Got your goat?

Well one of my friends can today say that I do indeed have their goat. Literally. I’m more worried we’re opening up Pandora’s box to be honest. πŸ˜‰

Goats are companionable creatures and like a friend of the same species, preferably same breed to keep them company. Miss Anna, our lovely British Alpine has been alone since coming to live with us until October when the lambs came to stay. She did, once the pecking order was established, settle down and enjoy their company. All 3 share their food and snuggle up into a hairy woolen pile at night. However, with the grass coming into its no-growth period and the grass left available obviously being the least desirable grass for the lambs, the time has come to move them on. Yes, they are still young and hence still quite small but it’s a balance between size vs feed costs.

Anna would have once again been alone.

No longer. Today was the day for Miss Pandora, the daughter of my friends milking goat and Makka-Pakka, the father of Anna’s stillborn twins, came to live with us. Within seconds of arriving and being let out into the goat pen she was covered in blood, not her own thankfully although it gave me quite a scare none the less. Miss Anna has knocked off a horn stub which was bleeding a little. As she made it known that she is top goat in this pen she left blobs of red all over Pandora’s white coat.

I’ve had to put the lambs in to bed early too as they decided to add to the general cacophony around here by bleating in reply to Pandora’s calls for her mother. 3 bleats, each in different pitches, accompanied by the general noise of my children and Miss Anna’s Mweh Mweh thrown in for good measure. Thank goodness the roosters are no more or the neighbours would lynch us! πŸ˜‰

Oh, and funnily enough, contrary to what I learned as a child, goats actually sayΒ baa and sheep say maa! πŸ™‚

Pandora has had a small bottle of milk – and has settled down somewhat inΒ her new home. She will need a bit of bottle feeding before becoming a big girl on the forage and feed our goats and sheep get but in time she will become a milker too as will Miss Anna in 2014. Pandora is Toggenburg Boer cross, so depending on with which breed buck she is bred we have the option for kids for milk or kids for meat. Her mother is from an unregistered but very good milk lineage so we have high hopes of her milking well. Even should she inherit more of her paternal milking genetics she should still provide more than enough for our needs and, with milk from Miss Anna, hopefully enough for my cheesemaking too one day in the next few years. The possibilities are exciting. πŸ™‚

Anyway, enough of the dreams of the future. Here is lil Miss Pandora.

Eating the new straw bedding laid down in the shed.

Eating the new straw bedding laid down in the shed.

Look at those lovely floppy ears.

Look at those lovely floppy ears.

It may not be entirely true that goats eat everything but she's doing her best to dispel the myth. Eating the bark off the poplar branches, and not even the nice fresh stuff.

It may not be entirely true that goats eat everything but she’s doing her best to dispel the myth. Eating the bark off the poplar branches, and not even the nice fresh stuff.

She is about the size of a medium-sized dog at the moment and her little horns are not more than an inch long. We’re keeping her horned as that’s how she would be in nature and we’re hoping to train her to walk, guided by them and any headbutting will be strongly discouraged.

As I type I can hear her bleating her little heart out, crying for mum I guess but I know she will soon settle down. Had she not come to us there is a fair chance, given her mixed blood lines, that she would have been deemed fit for mowing or for the freezer so, despite feeling like a right old meanie at the moment, I know she will have a good life with us.

Oh, and because I promised a photo, here’s my garlic braids. πŸ™‚

No vampires here.

No vampires here.


16 thoughts on “Got your goat?

  1. Lynda says:

    She really is very pretty and i love the floppy ears too. You know how i say that if the world goes crazy and we all have to become self reliant that i would live near you. Well make that a 5 minute walk away. Im not sure i could handle the noise. Which came first, your plait or the garlic.

