Yearly Archives: 2014

Of Horses and Goats

I went riding with my friend Wendy today, and Finn came with us! I put him on a leash until I got away from home and past my neighbor’s goats, but I’m not sure I really even needed it. He’s always so happy to get out there and do stuff with people, and he’s not the least bit hesitant about following me on a horse. He baa-aa-ed a lot at first, but he settled down eventually. The first thing Wendy commented on was his lovely aroma. I hardly notice it these days. Smile

After I got home, I played with Sputnik for a while. I stood my horse, Jet, next to one of our spools and used cookies to bribe Sputnik up onto the saddle. He went as far as putting his front feet up there, but never got quite bold enough to jump all the way up. I’ll bet with a little more practice he might just ride that pony!

Finn the Friendly Fumer

Stinky as he is, I can’t help but be great friends with this little guy! Much like his mother, he just worships people. All of our goats are pretty good at coming when we call their names, but Finn is in a class by himself.

It’s a little hard to photograph because he always tilts his head back so I can’t get a good full-on shot, but Finn is growing stripes on his horns! The place where they grow out is right where the white blaze meets the black on his head. I guess there’s just enough pink skin there that the horns are getting white streaks in the front! It’s so cool and I hope they continue to grow out like this!

Finn leads the parade!

It’s stinky bucky time!

Here’s an update on the boys. At five months old Snickers weighs in at just over 80 lbs. He’s not as heavy or muscular as Finn, but he’s at least as tall if not taller. He’s a long, leggy type goat and he has really nice hooves.

I’ve recently taken to calling him “Fu Manchu” because of his funny face markings.

Sputnik learned to jump on the igloo on command today. I’d just point to it and he would hop up there to get a cookie.

Look at the above photo just a little bit closer. What a little goofball!

I tried to stand all my boys up for posed photos, but no one wanted to cooperate.

Sputnik was the best of the bunch. Here he is standing nice and square for the camera. (Snickers and Finn, take lessons.)

Snickers weighed in at just under 75 lbs. He’s still the smallest of the bunch but he’s got nice proportions and he’s the most fun to play with because he’s the least bucky of the three. He’s the only one without a sticky yellow face right now, and I can still reasonably “shake hands” with him without totally defiling my fingers.

Today we worked on his “lie down” command. He goes right down on his knees with just a touch, but he doesn’t want to drop his back end and he tends to panic if I force it down like I do with the others. I usually end up pulling one of his hind legs out from under him and lowering him down, which he seems to tolerate well for some reason. Today he did something funny when he was down, though. He likes to lean on me when he’s lying down, and today I thought I’d stand up and see if I could get him to stay down. As I eased my knee out from under him, he slowly fell over onto his side and ended up flat out on the ground where he lay without moving. He did this twice. I had to roll him back up on his chest and fold his knees back under him, at which point he jumped up and ran away. He’s a funny little character.

Finn is almost too big for the stanchion now. It’s not that he’s too tall or long, it’s that his neck is too thick! He’s nearly six months old and weighs between 85-90 lbs. He hasn’t grown very much since the rut started, and my pudgy little guy is quite trim and muscular now. I can feel his ribs when I rub his sides. Two months ago I wasn’t sure if he had any, the little blubber ball!

He’s as sweet and friendly as ever and he constantly wants to cuddle up to me and rub that sticky yellow face all over me. Unfortunately, these days he’s about as un-cuddly an animal as anyone could hope to meet!

Today Finn learned a new trick! I taught him to stand on my milking stool and spin a circle. It’s difficult now that he’s so big, but he’s a very willing and attentive pupil. He’s probably not *quite* as smart as Sputnik, but he’s less hyper so sometimes Finn learns stuff faster simply because he pays better attention.

Can you beat this pose? I was trying to stand him up nicely for the camera and boy did he stand! He also generously annointed me and everything else within a three-foot radius. What he had observed (and I had not) was that Petunia had sauntered casually around the corner about 30 feet away.

