I am finally going to share the stories from our goat moving adventures! I know you have all been on the edge of your seats waiting for this one 🙂 Let me tell you, buying out a herd is an interesting process. And catching said herd…. well, lets just say it was good there were lots of us gals and half our kids along!
The day started innocently enough. The three of us gals going together to buy the herd had exchanged phone numbers and generally knew where we were going. We had opted to move goats first, then stuff, so I had packed up the mini-van with crates, removing as many seats as I could. Oh, and a nice big tarp inside, girl goats like to pee on the trip, and they LOVE to put their little hineys up to the edge of the crate and pee right out the side onto whatever carpet they can reach!
I had a little trouble finding the farm, it was up a dirt road in the most beautiful farm land I could imagine in these parts. I fell in love with the area as I drove through, even though I wouldn’t want to move again. Once at the farm we took a look around while waiting for Robin and Crystal. Jana showed me the goats and told me her sad story about why she had to move and sell her animals (long one there, but she had no choice). Robin pulled up in her huge van, loaded to the gill with crates of all sizes. When Crystal got there we started loading.
The first goat was easy. She was a bottle baby (from my farm, actually) and came right up. However, once she was pulled out the other 3 in the pen said “uh-uh, you are NOT getting us out of here!”. Jana brought grain to tempt them close and we caught another one (these were the 6 month-old does), which of course left 2 we needed to catch. They would run if we moved, so we decided to try cornering one. She was quite good at evasion, but finally jumped in the stock water tank and was caught. That poor, wet goat! She looked so pitiful as we loaded her into a crate! The last doe in that pen was even tougher to catch, she kept slipping through the smallest gaps. I think one of us (was it me? Or Robin’s son?) did a flying leap and slide through the dirt once in an attempt to catch her. It didn’t work. We did finally corner her just before she tried taking a bath as well.
Next on the list was a little buckling, all alone, who had watched the proceedings in the pen next door. He is sweet as pudding, but very wise in the ways of humans. Jana tried to tempt him to came to her with food and he would have nothing of it, so we all came in and again got to go on a merry chase and get a few dust baths in the process. By now we are hot and sweaty and it’s around noon. Did I mention there were around 24 goats?
Next on the list was the third pen beside the other two with the pregnant does and the horned does. We really didn’t want to chase the momma’s, and they were suckers for food, but those horned does? Nope. They were really intelligent. Oh, and their pen was the largest of them all with lots of electric. I’m not exactly clear on how we caught them, but I know Jana ended up on her butt. With lots of laughter we eventually caught them, despite my youngest son’s attempts to help (which were not really working, but his heart was in the right place).
Now we got to load the stinky guys. The bucks were in another area and not so wise to our plans. Food got the first one. The next was caught with little to-do. The third dragged me through the stinky barn floor on my face, right through their favorite sleeping pile of hay right after Jana ended up on her bum again as she threw up her hands and said “I give up!”. The last and largest we managed to corner and he tried to break my hand (I had caught his collar) and break Robin’s leg. He is a massive, strong buck, even though he is sweet normally.
Thoroughly nasty, the 4 of us went to get the milkers and babies. They were easy, which is good as we were exhausted. Once home the goats all settled in quite well and turned sweet as can be. I have to say it felt good to work with the other women, to see our children working with us, and to know we were also helping out a friend. In honor of the day, here are two of the little girls, one of which was the doeling that took a bath 🙂