Lakshmi has been getting more and more interested in the goats. She's been coming to the barn with us and sitting on the top rails of the stalls. Yesterday, they were on the causeway, eating honeysuckle leaves, when Lakshmi wandered over in typical cat fashion. Jenny came out onto the causeway and stuck her nose out towards Lakshmi, who then took a few steps over and touched noses with the goat. Too cute!
Sweetie is our soon-to-be mama, and the larger of the does, Bucky is the head buck, Jenny is the smaller doe whose kid died a few weeks ago (before they were moved over here), and we're not sure why, and Ramsey is the smaller buck, who has been sick, but he seems to be doing better on the new "pasture."
Jenny's totally an escape artist, fortunately, she wants to be with the others so she doesn't roam to far.
The guys let them out of their enclosure for a couple of hours while they were doing some other stuff around the property. Wilhelm says it was easier to get them back in today than it was yesterday. Not sure if that's because Buddy was there or what. They stayed right around the barn, which is good. I'm scared that they're going to end up straying into the woods or something and get where I can't get to them easily. I'm wondering if you can train goats to come at a bell or something (like with treats...)
So Jenny, the smaller of the two does escaped not once but twice today. The first time, it was just me and Polka, and I managed to get her in with a minimum of fuss. She got out again after Wilhelm got home. I was in the bathroom washing my hands and thought, "oh, I can see all the goats... wait, why is Jenny on *this* side of the t-post????
We decided to let them free range for about an hour, then the three of us managed to herd them back into their enclosure.
I'm thinking Jenny's trying to get away from Bucky's advances... it's been long enough since her kid died that she may be in heat again. Fun, fun.
The horses are still very interested in the small, noisy creatures, and I think they're a little jealous that the goats got to be outside their fence for a while.
On Wednesday, Wilhelm and Buddy finally made a decision on how to do the pen for the goats! We have a fairly dilapidated barn behind the cabin. Most of one of the side walls are gone, there are some pretty serious holes in the roof over what used to be the stalls, and I don't know if it ever had exterior doors. But, the center aisle roof is pretty sound, and the back of it opens into a good sized area before it drops down into the field. With my input, they decided to use cattle and hog panels to fence in about 15' deep of the center aisle of the barn, and about 20x30' outside the barn. Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot of browse in there right now (as it's February and all), so we've been giving them hay and assorted greenery as we can find it. We have a problem with Devilwood (aka osmanthus americanus around the house, and it tolerates pruning well, so we've been feeding that, blackberry brambles, and a few pine boughs dropped by the latest big storm. So far, they've liked everything. :)
They seem to be doing well, but they're still a little shy of us. The does are Sweetie and Jenny, the bucks are Ramsey and Bucky. I had nothing to do with naming them! Sweetie and Bucky are "ours" and Jenny and Bucky are Buddy's. Sweetie is currently pregnant, probably with twins, and is due to drop in the next couple of weeks. Very exciting!!!
The horses have been extremely interested in what's going on across the road from them. When we were installing the goats, the horses were all standing right near the fence, looking very intently at the barn. It was really quite amusing. They've chilled out considerably in the last 2 days, but from what I understand, they weren't terribly well human socialized to start with.
Polka is totally enamored of the goats, she wants to go see them all the time, and would love it if they would play with her (and since they weigh about the same as she does, I don't know if I'd be worried about it or not), She was very close to climbing into their enclosure by herself today, but I'm trying to convince her that its a bad idea. There should be photos soon! I took them, but haven't put them on the computer yet, and the camera is down at the cottage, and the internet is up at the big house.