Thursday, 26 July 2012

Goats - don't like getting their hooves wet!

Cast - Me (Mum) and 21mth old
Starring - Jack and Jill
The goats are such a pain!  They just don't like getting their hooves wet and refuse to go into wet paddocks!  Since we live in Tasmania and it is winter, it IS wet (although we do have more sunny/cold days than wet!). Today I had to drag Jack down to the paddock, and then go back and drag Jill as Jack bleated dejectedly in the background.  All the while 21mths was having a huge paddy because he wanted to feed the goats their bucket...
I really do love the goats but today the three of them (goats and little boy) really did my head in!  Daughter had gone to Uni, so I was left to breakfast all of the animals and move the goats into the 'blackberry' paddock.  Jill and Jack had been in there the day before, and weren't too happy as the paddock is mushy in places, and they don't want their feet to get wet!

I let 21mths feed them both.  We (the goats and I) endured another tanty as both goats put their head in the bucket again.  Then I put the lead on Jack and tried to lead him down the paddock.  He wouldn't budge.  So I thought I would use the bucket, but then 21mths had a huge meltdown because he wanted to hold the bucket.  Then I went and got another bucket, 21mths wanted that bucket (he wanted both), and when I said that we were sharing he had another whammy!  I had had enough by this stage and walked off with Jack and my bucket.  I managed to get Jack halfway down the paddock, when Jill decided that she would come too, and so then 21mths followed. Aha! I had a procession going!  Then Jack decided to lock all four legs and not move.  He had realised where he was going.

I then cajoled, threatened and simply dragged the poor goat down the paddock, leaving two streaks in the grass behind him.  I stopped to open one gate, and looked back at 21mths whinging behind me, but Jill still stood where we had previously stopped.  I continued to drag Jack through the next paddock, grateful that it was all downhill.  We had passed the Alpacas at this stage who were looking on in great interest (so much for thinking the goats walked better than the Alpacas!).  I opened the next gate, checking 21mths is still whinging in the rear, and Jill still stood two paddocks back.

Jack was dragged relentlessley over the mushy ground to the dry patch surrounded by blackberries, and I quickly tethered him.  He immediately started carrying on like a chop, which didn't appeal to Jill at all!  I gave him a quick rub around the neck, and told him that I would 'get' Jill.  21mths then demands to be carried ('up', 'up'), so with an already aching back, I start back with 21mths on my hip, to retrieve Jill.   I clip the lead to Jill after putting 21mths down, and he tries to assist with her full physical 'drag' down the paddock.  We are getting no-where fast so I distract 21mths with some straw and tell him to take it to Jack.  21mths wanders off the in the correct general direction and I follow dragging the goat behind me.  The paddock now looks like someone has done a burnout in it, and I wonder how much weed spray would cost.

Finally I get Jill into the paddock with 21mths in the general vacinity, when 21mths starts crying.  Looking up I can't see him at first, and that is because he has face-planted into a muddy puddle!  I call out to him that he is OK, and to get up as I rush over to him.  Poor boy has mud all over his face and jacket. I give him a cuddle and check he is OK, apart from being wet and muddy, he is fine.   I ask him if I can have a photo for Daddy, to which he consents, but then as I am taking it he starts crying 'up', 'up'.
Just pick me up!

I give him another cuddle (but I think that there is no way I can carry him back up the paddocks!), so I distract him by asking him if Thomas was wet?  He checks, and Thomas is all good.
Thomas - still warm and dry.
I slowly walk and talk him out of the paddock, and he helps me close the gate.  As we approach the gate to the next paddock, I hear a high-pitch screaming bleat, and turn to see Jilly squeezing herself under the electric fence and suffering a huge shock!  Jack has started screaming after her, and she shakes herself off and comes running up me looking very pleased!  I just don't believe it!  I get 21mths to stack some sticks, and the poor boy takes on the job regardless that he is sopping wet, and I re-tie Jilly with the lead and drag her back.  By the time I have returned to 21mths, he has a good pile of sticks but is getting bored and poking the cow poo. As we are about to leave Jilly comes through the fence again!
By now I am thinking of using weed spray unethically, and as 21mths starts to complain (and with good reason!) I drag Jilly back again, split the tether chain and tie them both to seperate trees with the water bucket between them.  They both look at me, and then begin eating the blackberries!!  21mths has been so patient, and now he has had enough, so I am obliged to carry him up the three paddocks (and it is up-hill) singing 'Jack and Jill ' (but with slightly different nursery rhyme ending) and end up very out-of-breath when we finally arrive at the house.

Later that afternoon I run down to release the goats from blackberry captivity, and they both happily follow me back (no leads or buckets required).  I have forgiven them, they act in a similiar manner to dogs and rub their faces up my legs, they are so happy to see me (Jack had a quick nibble on the corner of my jacket). Aawww


  1. At least Thomas was clean and dry :) loved that part!! oh the trials some days.


  2. Hehe, I couldn't believe I was able to distract him with that. Poor little man, he hopped straight into a warm bath and then went to bed for a nap after all of that! :)

  3. Oh I can sooo relate to this! Too funny!