As soon as I took this photo I decided that Cuzco needed some personal attention. The other goats were nowhere in sight and I thought I could sneak out and give him some cookies without anyone else noticing. WRONG! The minute I rattled the chain on the back patio gate, I heard a rushing, crashing, trampling noise from the hill on my right. The rest of the herd came pouring frantically out of the scrub oak and reached me about the same time I reached Cuzco. I was hoping I could pamper the old goat without him having to get up, but as soon as the rest of the herd swarmed round us, Cuzco leapt to his feet to fend them off. I made sure he still got all the cookies to himself, but it was in spastic, frenzied snatches between swatting everyone else away. I wasn’t about to reward those other rapscallions for mobbing me while I was trying to share a quiet moment with our dear old Patriarch.
Nubbin is the only goat in our herd that Cuzco actually seems to like. When we take a walk, Nubbin usually stays right in Cuzco’s shadow and he doesn’t push her away. At night, she is the only goat he sometimes allows in his shed. Funny how goats’ preferences work. Nubbin’s mother, Nibbles, was the first goat we added to our herd, and Nibbles was the only goat Cuzco ever bonded with. All subsequent goats and their offspring were regarded as unwelcome intrusions on his life and were never accepted, Nubbin included. But after Nibbles died, Nubbin attached herself to Cuzco (much to his annoyance) and she never gave up. Eventually he grudgingly accepted her and now he lets her hang around. There’s a chance Nubbin may go to a new home in Idaho sometime this spring, and as much as he would never admit it out loud, I think Cuzco is going to miss her.
It’s early days yet, but I can’t wait for kidding season! I sort of tried to get a “belly” picture of Delilah today but she wouldn’t cooperate, and I’m also on the wrong side (I started off on the right side but she turned around on me!). She’s not due until April 9th, but she’s been doing the “pregnant waddle” since January.
Petunia is due May 5th, and Jezebel is due June 3rd, so babies will be spaced pretty far apart this year. That just means we get a longer kidding season and more baby goat fun for all!
Friday we took a few moments to survey the damage done by the terrific wind storm that swept over us the day before. The wind blasted in around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday and startled Phil and I out of a deep sleep. It was so loud we ended up sleeping in the guest bedroom on the lee side of the house. It only got worse as day dawned. When I first looked out the window in the morning, our goat tower was still intact, tattered American flag still fluttering gallantly. An hour later the entire top portion was demolished. The wooden shed that provided the base to the topmost spool and the flagpole was upside-down on top of my electric fence and the spool was on the ground.
After further assessment, we decided that the wooden shed is done for. It’s not worth screwing it back together again, and as this is the second time it’s taken flight in a wind storm, I think it might be more of a hazard than it’s worth. I really don’t need it winging its way across the pasture and landing on a goat like she was the Wicked Witch of the East.
Goats, of course, love any kind of change to their environment. The jungle gym hasn’t gotten so much attention in months! I should take this to heart and move a couple of the spools every other week or so, or maybe add a stump or two and then take it away.
Petunia and Tigerlilly were the Queen and Princess of the spools respectively. They spent more time up there than everyone else combined. But that’s because they know how regal they look on a pedestal!
I affectionately call Petunia my “Pretty Pet”. I love her funny airplane ears and heart-shaped nose. When her mother, Lilly, left the scene, Petunia stepped gracefully into the role of herd queen, but luckily she’s not the vicious tyrant her mother was. Overall, we’ve had a much more peaceful herd this past year.
Last night we had the first good snow we’ve had since Thanksgiving and we thought it might be a good opportunity to test out the snowshoes Phil’s Aunt Marianne and Uncle Steve gave us last spring. We stayed on our own property so naturally all the goats came with us!
Even though she’s only halfway through her pregnancy, Delilah is really looking “in a family way”. She thanked me for taking this photo at a flattering angle. We couldn’t help but laugh at the trail her belly left in the snow. I’m so glad she was finally able to conceive. She couldn’t settle last year and we were so disappointed.
I volunteered to lead for the second half of the hike. I’m not sure Phil or the goats are going to allow this again. I took us through the brushy part of the woods. But we eventually made it back out, so I can’t be too bad a leader.
It’s been a long time since I’ve made a post about our little angel goat. Tigerlily has really grown up and is becoming a beautiful young lady. Even though she’s more than big enough, we opted not to breed her this year and just let her grow. And grow she has! She’s nearly as big as her mother and probably heavier.