The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

A conversation with her majesty, the herd queen

Queen of the hay pile

Our goat-jumping problem all started when Abigail informed me that late August grass was far too wet for morning tethering.

Abigail: "Did you ever notice that the words DEW and DEVIL look awfully darn similar?"

Me: "Um, no?"

Abigail: "Well, look it up! I wouldn't be surprised if they had the same Latin root. And while you're at it, stop making me wade through damp leaves before my coffee. Ugh! I'm wet to the knees."

Goat eating hay

So, in my neverending quest to produce the world's most spoiled herd of two, I conceded to our queen's demand.

Me: "What would you rather eat in the morning, your majesty?"

Abigail: "Sweet corn leaves, hand delivered to my paddock at dawn!"

Me: "You do realize that I can only feed you sweet corn leaves on the days we harvest sweet corn ears, right? How about some field corn leaves?"

Abigail: "Hmmph!!"

Cleaning out the manger

So Abigail and Artemesia were left in their paddock with only last winter's old hay in their manger plus sub-par weeds in the pasture. No wonder they wanted to climb the hay mountain and harvest this year's sweet, dried grasses in the warm, dry comfort of their coop.

Which made me think that perhaps resolving the feed issue would resolve the jumping issue. So I hauled every bit of last winter's hay out of the manger and used it to refresh the goats' bedding. (This isn't as crazy as it sounds since we bought this batch of "hay" in early spring when the feed stores were out of real hay and were selling what they called "wheat grass" instead. In other words, straw with some seed heads in it. The girls weren't fans.

Acrobatic goat

Anyway, with the manger empty, I filled its cavernous depths with 2015 hay that our girls appeared to be so enamored with. Then I opened the door so our goats could explore their new breakfast bar.

Abigail: "Finally! This is the kind of red-carpet treatment I deserve."

Artemesia: "Oh boy! Oh boy! If I jump up onto the hay pile and streeeetch across, I can eat out of the manger over top of Abigail's head!"

Goat conversation

Sigh. It looks like I need to have a chat with our bad doeling and see what makes her tick next. Good thing she's so cute....

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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And to think there was a time when you didn't want goats . . . ; )
Comment by terry Fri Sep 4 10:02:12 2015


Goats ARE so funny about getting wet.

Comment by Deb Fri Sep 4 20:39:07 2015

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