Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Part Two: Goat Ranching 102: What to Do When Your Goats Escape.

My mom told us when Todd was considering raising goats, "If you can build a fence that'll keep a 14 year old boy in, you can keep in goats." I've not heard a more true statement.

Ronald came out of the trailer pretty easily and started walking around the field like he owned the place. My first impression of him was not good. He was pretty big (for a goat), maybe 150 pounds, had a fu-man-choo mustache 8 inches long, his horns were probably a foot long, flat and layed back towards his neck. He didn't have a collar, but had a rope tied around his neck. And there were all kinds of rope tied up in his horns that made him look gnarly. Plus, he was doing this strutting thing that really didn't impress me. Goat's eyes look hollow and creepy too. That wasn't helping him - neither was the permed bangs that replaced his eyebrows.

The does took some persuasion and the four of them finally came out of the trailer. They were smaller and very pretty. Not too tame and running around like crazy. Ronald Weasley thought they were very pretty and started chasing them around. And that's when I learned a few things about goats:

  1. Goats are NOT into arranged marriage. The does didn't want anything to do with freaky permed-bangs weirdo Ronald Weasley.

  2. Goats are very flexible.

  3. The six months of planning (and many verbal warnings by former goat owners) did NOT prepare us for goat ownership.

  4. Goats don't care if you build a fence. They go where they want to.
The trailer arrived at 5:00pm and LITERALLY by 5:08pm the does had escaped from our fence and were wandering (well, running...) around our lawn...headed for the road. All hell broke loose. The buck (luckily) was a little too big to get under the fence, but the does were gone. Todd caught one and drug it back to the field - and then I heard him from the front lawn scream, "NOOoooooOOOO!!" And when I looked around the house I saw the other three goats about a 1/2 mile up our neighbor's driveway - across the road!!

And so began the hour and a half, three mile goat recon mission. Todd, our neighbor girl Annika, the girl two houses down, Savannah, my mom and dad, me (with the baby on my back) and our amazing neighbors (if you're reading this Robbie and Gordy - for reals - you guys rock!) joined in the chase. Everyone took off up the neighbor's driveway on foot armed with several ropes and a can of grain, my dad followed on the 4-wheeler with more rope and Robbie (bless her heart!) showed up with much needed additional fencing supplies and proceeded to build us a goat-proof fence.

The (somewhat angry and not nearly as nice as Robbie and Gordy) neighbor, whose BARN they managed to corner the goats in was totally un-impressed with our goat sheparding skills. There's nothing like six people, a 4-wheeler and three goats burning through your lawn to really say, "Hi there neighbor. Good to meet you!"

An hour and a half later with a more substantial fence and goats in tow, the action calmed down a bit. Not willing to risk them escaping again we locked them up in the only thing we had that was goat proof: our extra chicken coop. So, as of this morning we had four angry goats in a chicken coop and Ronald Weasley circling it, just waiting for them to get out. Goat ranching. A family - scratch that - a neighborhood affair!

Some of the things overheard that night:

"Do you guys have a rifle?"
"Wow. Goats are fast."
"We could have a really big BBQ tonight and invite all the neighbors. I hear goat is pretty good."
"Who's idea was this?"
"Did you read the part about goat fencing?"
"They're gone."
"@#%$^-ing goats"
"God. I hope they weren't expensive."
"Are you getting divorced?"

1 comment:

  1. Of course the first thing I think when I hear, "Goats are loose" is FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, LOCK UP YOUR TOYOTAS!!!!! Hahahahahahaha... Oh Rikki, good luck with that. By the way, how DO goat-burgers taste?