Uninvited guests get uninvited guests

One afternoon last spring I heard Daisy barking so I peeked out the window to see what she was excited about. A white station wagon was slowly crawling up the driveway with a neatly dressed couple inside. Only Jehovah Witnesses dress in their Sunday best on a weekday and come calling at your house uninvited. I had just made up my mind to pretend not to be home when I saw the car come to a halt. Daisy was standing in the middle of the driveway barking her head off and wouldn’t move. The car sat there undecidedly for a few minutes before slowly backing up and turning around. Daisy was triumphant and I was relieved.

Our victory was short-lived however. A few days later I heard Daisy barking again and this time a large flatbed truck was trundling up the drive. The JW’s were back, and this time they’d sent the ranch division. These guys weren’t nervous about barking farm dogs. The truck pulled up to the house and a big man with a cowboy hat stepped out of the driver’s seat while a smaller man in a suit and tie with a Bible under his arm stepped out of the other. They had already seen me before they got to the house so it was no use hiding.

I went out to greet the two men on the porch and they started giving me their spiel. I wasn’t really listening because I was watching the scene unfold behind their backs. A strange truck in the driveway had not gone unnoticed by my five goats who had been grazing in the field moments before. They all came up to inspect the unfamiliar vehicle and add a few nose prints and hoof marks. And when Mr. Cowboy asked me if I believed in Jesus, my response was, “Did you know there’s a goat in your truck?”

The guy whipped around to see Pac-Man crawling around in the cab of his truck with Nubbin right behind him. He had left the driver door standing open and naturally it was the first thing the goats discovered. At first he acted like he didn’t care. “Oh, it’s a farm truck, they can’t hurt it.”

“Maybe not,” I replied, “but are you sure you don’t need the upholstery, because it’ll be gone in five minutes. And you might not care to sit in whatever Pac-Man is leaving there on the seat.”

With that statement, he bolted off the porch and with a little handy maneuvering he managed to get the goats out of the vehicle before any damage was done. He closed the door and tried to come back to the subject of my salvation, but the moment was lost and it wasn’t long before the two fellows bowed out with as much dignity as they could still muster. They could tell I was having a hard time keeping a straight face. No one comes to our place and leaves a car door open. No one.

Halloween goats on parade!

My goats are grounded at home due to a vesicular stomatitis quarantine. The horses got sick, not the goats, but for some reason the goats have to stay home too. It meant that all our Halloween festivities had to remain on home territory. Bummer. Fortunately, we have enough goats and enough costumes that we were able to stage our own private goat Halloween party!

First, Cuzco as Mr. T! His one horn is perfect for fashioning into a mohawk!

Mr. T as B.A. (“Bad Attitude”) Baracus and the A-Team van!

The wind kicked up and the A-Team van kind of took flight. Cuzco looked more like a black peacock when that happened.

Nubbin the Viking princess.

Pac-Man the pimp.

Lilly the girl about town (and boy has she ever been living up to that description lately–I had to retrieve her from the neighbor’s goat pen again today!).

“El Pollo Diablo” Petunia.

Delilah the Spanish beauty.

Petunia festoons the patio with… expensive teat wipes.

I got my stuff out to milk, let Nubbin and Petunia onto the patio, then turned my back for two seconds to plop down Cuzco’s mush bucket and this is what I turned back around to:

Who me???

No, probably not you, Nubbin. I should have known better. I usually am very diligent to tie up Petunia any time I have the teat wipes out because given the chance she will make a beeline for them, grab the top one and then yank a huge train of wipes out of the bucket. She doesn’t eat them. There’s just something about the action of pulling them out of the tub that Petunia cannot resist. Great job, Petunia. Over a week’s worth of wipes for two goats wasted in about two seconds. Dodgy

Guys and Dolls

I’ve been letting the bucklings out with the does under supervision lately because I noted when all the does came into heat and went back out, so for now everyone should be relatively safe. I only do this when I’m outside working because I want to be there in case someone suddenly starts showing interest in the boys, but for now all the girls are going “Ew, gross! Get away from me you cad!”

