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They Are Really Cute Little Creatures

. . . but wow are they destructive!! People are always surprised to learn how we ended up with goats on the farm. It was not by design, and very much by accident. In the fall of 1996 we noticed three goats (mommy, daddy and kid) living under the bridge which is near our driveway at the bottom of the hill. We asked everyone we knew if they were missing any goats or if they knew of someone that was missing some goats. No one ever stepped forward to claim them and we worried they would get hit by a car. So one Saturday afternoon we had what we refer to as the goat rodeo and rounded up these goats and brought them to the barn.

They lived in one of the stalls at first since we didn’t have any other goat proof location for them. Being the animal lovers they are my parents fenced off a new paddock behind the barn with goat proof fencing, and then built the goat condo for them as well. Isn’t this what everyone does when stray goats show up? They also proved to really helpful when we have new residents on the farm. We use the goat paddock as our quarantine paddock and so far each and every horse has fallen in love with the goats as they spend their first days on the farm in the goat paddock.

Ivan’s first day with us

Buffy’s second day with us. I think Buffy loved the goats more than any other horse ever has!

Faune’s fourth day with us. He liked to hang out with the goats.

We all learned to love the goats quickly as they are highly entertaining little creatures. They would jump up in the air and crack their horns together while playing, hop around everywhere, climb on everything, and would stand for what seemed like hours and beat their horns into the nearest tree or fence post. We quickly learned that this activity was not that cute after all. I don’t know how many trees they have destroyed as I’ve lost count over the years.

One of the stumps they haven’t knocked over yet- but they did destroy the tree!

You can see some of the other stumps remaining of former ramming posts

They’ve been systematically working their way around the paddock destroying trees. We hadn’t had to cut any up for awhile as they had been content to ram repeatedly into the stump that was left behind from a favorite tree. They finally managed to uproot the stump though so they moved on to a new tree. Jason noticed the latest tree was starting to tilt a bit and felt we should pull it down with the tractor before it had the chance to be blown over and fall over the fence. Pulling the tree down was the easy part as we simply did that with the tractor. Getting rid of the tree was the hard part.

Dad manning the chain saw

Bugle was our supervisor for the day. Bear felt he’d had far too many supervisory responsibilities lately!

The goats had really outdone themselves this time, and had chosen to destroy a bois d’arc tree, also known as an osage orange tree. As it turns out the wood from these trees is one of the hardest woods out there. My dad, Jason and our friend Carlos decided to tackle sawing up this tree last weekend and 4 dull, overheated chain saws later the job still wasn’t done!

Trying to revive one of the chain saws

The three of them (with Bugle supervising) did manage to get through most of the tree before they had run through all of the chain saws. By the way, in case you are wondering, my chainsaw was never brought out for this job!! I knew things were really going to get ugly when Jason came walking out with an ax in his hand! While my dad tried to get one of the chain saws going again Jason, Carlos and myself took turns with the ax. There are two pictures of me swinging away but they are so un-flattering I am refusing to post them. It is my blog after all!

I knew things were getting desperate when I saw Jason walking out with this

Jason taking a swing

Carlos taking a swing

It took awhile but we did actually chop our way through that tree – once! We decided to wait until the chain saws had recovered to finish off the stump. It was a tough job and I am confident that everyone involved hopes we don’t have to cut up an osage orange tree again!

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