Herd Mentality

It just takes one. At least when it comes to cows and goats.

Arden and I were charged with feeding the goats this afternoon. I’m sure you remember how well that went last time I tried it. But today failure wasn’t an option. If we are going to domesticate these goats, we  have to interact with them routinely.

We got our bucket of feed and trudged through the woods looking for them. At long last we found them and did our best to woo them over to us with the bucket of tasty corn. We banged on it and shook it and even sprinkled some on the ground.

They looked at us. And looked at us. And looked at us.

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We tried getting closer to them, but they backed up every time we closed in on them. Eventually we sat down and prepared for an all-afternoon stare down.

Suddenly one of the goats took a bold step towards the bucket. The next thing we knew they were all around us pushing and head-butting one another to get to the feed.  At that point they even let us pet them. It was a complete change from how standoffish they had been just 30 seconds earlier.

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We let them eat for a good bit before deciding we needed to get to our other chores. As we walked back to the ATV, the goats proceeded to follow us. They followed us all the way down to the gate. We have a feeding trough set up by the gate and in an ideal world, they will come to the trough when we bang on the feed bucket. Because we want them to associate this area with food, we went ahead and fed them some more.

20130731_0039The whole episode totally changed my opinion of goats. They are actually pretty adorable and I am glad we have them. We’ll see if I still feel that way when it comes time to catch them.

We have an early start tomorrow since we have to catch 150+ chickens! I’ll fill in the rest of the details from today (piglet castrations, garden night, Pearl’s groundhog, etc.) tomorrow. It will be a good one, I promise.

 

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