Finn thinks he’s so handsome and he regularly applies copious amounts of cologne, so he can’t understand why those pretty girls don’t want to play with him. The best part is when I first open the boys’ pen. Finn bolts out and starts chasing the first doe he comes to. After making a few circuits of the meadow, he gives up on that one and starts chasing another. He does this to all five in a row before he tires out and accepts defeat. Snickers and Sputnik usually putter around near the gate for a bit before realizing they’re alone. Then suddenly they shoot off in a bucking explosion of legs and ears. They stroll up to all the girls and say hello (and usually try a quick but unsuccessful sip at Petunia’s or Lilly’s udder), but they don’t chase skirts like Finn. They leave that to the big boys. Cuzco and Pac-Man keep a watchful eye, and if a buckling spends too much time harassing one of the girls they put him in his place. Actually, Pac-Man disciplines the boys. Cuzco blames it all on womanly wiles and usually sends the doe running. Either way, the two of them make a pretty good chaperone team.

New packsaddle!

Looky what I got! I came across a brand new second-hand packsaddle from Northwest PackGoats! It came in yesterday and today I tried it on Cuzco. He dwarfs it! It still needs a pad, of course, but I ordered one of the pocket pads from Northwest today along with the kids saddle. I can’t wait to start giving goat rides to kids once we have a kid-friendly goat that’s big enough!

Cuzco says, “I’m kid friendly–if you give me enough cookies!”

Co-ed Goat Party!

All my girls came into heat around the same time last week, so today I let the bucklings out to play with the herd. It was a very joyous reunion! Finn spent the first five minutes running around like a mad goat at top speed as he chased one girl after another in a hormone-induced frenzy. He soon realized that no one wanted anything to do with him as long as he was acting that way and he settled down and assumed a calmer demeanor for the rest of the afternoon. Cuzco also pummeled him for being a punk, and that took the wind out of his sails. Phil and I are marveling at his beautiful, luxurious coat. He’s got this incredible mane coming in that I love to run my fingers through. He’d make an amazing fur cape right now if I could get the stink out!
Sputnik and Delilah got into a very long fight which Cuzco, Pac-Man, and Snickers watched with rapt attention until Cuzco eventually hammered Delilah and made her run away. I think Delilah had singled Sputnik out as the low man on the totem pole and the goat most easily pushed around. Sputnik doesn’t like to be pushed around and he pushed right back, making for a pretty spectacular fight until Cuzco intervened. He doesn’t like anyone messing with “his” babies.

Today Sputnik smelled girls up close for the first time since he was weaned. He was very impressed!

Father and sons…

Finn is almost as big as his mother nowadays!


Last week we did the painful but necessary task of tattooing the bucklings’ ears. That night it rained. Between wet, running ink and tussling babies there was a lot of green on those little faces and bodies by next morning!

Not too many action shots, but we got a few close-ups! My babies always love sticking their noses right in the camera lens.

Sputnik was the best at posing, and his speckled face really looked good with that green glow, although from his expression here I’m not sure he agrees with that statement.

I love Sputnik’s aquiline nose and pouty, jutting jaw–a throwback to his Nubian ancestry. His parents, Petunia and Pac-Man, don’t have the slightest trace of underbite or Roman nose. None of my Nubian crosses do–except this guy. And it’s so cute! If you look closely you can also see the beginnings of a beard just sprouting under his jaw. I thought he had a lump under his chin one morning last week and I probed concernedly all around his jaw but couldn’t feel a thing. Then I rubbed the hair the wrong way and realized what it was–a beard! That’s another thing no one else in my herd has except Lilly (his grandmother). Pac-Man had a small beard before he was wethered, and I’m guessing Sputnik will lose his too when the time comes. Until then, may it grow long and thick!