Wednesday, April 16, 2008
A Steep Price
The goat brothers, Snickers (above) and Hershey (below), came to live with us last fall after serving a term as therapy goats at Western Trails Therapeutic Riding Center. These guys are two of a set of triplets and were bottle raised. If you know anything about goats, you know they socialize to humans extremely well, so having been raised on bottles and then used as therapy animals for kids with disabilities, they are very people-oriented. They are Nigerian Pygmy goats, so are pretty small. This combination makes them difficult to keep in a pen and impossible to keep out of the yard. They quickly figure out gate latches and only complicated devices requiring thumbs are able to foil these guys. They are seriously like having twin two year olds around. I wouldn't mind them in the yard, except they have a fondness for my roses and other flowers. They also just generally get into stuff and drag it around the yard. Consequently, they have spent much of the winter in a large, hay-filled, chain link dog kennel inside the barn. I let them out every evening and we would go for lenghty walks together. They stay closer to me on walks than the dogs. It is so funny to watch them romp, stand on their hind legs to head butt each other, and just generally enjoy life.
Now that the weather is warming (slowly!) and the green grass is growing, I wanted to put up the electric sheep and goat fence for them. Behind the house looked like a great spot, a steep hill for them to climb and romp on, sagebrush to scratch those itchy backs, four large apricot trees for shade, and best of all, lush green grass to graze on.
Not to mention, the view from up here is spectacular. I especially like how the cow trails all converge at the corral as the cows have come in for water from all parts of the pasture.
Here is Jordan helping out. Notice how far down the trees look, and yes, they are the old apricot trees which are included in the pen also. It was so steep I actually had to crawl on hands and knees with rolls of fence on my shoulder to get up some parts. What a good workout! Well, it turns out old ladies with creaky knees shouldn't be hill crawling so much. I am now in a knee brace and the doc is not allowing any flexion on that leg as we attempt to avoid surgery. Hmmmmm . . . . . Anybody in the market for some really friendly goats?
Until next time, may the hills rise up to meet you . . . gently!