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Lost in Coyote Woods

22 Jun

Just south of my sunny and beautiful Back Forty lies the dangerous place known as the Coyote Woods.  It’s dangerous.  If a goat goes in there and doesn’t return before dark, they won’t return at all.

When I was weeding the garden, I heard the loud, upset voice of a goat.  I figured someone was stuck, so I took off (photos, including the one above, are a re-creation because I don’t carry a camera when I garden and I don’t dilly dally when I go get a goat unstuck).  As I got closer to the fence line, I felt my heart sink.  It was T-Bone, Victoria’s big beautiful and wild buck.

“Get away from me! I want my maa!!!!!!!”

It was worse than having his head stuck–he was in the Coyote Woods, and he didn’t know how to get back.  I wished him luck with the coyotes and headed back to the house.  By the time I had finished my trek across pasture and returned to the barnyard, my plan was in place.

I waited for the rest of the herd to return.  I really hoped he would have miraculously figured out how to get back, but nope.  He wasn’t there.

I got a collar and leash and called my mom to assist.  When she got here, I told Victoria we were going after her boy.  For some reason, she thought we were going back into the pasture.

“I suppose I can go back out to pasture and eat some more while we look for my boy,” said Victoria.

Nope.  Instead, I loaded her onto the Ranger (She didn’t want to do that again, even just for pictures, so you get my really bad Photoshop re-creation for this).  We slowly drove down the road to the bottom of my property.

“Can I steer? You’re driving like a maniac!” yelled Victoria.

After wading through grasses taller than me, we got to the panel that I can open between the two properties.  I tied Victoria there (with my mom to make sure she didn’t tangle herself up).

“Oh, this collar does pinch a bit, and I can reach those delicious weeds,” she complained.

Then I went up the hill to find her boy in the dark and dangerous woods.  Luckily, he was still right along the fence line.  When I got past him, I yelled down to Victoria that she needed to call to him.  I figured, even if she didn’t respond, he’d run away from me towards his mom.  Luckily, she answered me.

“I’m here, T-bone, baby! Come to maamaa!”

He answered her.  It was just a few minutes before he got to the bottom of the hill.  We had one minor detour when I got too close, but I waded through the brambles and got behind him again to steer him in the right direction.  I heard my mom shout to me that he was through!  Well, yay, but I was busy removing the raspberry brambles from my legs.

After I finally freed myself and made it back to the open panel, I untied Victoria and the two of them took off on hoof to go back to the barnyard.

I told my mom I’d take the Ranger around through pasture to get my supplies to refasten the panel and pick her up. (Did I mention that I had just had my dad help me put a new battery in the Ranger that morning because I was tired of having to charge it for thirty minutes before I could use it?)

When I turned to face the west, I saw a horrible storm cloud on the horizon.

I raced through the field of tall grass in the Ranger.  I had seed flying everywhere, filling the Ranger, pelting me in the face, sticking to my chest.  By the time I got there, my bra was full of grass seed (I’ll spare you that: no re-creation).

I told my mom I’d just put one wire on and come back later.  She seemed puzzled by my rush because she hadn’t yet seen the storm moving in.  I quickly told her, “Get in the Ranger and keep your mouth shut.”  I think she was a bit offended about the keep your mouth shut part until I elaborated that it would be full of grass seed.  Then I took off driving like a maniac.  We pulled into the garage just as the storm hit!

Whew!  Safe and sound.  T-Bone better be thanking me for that.

I hope you’ll come back to join me for Friday’s Hunt.  I have this week’s items listed at the top of my side bar.

The MGiT Program

21 Jun

Something new that I’ve done this year is start the MGiT (Milking Goat in Training) Program.  You see, all of my milking goats are getting old.  Two of the girls I’m milking are nine and the other three are six.

Stormy

That’s why I got Sam–to introduce more dairy blood back into the herd (because I’m also milking goats that are half dairy/half meat).  I kept three of his girls last year.

Sam Goodberry

They are all pretty easy going and like food.  I think I’ll be able to get them trained.  Cutie was one of the first to join my MGiT Program.  She would come in and eat some sweet feed while I messed with her udder.  She did perfect with that part of the training.  The only area she needs to improve on is leaving when she’s done.  In short, we have our first successful graduate of the program.  Now she just needs to have a kid and make milk.

Cutie

I have Haley as one of my milking girls, and she has a gorgeous Sam daughter, Zinnia.  I thought it would be good if she could come in with her mom while I milked.  Unfortunately, she’s too shy (wild) to do that.  The one time she thought about coming in, my big old milk goats got in the way, and I had to slam the door or I’d have had five goats in a room built for one.

Zinnia

I have had some success in calming her down by just sneaking up when she’s cornered or reaching over her mom.  She’s decided it’s okay to get petted, but she’s still kind of shy.  Hopefully, she’ll be able to join the program later in the summer.

Haley with Zinnia and Zorro

Then there’s Dolly.  She had two beautiful girls, and I want to keep at least one; although their dad is Fionn, making them closer to three quarters meat goat.  Sidney is a sweetie.  I gave her bottles, and she did come in with her mom, but she didn’t really need training.

Sidney

LilyAnn is the wild woman.  I had tried the sneaking up and catching her like I did with Daisy last year, but it wasn’t working well.  I did manage to get her to come in to the milk room a couple of times.

LilyAnn

It seems to have helped. She will let me scratch between her horns.  Sadly, she isn’t interested in food when she’s in there, and I think she might be the first to have flunked out of the program.

The one who has most whole heartedly embraced the program is Andy.  Seriously.  He is in the door before his mom, and he doesn’t care if his mom is there or not.  He’ll try coming in with any of the other girls.

Andy and Dolly

He also has struggled with leaving when it’s time.  I have to really shove him out the door.

I just haven’t had the heart to tell the poor boy he’s never going to actually get to be a milking doe.  It’s a shame because he’s really done well with training.

I hope you’ll come back and join me for Friday’s Hunt.

Done Kidding for 2017

20 Jun

Vinnie had her babies today!

Here is her first girl, Viera.

Her second is Vanna.

Everyone is doing great!

It’s a relief to be finished.  Now I just have to get them to where all the kids can go out to pasture without getting lost!

I hope you’ll come back to join me for Friday’s Hunt.  I have this week’s items listed at the top of my side bar.