Context is an important thing. And the context for this story is the ongoing war between myself, and my wife’s dairy goats. Now don’t get me wrong – they are cute, they have personality, all traits that endears these goats to my wife’s heart. But, they are also always getting into someplace they shouldn’t be, finding the invisible holes in fences (or just jumping them altogether), or my favorite pet peeve… when it turns into feeding time turning into brainless goblins with one hyper focused thought… let me get to the grain! Sure, my sheep and calves bawl and bleat when they see me with the grain bucket, my pig will even do a little jig.. But this is nothing compared to the goats and the war between them and me.
First, they jump the fence next to the feed storage shed. Then, we do this little ballet where I stand in front of the door trying to block their access while simultaneously pouring grain into buckets for the goats, sheep, pigs, and dogs. I’m sure it’s quite a sight as we do our little dance – me protecting the grain – and the goats doing their best to poke their heads inside the feed shed to grab a mouthful.
Then, next part of our little contest takes place as I try to scurry across the paddocks to get the grain to each feed trough as the goats jump around and try to poke their heads (in unison) into the bucket I’m carrying in order to get to the grain. Now, it doesn’t matter that I feed them first so they will be kept busy. No, after I’ve fed them (when they still have a trough full of grain), they will jump the fence again and we go through the same routine as they try to steal the sheep’s feed. Ditto for the pig’s food. Heck, we even go through this ritual with the dog food.
This little war has been going on since we have had the goats. There are variations, but the outcome is usually the same. I manage to get “most” of the grain where it needs to go and the goats only get a little more than what I intend them to get. My blood pressure goes up from dealing with the crazy goats, the goats think it’s all good fun, and my wife gets a laugh or two out of it. But today – the war reached a whole new level.
Being the intelligent kind of guy I am, recently rigged a light inside the feed shed so I could go inside the shed, shut the door, and fill the grain buckets and then carry them out. Essentially I thwarted the little ballet with the goats trying to get their heads in the filled buckets. But today, while I was inside the shed, one of the goats managed to put their feet on the side of the shed door and pull down the wooden latch that locks the door from the outside. I was literally locked inside the feed shed by the goats! While I couldn’t see them, I imagined the goats doing a little happy dance and grinning (as only goats can do) while I was locked inside the grain bin.
After some serious ramming of the door with my shoulder, I was able to break the wooden latch off and open the door. Only to see four goats waiting for my exit with broad grins on their faces! Much to my chagrin, the goats won this round of the war.
Stay tuned for the next chapter of the saga, when the goat wars move to the chicken coop! And of course, I always love to hear back from you!
The Gentleman Farmer (TGF)