Our Goats are Morons

First, a quick note on Thanksgiving. We spent it at the farm with Hubby’s (large) extended family and some close friends – it was wonderful, as always. There were 33 of us in total. LOTS of cooking on Thurs. I took care of the vegetarians in the group with a homemade tofurky and veggie stuffing … NONE of which I took pictures of, because it was that frantic of a day, but I had loads of fun and was constantly reminded of  people I am very, very thankful for having in my life.

Now as to our goats, which I will hereafter refer to as Moron 1 and Moron 2. The story starts with a new fenced area Hubby and I put up for the goats to live in (they had been living in the livestock barn because of the fall festival) – a really nice, big open area that’s probably 1/4 to 1/3 of an acre. Here’s a shot of part of the pen:

That little red shelter in the back is for them to keep out of the wind / rain / snow (the tall barn right behind it, mostly obstructed by trees, that’s our barn – nice and close). Okay, see how behind that shelter there’s a line of brush and trees that makes up the whole back side of the pen? There’s a preexisting fence on the other side of the woods (can’t see it in the photo), so we decided to just attach the side fences to it and enclose the wooded area in the pen. We figured they might enjoy munching on low-hanging tree branches and bushes, but we ASSUMED they would be smart enough to avoid the thorny brambles. Wrong! (Maybe we’re the morons here.)

We brought them to their new pen on Wednesday night and by early Thursday morning, Ivan had gotten so tangled up in thorny branches that he literally couldn’t move. Hubby and I put on leather gloves and cut him free – then we had to chase him around whilst pulling the thorny branches out of his coat. What a mess! So later that day, Hubby tried to cut down all the thorny brambles in the pen, but gave up when the goats kept running through (and getting caught in) his piles of cut branches. The problem is they they really LIKE eating the brambles, thorns and all.  Here’s a shot of Hamlet all covered in them:

They are actually STUCK in his fur – and the little turkey kept running away when we’d try to pull them off. Utter mess.

So today, hubby put up a fence between their little house and the wooded area to keep them out of the brambles, and we caught each of them and picked off the big branches that were stuck in their fur. After only 3 days of being “outside” their coats are trashed! All kinds of thorny bits and burrs and other types of vegetable matter are nested in them. Hubby suggested we comb them out, but…that’s WAY too much work. I think he’s right, though, this batch of fiber is largely going to be unusable. After the spring shearing, I’m putting blankets on them. I’ve only ever seen this done to sheep, but too bad – I can’t trust these two!

Here they are earlier today trying to eat the thorn bushes through the fence – they must be REALLY tasty:


6 Responses to “Our Goats are Morons”

  1. 1 Meghan 2009 November 29 at 8:04 am

    Oh poor (stupid0 goats and poor you having to chase them around! I hope you’ll be able to salvage some wool!

  2. 2 rosemary 2009 November 29 at 11:42 am

    Oh well, I guess it’s a learning process…hopefully we’ll have this sorted out by the time you guys are around 🙂

  3. 3 Stina 2009 November 29 at 12:14 pm

    They are goats. Just when you think you have it figured out, they will out stupid you.

  4. 5 Obadiah Reid 2009 December 29 at 7:30 pm

    At UW they use the goats for blackberry control. They fence of an area of the brambles and release a herd of goats into it. Presto! a week later all the brambles are gone. Maybe you just need more goats!

    • 6 rosemary 2010 January 4 at 3:51 pm

      Hahaha, that’s a wonderful idea! We’ll have to bring in some short-haired goats to clear the brambles for our Angoras. I can’t believe what idiots they are!

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rambleonrosemary [at] gmail [dot] com

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November 2009
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