The Givens Grove

Goat Husbandry: Lesson One

You saw that correctly….. that’s a goat….in a tree.

Because when you think of goats …you generally imagine them in a tree, right??  Yeah… me too.

When I tell you that I was prepared for pretty much anything when we brought the goats home, that’s the absolute truth.  Chad has more than once quoted Paul Wheaton’s saying “You aren’t ready to own goats until you’re ready to come home and find them on your neighbor’s car”.  Which doesn’t leave a lot of room to fantasize about perfect goat moments.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I guess I should start at the beginning.   We are using the goats to clear brush.   And man, are these sweet babies doing their jobs.  For years, I have basically been The Givens Grove goat.  I can not tell you how many hours I have in clearing brush and burning it.  It has to be in the hundreds of hours.  We had a couple trees fall this winter and there are still a couple we have to deal with.  So instead of me clearing the brush,  I put the goats in a  2,500 sq ft area around one of the fallen trees.

We check on Rosemary and Pockets probably 10 times a day.  Why you ask?  Because they’re cute… obviously.  When Alli came running panicked because she couldn’t find one of the goats,  I wasn’t too worried.   It wasn’t the first time that had happened.  But I always go and check, just in case.  I didn’t tell Alli, but after walking around the fence once I actually felt a little panicky myself.   I couldn’t find Rosemary either.   I went to start my second loop around and something caught my eye.  I’m sure you guessed by the picture it was a goat… in a tree… and you’re right.  At first I thought… well she wants to be up there.  But I decided to watch her for a few minutes just to make sure.  It didn’t take long to notice she wasn’t moving a muscle, or even trying to sniff or nibble leaves right in front of her.  I’ve only owned goats for 3 weeks,  but I already know that if they are awake…they are nibbling something.   The last sign that clued me into the fact the she indeed was stuck was that she was panting.  It was a hot, sunny day and so far Pockets and Rosemary stay in the shade at all times.   Panting was the last strike, which meant this girl was going to climb a tree.  Unfortunately there are not photos/videos of the act.  And by “unfortunately” I mean I totally, on purpose kept my phone from my children.

I would have gone viral before nightfall… fo-sho.

Not exactly the 15 minutes of fame you dream of.  Thankfully Rosemary is only 6 months old.   I couldn’t imagine trying to pull a full grown (even dwarf breed) goat out of that predicament.  In the week since, we have not had any repeat goat emergencies thank you Lord.  Can I see a show of hands for all the people who have climbed a fallen tree to save a goat?!  Lots of you?? None of you??? Just me?!  Is this a normal occurrence?  Let me know your thoughts.

On another note…since the goats arrived, three weeks ago, they’ve cleared about 75% of the brush around the fallen tree.   And this girl didn’t lift a finger.  Boom baby!  But I did however climb a tree….ehh… probably still worth it.  If you need brush cleared, I would definitely recommend using dwarf goats to do the work for you.  Obviously you have to have the time to wait on them.  But I will gladly let them “work” for three weeks on what would take me two long, hard days in the heat to do.  In the meantime I’ll just be over here baking bread and kissing babies while I wait!

Much love friends!

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