Friday, October 23, 2009

Double Tragedy!!!

A Double Tragedy struck this past week here in our little group!

The first part of this tragedy is that Tuesday evening when one of the members was milking, they found that someone, or something, had killed one of our goats. They were getting set up to milk and found that one of the goats was missing. Not thinking much of it, they began milking. When it was the turn of one of the goats, it wouldn't get up, examining it she found that the goat was injured. Looking at the other goats she found that several more of them were showing marks of being attacked also. Looking around the area more carefully, she found the mangled body of a goat laying where it had apparently fought valiantly to defend itself from it's attacker. She immediately summoned some of the more animal savvy of our group to help care for the brave but injured goats that remained.

The second part of the tragedy is that the goat that was killed wasn't even part of our commune. One of our neighbors had a goat that they needed to get pregnant so they could milk her again. Since we have this billy goat on loan, they made arrangements to keep their goat with ours. The new goat had only been there for a day or two when this disaster struck! Mournful are they who lost their goat.

Our initial thoughts were that this was a Chupracabra, a fearsome creature if there ever was one! Luckily someone close to the farm came over and admitted that it was her dog. Whew! I don't know what we would have done to discourage a Chupracabra from returning. Animal Control came over and shot the dog spoke with the neighbor about the dog and their responsibility. Hopefully this will not occur again.

The real question that the people want to have answered is: Where was the Billy Goat during this time? We all know that a Billy Goat Gruff can handle a Troll, so a dog should be easy. Was he not Gruff enough? Was he scared of the intruder? Was he too busy doing the job we have him there to do that he didn't notice? Or was he in collusion with the intruder?

While most of the goats had some trauma from the attack, a few days in therapy has made them right as rain. The one goat that was injured seems to be doing better and is listed in stable condition. We are hoping that there will not be any complications.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Billy Goat Gruff

Someone in our goat group somehow found out about someone that needed to store their billy goat someplace for a while. Coincidentally, we need a billy goat because it is time to get our goats pregnant. Amazing how things work out sometimes isn't it?

One thing I don't think anyone realized, I certainly didn't, was how unpleasantly fragrant goats in heat can be. Unfortunately, the billy goat is even worse. Together, they really stink the place up. To help keep this as minimally as possible, we are keeping the billy goat away from the nannys during the night and letting them be together during the daytime. We want to keep them out of the milking barn as much as possible so it doesn't make an already unpleasant situation worse.

I'm not sure how anyone else is handling this, but when I milk in the morning, I do the milking as normal, letting the nannys eat as normal. But when I'm done, I kick(sometimes literally) them out of the milking barn, lock it up and take a bunch of feed over to the sleeping barn. I then get the billy goat out of his holding pen and let him loose on the unsuspecting, but always affable, nannys. For the evening milking, I put the billy back in his holding pen, dump some feed for him there so he can eat as he wants during the evening. I then proceed to milk as normal.

I'm not sure how long until we know if all the goats are pregnant but I'll let Trent worry about those details. He and Mike seem to be the brains behind this operation. I do know that the taste of the milk has not improved at all since the billy goats arrival. I'm not sure how much more it can deteriorate until my minions start an uprising over it.