Friday, May 4, 2012

Early Morning Goat Rescue

I usually get to sleep in on weekday mornings.... til about 7.  Then my children all wake and yammer for movies and games and food and lollipops and mud puddles and bike riding.  They wake up and are READY to go.

My husband on the other hand gets up painfully early to get ready for his workday and his long commute.

As he was leaving this morning he came back to wake me.

"The goat house collapsed."

I sat upright.  Oh please, please, please say they aren't in it.

"The goats are out in the circle." (a portion of our yard which is circular and hence called the circle)

Thank the LORD!

"Ok.  I'll deal with it."

Hugs and kisses.  Then getting out of my PJs, and into semi real clothing.

Even though we were pretty calm and quiet about it, this woke the children.  So before I could actually get out there, I had diaper changes, mama moo, and dressing the babes to handle.  My son watched the goats through the window to make sure they stayed away from the road, the only real hazard to them out there.

Thank the LORD this happened before the garden was up and running! LOL

Then once the children were settled I went out.

My goat house consists of 5 pallets and a tarp.  It isn't much, but my goats have always liked it and happily call it home.  One pallet as a floor, 3 walls, and one as a roof, with the tarp over it to keep it dry.  This is then wedged against a fenced in area that is a hilly area over the septic field.

This is one reason why we have goats, and went with smallllllll goats.  The septic field plant life is supposed to be kept down and controlled.  We could use herbicides...... but we were concerned about the well, and our ponds.  So we went 'organic.'

Of course, my husband points out that they poo as they eat, so they are actually fertilizing the hill the entire time.  Yes, yes..... not sure how to get around that.

We plan on getting them all tethers and to them put them out on the property in various places throughout the summer months also.

Back to the Goat House!

The walls had all collapsed outwards and the roof just fell in.  I separated and sorted.  To my surprise I found the roof pallet was EXTREMELY heavy.  MUCH heavier than all the other pallets.  So I decided to change it into a wall piece.

Previously their 'door' was on one pallet.  I never liked that because it was impossible for us to go into their house or the field.  So I planned on making the house solid and put a 'door' somewhere else.

I selected the lightest pallet as the roof.  Then placed the three walls.  I pushed until they were up against the fence solidly, giving it a firm brace.  I then put the roof piece up.  I gingerly gave it a shove.... nothing.  I gave it a much harder shove.... barely moved at all.  Excellent!  Then I covered it with the tarp and spare wood to keep it from flying away.

Then I went to the fence and found the weakest board.  I wrenched it off, and then another.  This actually made a good sized opening, which the goats would fit through easily, and we might be able to also.  I may remove another to make sure.  I then moved the large wooden 'door' next to it.

Now to coax my wild beasties back inside.

It is really ridiculously easy.  I filled a bowl with our chicken feed (they LOVE it) and they immediately began following me everywhere.  I walked them to the opening and pushed, pushed, pushed.  They are like dwarves!  AH!  You can not move them easily against their will.  So I put the bowl just inside the fence and they all three ran right in.  DONE!

Then I put up their door as they happily munched on their treat.

What a morning.  Such is life on the 'farm'.

In the next month I will be expanding their home as I will be getting two African Pygmy does.  YAY!

Pictures taken by my master photographer, Zaders. :)

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