Monday, April 19, 2010

First of a Three Part Series: Goat Ranching 101: Goat Rustling

I'm sure it comes as no surprise to our blog-followers that we would chose to add to our ever-expanding farm family. 

Goats. Why not! Todd has methodically and religiously studied volumes upon volumes upon volumes of information regarding the pasturing, feeding, worming, vaccinating of and caring for, goats. After deliberating which ones would kid the easiest (that's goat for give birth), keep the easiest (because, you know, we're naturals at this), eat the least, grow the fastest and be the best for meat, he settled on a Kiko/Boer cross. And, naturally there aren't any located within 500 miles of our house! Todd arranged for a weekend trip to two different farms. From one "farm" he would pick up (I'm not kidding here) "Ronald Weasley", the buck, and from a different "farm" he would pick up the four does (that's goat talk for baby-making machines). The farms were about an hour apart, both located in the opposite corner of our state - a good five hour drive.
In an attempt to "maximize goat intake and minimize travel time", the plan was for Todd to leave our house on Friday after work, drive five hours, get a hotel, get the goats first thing Saturday morning, and drive straight home. That way he'd be home by around 2:00pm. I sometimes wonder what kind of delusional world we live in. (And by we, I mean me.)
I talked to Todd late Friday night and after making a quick gas-stop in Yakima (where he had intended to stay) he continued on because (I kid you not...) the prostitutes and delinquents were really thick in the area where he pulled off. He instead chose to sleep in his truck 100 miles further down a dead end road. Much safer, yes?
Here's what I gathered from "farm #1" (where the does came from):

  1. They lived in the middle of nowhere. Literally, he drove down a mountain, across the gulley and up the other mountain. No cars. Anywhere. Gravel? All the way.

  2. They were moderately well-kept. Probably could have used a fresh set of clothes and a shower but, all in all? Farmers.

  3. Their house? Old - but on a foundation - with a trailer right next to the house.

  4. Over 40 more goats in the barn.
Here's what I gathered about "farm #2" (where Ronald Weasley was):

  1. It was on the other side of middle of no where. Seriously. He drove for over 40 miles and didn't pass a single car. 
  2. Goat "ranchers" maybe don't always practice good personal hygiene. For example: this guy could have used a shower, flea dip, hair cut, shave, fingernail brushing, nail clipping and tooth brushing. I can only imagine what a person Todd described as "The Unibomber's Brother" looked like in person. Impolite to ask to take a picture? 
  3. Goat "ranchers" don't always live in mansions. Todd said it looked like the Unibomber's Brother's "house" was a one-room shanty-town that he was pretty sure was made from pallets. After going inside (only to sign papers, not for fun..) he noticed that the bed was in the kitchen. And on cinder blocks. I guess "breakfast in bed" when you live alone in the middle of nowhere means actually cooking breakfast from bed. Hmm. 
  4. They had no electricity. Ya know, the stuff they discovered in the 1700s?  He would fire up the generator whenever his wife needed to use the internet.
  5. No electricity but they have the internet? Interesting, don't you think?
Todd arrived back at our farm at around 5:00 pm on Saturday. Three hours behind schedule, smelling kinda like a trucker. And this is what I could gather from him:
  1. Dinner consisted of beef jerky, green tea and spicy habenero chips.
  2. He didn't pack a toothbrush. Or deodorant. Or a change of clothes.
  3. He hadn't showered, shaved or brushed his teeth.
  4. He didn't pack his heart-burn medicine. (Too bad, considering the meal, right?)
  5. He hadn't taken his shoes off in at least 24 hours.
  6. We seriously underestimated what it would take to raise goats.
All things considered not a bad trip, right? And then he let the goats out of the trailer to explore their new digs. And that's when the shit hit the fan. Stay tuned for all the late-breaking details on goat ranching!

No comments:

Post a Comment