I purchased 900 pounds of meadow and pasture grass seed this past fall as we had more dirt than anything growing. The soil was in pretty bad shape from being over grazed and untended, a silt that lacked any integrity at all, and in dire need of something nourishing and protective.
Now to add manure and foragers.
I went over to the ranch, loaded them in my car, they hunkered down and slept all the way home, and then when we got here, they went into their pen and cried and cried and cried.
So we all went in there and sat with them, touched the ones that wanted to be touched, brushed the one that wanted to be brushed, and fed them grain by hand.
We did this for about 4-5 days before they looked forward to seeing us and wanted us near them.
We opened the pen gate and let them out into the pasture, watched, observed, stayed with them as they still seemed uncertain without their mom around, and then noticed that they not only weren’t eating any grass, they were actually avoiding it.
A flower here and there, weed tops, broad leaf anything, and then … oh wait a fruit orchard! All three within a nano-second made a beeline for the orchard and just started to rip the leaves off of every branch at an alarming rate.
So we learned, if we wanted to keep anything it must have a very large fence around it.
The buck we had to send back to the ranch, he was difficult, shy, and pushy with fencing, even electric net. Gorgeous male but I was not set up to have a buck, and I only saw frustration in my future.
Once he was gone the two females really settled in and started to want to be with us, bonding was happening, finally.
I used my dogs harnesses and puppy collars and started to take them for evening walks, and mowed some trails in the back pasture to practice trail work.
Weed eaters, manure makers, packgoats, pasture friends.
What I am noticing is that they catch on to vocabulary very quickly, quicker than a dog for sure. They learned their names and coming to us and follow us in one day. They know HUP, to get up on something, and my son is teaching them tricks.
I am familiar and fluent when working with predators, like canines. Owning and working with prey animals is very different for me and I am loving the challenges and adventures so far!
I am a proud member of the NORTH AMERICAN PACK GOAT ASSOCIATION … Woop!
2 Comments Add yours
Nancy – You remind me of Abraham Lincoln. He had goats that he kept on the White House lawn and enjoyed playing with them.
hahaha – well he wasn’t wrong, they are super fun to play with, and truly enjoy the company! Nancy