Moving the Goats

We decided to move a few of our goats to a different pasture.  That means putting the cage we use to transport them into the back of my truck, catching the goats, lifting them into the cage and driving them to the other pasture.  Sometimes that’s all easy enough and sometimes it’s not.

We didn’t always do it that way.  Before I had the cage, and back when we’d move the entire herd at once, I’d just lead them the 1/3 mile distance between pastures.  Sometimes I’d lure them with a scoop of sweet feed.  Most times I’d put a lead rope on the horse, or a leash on our livestock guardian dog and let one of them lead the way.  The goats would all dutifully follow the horse/dog. I don’t know why.  They just did.

Until the time they didn’t.  Something spooked one of them, momentarily panicking the rest of them.  After they darted off into the woods some of them discovered that they liked it there.  Once the mule train was broken, it was every-goat-for-herself chaos.

Eventually we got them all back into the pasture we started from.  But the pied-piper method of switching pastures was history.

The cage works well.  Except for the fact that it’s a pain to get into the truck bed.  And the only way to get the goats into it is to lift them and push them in.  And sometimes they don’t want to go in.  And sometimes, once in, they don’t want to come out.  But still, it’s not a bad system.

So last week we moved a few of them.  As I was waiting for them to exit the cage I thought it would be fun to take pictures of them jumping out. My camera wasn’t fast enough to catch them midair, except as blurs.  I kinda like the way they came out.

 

They didn't want to get in.  Now they don't want to get out.

They didn’t want to get in. Now they don’t want to get out.

Martha went first.

Martha went first.

Heidi was next.

Then Janis.

Then Janis.

And finally, Joni.

And finally, Joni.

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10 comments on “Moving the Goats

  1. What a great start to my morning! Goats seem to be persnickety things … gotta love ’em. I like how the photos turned out, also. They seem ethereal, to match their eyes. Joy and hard work often go together, and your farm must surely be a prime example of that.

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  2. shoreacres says:

    There are some remarkable similarities between you moving goats and me taking my cat to the vet. She never wants to get in her carrier, and then she never wants to get out. Your goats clearly are much more pleasant throughout the process, though.

    The photos are great. The second and fourth are especially evocative. They remind me of the cave paintings at Lascaux and other sites. It’s amazing how accurate those artists were with nothing more than their powers of observation as a guide. Perhaps it’s our ability to observe that’s eroded.

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    • Bill says:

      I like the 4th one too. She looks like a ghost of goat. When I first saw these I was disappointed. But when I looked at them a second time I was pleased they came out this way. Really interesting comparison to the cave drawings. I’ve always found them intriguing.

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  3. Congress commissions a “study” (report) and moves their goals down the road, while you all move your goats. My father told me the way that animal got it’s name is when they were unloading the ark, the goat went its own way (not obeying) to which Noah responded, “well – go – at!” I have not found the story in Genesis but I’m sure, since my father told me, his story was true. (Also, at the breakfast table where we had “butter” he told me – “a goat makes a good butter” (especially, I suspect, a goat that has horns).

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  4. Bill, moving animals can be interesting. I once tried to help my farmer friend move his black angus herd across the road to greener pastures. A railroad track ran along beside the road. We moved the small herd of about 30 cows down the gravel road from his house and toward the car railroad crossing to get to the other side of that road and the plush pastures there. When we got to the railroad crossing even though the rails were flat with the ground, none of the cows would cross over the tracks. After trying every way possible to get them to cross we finally had to load them in his stock trailer and drive them the short distance to the pasture across the road. I’m not sure why the cows were afraid to cross the tracks.

    Have a great moving the goats day.

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  5. And I’ll bet, given their names, that they sang all the way. 😉

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