We had so much fun at the State Fair that we decided to haul our goats up north for the CDGA Harvest Show the following weekend. After all the work of shaving and primping and packing, going to a second show was the obvious choice. We won no awards this time, but we still had fun and our goats held their own. However, there wasn’t even a costume class! We’re going to have to do something about that for next year. Or perhaps add a race or a talent show or some such “fun” activity to make showing more worthwhile. What’s the use of having a goat show if you leave out all the classes that are actually important??
Cuzco heard we were leaving and didn’t want to spend the weekend at home by himself, so he arranged a medical crisis at the last minute so we would have to take him with us. He turned up with a painful, swollen cheek the morning we left. I loaded him up with the other goats so I could have him checked out at the vet on the way to Longmont. Turns out it was no big deal… he just got a sticker or bashed his jaw on something (probably Lilly’s head) and the vet prescribed penicillin. But my problem was whether the CDGA people would let me keep Cuzco at the fairgrounds. It was an ADGA sponsored show, and there are very clear rules about male goats and horns. However, the powers that be were very understanding and let me have a pen for Cuzco. My biggest fear was that the other competitors would think I was bringing in a goat with CL, but luckily the swelling went down drastically during the night, and between the halter and the hair no one could see the bump on his jaw.
My next concern was how to keep him from menacing people. He’s been moody lately, and a toothache wasn’t going to help. The pen was so small he would not be able to avoid unwelcome intrusions into his personal space. The goat people would probably be ok… they usually know better than to grab a goat by the horn and they are familiar with unfriendly goat body language. But there was a horse show and a gun show going on at the same fairgrounds, and I wasn’t sure what kinds of people would be coming over and thrusting their hands into Cuzco’s face. Being a very large, handsome, and distinctive-looking goat, he tends to attract more than his fair share of attention, and men, for some reason, can’t seem to resist grabbing that horn and giving it a good shake. They wouldn’t dream of pulling a dog’s ears or tail, but they think nothing of yanking on a goat’s horn. I like to ask them how they would feel if they had a gun on their hip and some stranger walked up and snatched it out of the holster. This puts horn-grabbing in a whole new light! But I couldn’t be there all day to ward off ignorant behavior. So I posted some signs:
“ADMIRE ME from a distance but please don’t touch! I’M CRANKY”
For the most part they seemed to work. Every now and then I saw people reaching over anyway, but I figured if they were dumb enough to ignore a fair warning they deserved what they got. Once or twice I heard the quiet scrape of a threatening horn on the rails, but most people were respectful, and Cuzco was actually pretty chill. I think he liked having his own space where the girls couldn’t share his hay or touch his water. But he was starting to get bored by the end of the second day and decided he needed more action. So he tore down one of signs in hope of luring in unsuspecting victims. I put it back up, but he tore it down about three more times before I finally ran out of tape and cable ties and had to give up. Luckily by then it was time to go home.
The girls had a good time and actually drank water at this show. They hardly drank anything at State Fair and Nibbles barely got an udder while Lilly looked like “concentration camp goat.” It was kind of embarrassing. Well this time I introduced them to Gatorade powder in the water and it really worked the trick! The only drawback was that they all had orange chins, and Lilly’s beautiful white beard looked like it had gotten rusty. But I’ll take funny-colored goats over dehydrated ones any day.
Speaking of funny-colored goats, I saw the goofiest thing in the silent auction–a can of black spray-on livestock paint for touching up coat color before a show! Phil and I really like colorful goats, but nicely-built ones can be hard to find and even harder to get ahold of. So we thought if all else fails we could just buy some Saanens and paint them up with Weaver’s livestock paint! Yay for instant party coats!