    • The garlic cos I plaited what we bought last year but this year? Mine of course!
      You’re welcome. Maybe you can plan, build then run the heated greenhouse to grow the coffee and I’ll deliver some milk every day. πŸ˜‰

  2. narf77 says:

    What a cutey! I like goats. I like them a LOT more than I like sheep because goats are intelligent creatures that think about what they are doing (which makes Earl more goat-like than dog like to be honest πŸ˜‰ ). It won’t be long before she settles down but I guess your neighbours are a bit like Frank next door…resigned to having to live next door to CRAZY PEOPLE! πŸ˜‰ Watch for those twitching curtains…

    • We’ve spoken to all th relevant neighbours and next door was the funniest. He almost cried when I told him that our big rooster was in the freezer! He loves the roosters as they apparently calm down his dogs. He thinks Pandora and Anna and the bleating sheep are the best thing out and he adores animals and all the noises they make, yes, even right next to him. πŸ˜€ Behind us with their cows say they can’t hear their noise inside the house and across the road couldn’t care at all, they also don’t hear a thing inside. Across the creek neighbours are no problem – it’s a cemetary. The only comment we’ve had and more an acknowledgement than a complaint or anything was across the creek and across the road asking us if we had roosters. πŸ™‚ We’re all good!

      • narf77 says:

        I can give you 4 more if you like…lets see how your neighbours like it THEN! πŸ˜‰

        • Feel free but I sill just send them to freezer camp. πŸ˜‰ We had 4 before. It was insane! I’ll stick with my 1 (not yet crowing) roo for now.

          • narf77 says:

            Feel free to send them to freezer camp. I noticed where my “herd” has completely dug up one of my favourite shrubs in order to spend endless hours bathing in dust and am almost at the point of considering them “obsolete” on Serendipity Farm! I don’t eat eggs…Steve eats very few…remind me why we need chooks again?!!! Might invest in turkeys or guinea fowl (that both look after themselves) and give the flock away yet…mutter…mutter

            • Let me know how the guinea fowl go. Theyre supposed to be a whole new level of noise. πŸ˜‰ They will kill snakes though.

              • narf77 says:

                Mr 23Thorns assures me that they don’t much like feral cats either so that elevated them in my estimation as well. Can’t get much worse than the cicada’s to be honest. All through the day we can’t hear ourselves talk outside and have to yell to each other even when we are close. Can’t head out to the deck for a chat when phoning anyone as you just can’t hear them ;). Wish us luck, we are off working out what colour to paint the deck and rails and part of the house (unprotected cedar) today along with picking up Steve’s mum’s Christmas gift to us, a Karcher (makes the job of cleaning the deck MUCH easier πŸ™‚ ). Steve will never have another excuse for not washing the car ever again! “Cheers Pat!” πŸ˜‰

                • Nice work Pat! And nice work Steve and Fran! Karcher away and then paint away too.
                  Guinea fowl are no good for us given our close proximity to neighbours but I reckon you could put in your “pen”up close to ‘noying neighbours and you’re all good! πŸ˜‰ Cicadas are seasonal at least and no-ones fault. The GF have an accomlice to take all the blame for transport and hang around for a bit longer too. πŸ™‚

  3. Linne says:

    Ooooh, I LOVE your Miss Pandora (not sure I’d name a goat THAT, though . . . make sure all boxes are well locked) πŸ˜‰

    Seriously, as a lover of all things more elegant than practical (why I sewed long dresses from Vogue when we lived out in the bush), I am a long-time lover of Nubian goats and Miss P’s ears remind me of them . . .

    How nice your neighbours love, or at least don’t mind, your livestock. It makes such a difference . . . now you need to get another rooster or two (talk to Narfie7; I hear she might part with a couple or ten) πŸ˜‰

    That’s an awesome garlic braid; second only to your Katniss plait πŸ™‚

    I never tried it with so many; just used three and added in as I went along. If I ever get the chance, I’ll have to try one like yours.

    • Linne says:

      Just had another look and realized you did the same as I did, then hung a bunch together . . . duh! I blame it on five hours sleep . . . got up early to wait for the vampire to come (why I have no garlic braid here . . . Mum needs her vampires) πŸ˜‰

    • With kids being named using the same first letter as their mothers, Pearl’s daughter was always going to be a P something. I love her name although it’s a little different. πŸ™‚
      And yes, there are 6 braids, all traditional braids, hanging there.

  4. […] most recent acquisition is Pandora. She’s a baby doe goat, daughter of a Toggenburg (milk breed) doe and a Boer (meat breed) […]

  5. jamescf4 says:

    “…hoping to train her to walk, guided by them…” I wouldn’t try to lead a goat by the horns and expect it not to headbutt. As an experienced goat farmer, I know how dangerous a horned goat can be and that handling the horns, except in extreme circumstances, only encourages headbutting.

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