Saturday, April 07, 2012

A-Z Challenge - G is for Goats

Today's post is brought to you by the letter G.

I'll admit it. I like goats. Not as much as my friend Tracy Farr, who has written a whole book about goats, but I have enjoyed my goats. So have some of my grandchildren who loved to come and feed grandma's "doats."

Banjo, Lucy, Millie
One of my first encounters with a goat was when our oldest daughter was about three years old and we took her to a petting zoo. She was so excited to get a bottle and go into the enclosure to feed the young goats and sheep. Problem was, one of the goats kept wanting to eat the tassel on our daughter's hat. She bonked the goat on the head with the bottle and said she was done.

It's not surprising that her kids are not the ones who were so excited to feed the goats. Although to be fair to that daughter, she does inquire about my animals when she calls.

When I first moved to our little place in the country, I made the mistake of getting a billy goat and a Barbados Ram. They were both so cute as babies, but grew up to be most difficult to deal with, so I sold them and got a Nannie goat. We named her Lucy for no particular reason other than it was the first name that came to mind. When Lucy runs to the fence to get a treat, she does a little prance step that almost looks like dancing.

She runs to the fence often. In fact, every time I go out the back door she dashes over to see if I am bringing out a treat.

Not long after we bought Lucy, we decided to get her a goat companion, and we named the new girl, Millie. Again, not for any particular reason.

The first small animals were acquired to first clear the back three acres of brambles and brush, and boy did they. It looks like a park back there now. But I also got them to be companions for my horse. Since they are all herd animals, they do prefer company than being in a large fenced area alone.

Food? Do you have food for me?
Millie died last year of a snake bite, so that left me with one goat and one horse, which has been fine all winter as they are both in the back pasture together. However, when the horse gets moved to the front pasture for the summer, that would leave Lucy alone, so I got her a new companion; a little lamb, Marie. I did not name her, my neighbor  did. She was one of twins whose mother died after giving birth, so my neighbors hand-raised the two lambs, one male and one female. They named them, Donny and Marie. I didn't ask my neighbor why.

Could you make the goat leave me alone?
Right now, Lucy is not real happy about Marie being there. Lucy is a bit of a pig, so if Marie comes by Lucy's feed dish, or Lucy's hay, or the green stuff I have pulled and thrown over the fence, Lucy chases Marie off.

I hope she gets over it soon. I will be moving the horse to the front by the end of this month. The grass is looking good out there.


Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Love country living! Sorry about the snake bite. I don't think I've heard of a farm animal dying that way before. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month.

Maryannwrites said...

Thanks for stopping by. I am also trying to visit most of the blogs this month. If I only make it to five or six a day, don't think I'm going to make them all. Plus, I've started enjoying some so much, I'm going back to them. Not enough time. Sigh....

Here in East Texas we have copperheads and they have killed a lot of animals around here. My neighbors, who have lived here since childhood, said it happens quite frequently.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Lucy is tall for a goat. My mother had a goat for a while after I moved out. My uncle bought it for her so she wouldn't have to do as much weeding and the goat would keep the grass short. Didn't work. The goat ate everything but the grass and weeds.

Grammy said...

Hi, I live in Texas now, too. Between Dallas and Fort Worth. Have you ever heard the song, "Mares eat oats and Does eat oats and little Lambs eat ivy, a Kid'll eat ivy too, wouldn't you?" I enjoyed your post. Best regards to you. Ruby

Maryannwrites said...

Actually. L. Diane, Lucy is a medium-sized goat. I have seen some much bigger than her. Different breed though. Lucy is a Boer goat and the bigger ones are Spanish goats.

Granny, I do remember that song. My father used to sing it all the time. I always thought it would be cool to eat some ivy.

Luana Krause said...

Love the goat pics. My experience with a goat was at a state fair. I had bought some fresh produce including heads of lettuce. It was in a paper bag which I was carrying around the fair grounds. I went to the goat barn and leaned in to look at a goat. The goat reached up and took a bite out of my paper bag! Hee hee.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Snake bites? Oh dear... sorry to hear it.
ON the other hand, LOVE Donny and Marie! Fantastic names!

F. Stone said...

Loved your blog post. I love all animals and am thankful for having grown up on a farm with a variety of critters. My first horse's name was also Banjo. However, we didn't have goats or sheep; dad was into hogs and cattle; mom had her chickens and turkeys.

Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deb said...

I love your post Maryann. I would love a couple of goats but alas we just dont have the room. We also have the odd snake problem with our animals here in Australia. Especially king brown snakes, they bite first then question you later.