cute little faces lies conniving demolition experts, astounding contortionists, and shredding machines. How could I have been hornswaggled for so long? All these years I've been day dreaming of goats placidly grazing around me as I worked in the yard. I could clearly see in my mind goats aiding me in keeping the lawn mowed down. What a rude awakening lay in store for me when we moved to this place. Long luxurious blades of green grass stand upright, untouched as the goats head straight for the rose bushes or the pine trees, ri...p, munch, munch, munch. Smooth caressing blades versus downright pricklies. I'll never get it. All I see is OUCH, not yum.

As if that isn't enough, when they are chased off from there where do they go next, grazing? NO..., they top off the flowers and investigate the garage tromping up and down the back stairs. Letting them out while I worked only happened three times and I gave up in frustration for I spent my whole time hollering NO>>>>!.

I've learned another thing living here. Make one little mistake like not fastening the cow panels tight in the field and leaving the garden gate open, (okay that was two little mistakes) and its round and round the raspberry bushes you go. Doesn't matter how loud you scream, throw your arms, and if you act stark raving mad, which I was, the goats only run to the end of the patch and duck back up the other side out of reach. While I was chasing one, two  more were purposely standing on the fence and then using their heads to bull doze the damaged wires shouldering their way inside the old garden. What happened when I ran for a cow panel to cover the two offending holes? The goats scurried worked their way down the fence until they found another spot that looked a bit weak and rushed to tear it down before I could get to them.
bad goat fence
Who would of thunk that one little nibble of raspberry leaves would lead to a whole length of fence being demolished? It is painfully clear goats LOVE raspberry leaves. When steam stopped rolling out of my ears and I was smugly standing by the newly installed cow panels and thinking, 'ha..., ha...., ha..., ha.... ha.... ha...., I won this round! My mind went racing down a dangerous dark alley. What about drying some of the leaves for winter feed, after all they will naturally just dry out and drop off on their own without doing anyone any good but do I dare? Will that just increase their determination to destroy fence next year? Hm.... raspberry leaves are really good for the female reproductive system but do I have time for another project when I'm already so far behind? Then wisdom set in, ' Holly, you don't have time nor do you want to try and find out what happens if you just happen to create an insatiable appetite for raspberry leaves dried or fresh'.

What I do know is that this fence is not for goats. It might keep the deer from shredding the tree trunks and taking bites out of the branches but a goat deterrent it is not. Oh sure it worked for a few months but who wants to spend money twice. Luckily it was existing fence, not new fence. So now you know what one of my projects has been, to re-fence places where the goats will be with cow panels, NOT this light wired stuff.
Instead of tearing down the old fence and laying up new, I just overlaid the cow panels and next year I'll tear out the old and redo. That is except the apple trees which needed totally redoing anyway since the fence had to be extended outward.
As for contortionists, I put in some cow panels to keep the big goats out from a little area set aside for Lilly Pad. She wasn't popular when she first arrived. It kind of worked. The big goats didn't go into this area but they didn't exactly stay out of it either. Sorry, I was going to photograph it before I took it down but I forgot. Imagine that with weeks and weeks of company having just left. My brain is all a muddle.

Even though there is no feed in this small area that lay next to the bigger pen in the barn where the goats stayed at night, they still squeeze in flattening their bodies like a mouse to make sure I didn't change my mind and hide grain in the smaller area. Wish I could have. It would have been nice to have a kid area they could slip into and eat some grain like the creep feeders we set up for the lambs. Believe me, goats are not sheep in any way shape or form. Yup, goats just slipped down the list as my favorite animals. I don't care if Megan does grin at me pulling her lips back to expose her teeth. I'm not fool no more.

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