September 25, 2008

"Who's that tramping over my bridge?"

I knew it, I just knew it!

I would jinx things if I even muttered the words... it's been too quiet around here. Life on the farm has been amazingly peaceful and still as of late. It has made me uneasy at times.
The better half and I were discussing last evening how pleasant life has been. We have downsized the herds over the last couple of years from 157 head to the now 18. No fence jumpers, no heads or horns stuck in the fence, no trouble makers, no fighting over food, shelter or in an attempt to establish their pecking order. I don't have 6 different groups to tend to, only 2, the main herd of does and then Axle in his buck pen. Yeppers, from 157 goats to only 18, at times I don't know how I ever did it.

What normally would take 1-2 hours in just feeding the herd their morning ration now takes roughly 30 minutes. A bale of hay put in the hay feeder will last about 3 days (compared to the previous 6 hours). The water troughs will grow various shades of green algae before the goats can possibly empty them.

This morning about 2 ish. I hear Sadie the guardian dog of the front door, let out a startled yelp and bark. What sounded like a rumble of thunder came across the walk way to the front porch. I peeked out the living room window, wondering if something had fallen and rolled down the ramp. In the soft glow of the security light I see Axle, Buffy and Cookie playing on the wooden walk way. Each taking turns headbutting and attempting to knock and keep the others off their bridge.

OK, so what to do? Do I go back to bed and let them enjoy their late night escape or do I go out in the pitch dark of night to find and fix the opening they escaped from, then gather up a food bribe to put them back in their pen. By walking across the farm to the feed room I would take the chance of waking the entire farm, possibly risking that the 3 escapees will follow and spy the others in the bottom pasture and do what they love to do so much, headbutt and fight through the fence.

I opted to go back to bed and allow them to enjoy the cool fall evening playing in the front yard.

At the crack of dawn with solar lamp in hand I wander out to see what damage had been done.

The 3 midnight marauders had let themselves back into their pen and were sleeping soundly, snuggled together by the open gate.


barefootchef said...

Ohhhh, what little buggers! At least they went back where they belonged after their night on the "town"!

Anonymous said...

The life of goats, LOL! Wow that is alot of goats, we're going to be downsizing our herd soon too, we're selling 2 pet quality does on Saturday!

Hot Belly Mama - taking it all back said...

How sweet! I love that story. Reminds me of how my three cats will all lay themselves down to sleep in the same spot at certain times of the day.

barefootchef said...

Oh, and I forgot to say to give Miss Buffy a big hug for me!

Grammy said...

That is a great story. It shows things have a way of working them self out. Have a great week.

JK said...

Barefootchef - Sometimes I think they are like kids of the 2 legged variety...they try to see what they can get away with. Buffy sends a big goat hug back.

Amy - Good luck on downsizing your herd.

HBMama - Thanks. The critters can be a handfull, but are really enjoyable.

Grammy - Thanks. Around here you have to roll with the punches and things do normally work themselves out. Hope you have a great week too.