Monday, June 09, 2008

Goaty McGoaterson!

It's true, we are becoming homesteaders. Seems silly to me because I wasn't so much into the farming side of things growing up on a small farm, myself. But darling Johnnie is totally into it, as he grew up in the 'big city' of Great Barrington (pop. approx. 8,000), with only a cat after he turned 14 or so. So Goats it is, and two old Nannies at that (I swear that's what they call them!). They are now named Pepper and Lulu Bell, though as of yesterday they were owned by a semi-redneck family out in upstate new york and named Chaucer and Mist. hmm... so, we think it's an improvement. They are both female, sisters, about 6 years old. The capturing of the goats was quite traumatic, and as they are Pygmy (though large for Pygmys) they fit into dog crates in the back of John's truck!
Goat butt, from the cab of the truck.

John, admiring these beauties.


Lulu Bell

I wasn't really able to get any good shots of them after they came out of the crates, because it was a crazy debaucle and then they went and hid in the corner of the barn. But they have been venturing out all morning and I caught this shot below as Lulu Bell was retreating back into safety.
We had a very sad and scary moment when one of Pepper's horns came right off in John's hand. The previous owner was using their horns to get ahold of them and drag them to the truck, and she only had one long horn anyway since the other had fallen off previously. YIKES! After much calling of vets and my farm-savvy parents, and a little internet research, we found out that this is not super uncommon, and with a little TLC it will basically heal and grow back on its own. This is part of the reason many people "debud" their goats as babies (i.e. stop the horns from growing).

I have learned more about goats in the past 24 hours than I ever thought I would know in my life. And I'm sure I will continue to learn more as these ladies grow old under our care. I should also point out that this was a rescue effort, and the previous owner was about to, ahem, harvest these darlings. So sad. But not uncommon, either. They aren't milkers, and are basically usually raised as pets. These two aren't the most affectionate, and therefore weren't such great pets. But we think we can turn them around with a lot of patience and kindness. It seemed to work for our dog, who is the best and was certifiably nutso when we got her. We'll see. I'll keep you posted!

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