Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Life With Goats (... and a house update)

We've gotten to spend a good amount of time with our newest family members, Nutmeg and Cinnamon.

A little too intimately at times, lol
They love to be with us, too! They get so sad watching us come and go, bleating after us when we leave. So Cinnamon decided she would do something about it, and started jumping the fence.

The garden fence is a good height for them, but wasn't really pulled taught enough for goats (it was only designed to keep dogs and deer out of it). So we went ahead and let them both out to run around while we worked down there. Luckily the whole property is fenced in, and they are more interested in sticking close to us than running away.

I knew it was only a matter of time before they began testing their boundaries. They are goats, after all.

I just don't want them to get into trouble (aka, eat up my mom's landscaping, or binge on chicken feed).

Once the budget allows, we will get their permanent digs set up for their safety (and that of my mom's plants).

They have such distinct and lovable personalities. Cinnamon is the adventurous, energetic little sprite.

If there is anything to jump up on, she is there, without hesitation.

She gets a little too playful with Ian at times, so I have to watch them closely. I think his size makes her see him more as a younger sibling.

He didn't like the fact that she jumped up on the cart with him
Nutmeg is the gentler and more maternal of the two, always worrying when the whole herd isn't together.

My dad's dogs are doing well with them, even though the goats didn't really like dogs (bad past experiences), and the dogs had never seen a goat in their life. They have taken to each other quite well.

Both dogs are LGD mixes, so I'm hoping their instincts prove useful, at least as perimeter guardians until we can get an actual LGD.

Fen, the Pyrenees mix, will lay out by their paddock at night The goats will even bleat after him when he walks away, so I'm hoping he's become their adopted LGD.

Tala is the only one of our own dogs who has met the goats, and she is a little confused by them, it seems. She always sticks very close to us as we come and go, but the goats do too, so it's a little bewildering for her to have these animals running with her.

She is also quite interested. I'm not sure how much of that interest is hunting or herding instinct, but I don't want her practicing either, so I will be watching her very closely.

So I act as a goatherd while Ian plays outside and the goats browse at their leisure. 

The weather has been so gorgeous, so it makes for a very peaceful way to spend our afternoons.

Of course, the burning question has been whether or not the does are pregnant.

Yesterday I noticed some very obvious signs of heat in Cinnamon, and the previous owner confirmed that she had witnessed what sounded like a couple of heat cycles in them before selling them to me.

I'm still on the fence about Nutmeg, though.

Her girly parts have been pink and slightly puffy for over a week now, and she is slowly getting wider. Neither are sure signs, but it makes me wonder. So I actually found an online company that sells P-tests for livestock, and I'm seriously considering purchasing some.

While the weather has been unusually warm lately, it is going to start cooling off, especially at night, which will make things dangerous for newborn kids if we aren't prepared to take immediate action.

This is why, people, you do NOT let your buck run with your does! You have absolutely no way of knowing when to expect babies. (This wasn't the fault of their previous owner, but their previous previous owner.)

So while I ponder that burning question, we are still getting to know and enjoy our new companions.

The rest of the family got to come down and meet them this weekend.

We enjoy them so much, even though we have to use covert tactics anytime we walk next door to avoid goat escapes.

We are still trying to get ourselves moved. As always, our move-in date keeps getting postponed and postponed..........

The only and I mean, the ONLY thing holding things up is the septic. We are getting our new system installed this week, and once that is in place, and once we clean things up, it should be move-in ready. There will still be fencing to complete, and several ongoing projects inside the house (building the kitchen island, building the hearth and installing the wood stove).

We are moving things down there, box by box. 

Of course, I had to remove a couple of books from the library to do some reading up......

..... I have had my goat books for at least 15 years, and now I can put them to good use!

Because of our brown recluse infestation, we have to move things immediately after boxing them, to prevent taking any with us.

We are also washing and bagging clothes for the same reason.

Mark and our dads have been working on finishing up baseboard and trim, framing the windows, and installing closet shelves.

I also made the decision to move the waterfowl down there this past weekend.

We've been spending afternoons at the farm anyhow to tend to the goats, and there was literally nothing left for those poor birds to eat in our dirt lot.

So they now get to enjoy green forage and discover the joys of swimming for REAL.

Yay! No more plastic wading pools!

It makes my heart glad to finally see them in the creek.

So now our backyard at the park is rather quiet and lonely.

It's almost like going back in time, slowly taking away all of the things Mark and I have accumulated over the 10 years we've lived here. It's left me feeling very nostalgic and sentimental, during the few moments I have time to sit and think about it. There will be sadness and tears, but it's time to move on to a new season in our lives.

I'm not even going to say when I think this will be, but it should be soon. Whatever "soon" means.

At least all the critters are happy.....

........ animals and family. How it was meant to be.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I want goats eventually, and your post makes me want it even more. Your two are just too cute. So glad things seems to be coming together for you.