Monday, June 10, 2019
Living with Goats [Prepare to Share your Sandwich]
I have been writing a monthly article "Tails & Tales from Apifera Farm" for our regional paper The Lincoln County News. Since many of you that follow me have no need to subscribe to the paper, I will be republishing the articles one month after they come out in the paper. This article was from March. Enjoy.
Buy a whole bunch of pasture fence. Make sure it's five foot tall or higher. Spend your whole weekend getting it up. Run electric wire on the top and bottom of the fence.
Put the goat in the fenced pasture. Explain to the goat that this is her goat-side, and over there, that is your human-side. Explain to her what an electric current is. Goats are very smart and appreciate facts, even if they often ignore them.
You are now tired, but also pleased with accomplishing your new goat-proof fence. Make a good sandwich, preferably with home grown tomatoes and good bread. Get your lawn chair.
Sit in your lawn chair and enjoy your sandwich.
As you chew, notice the goat roaming in the nicely fenced pasture you just finished especially for her. Call out to her,
"Hello dear Goat! I see you!"
Enjoy the sweet sounds of the goat calling back to you in goat bleeps. I will translate:
"Hello!" says the goat. "I see you too! What are you eating? You are so close, I can smell the bread! I love bread. I'll be right there! OH! Ouch! Electric current, no problem, it's over now. Oh look! Here I am right by your chair, I will join you and your sandwich."
Say nice things to the goat, then lead her back to the pasture with a bit of the bread. Ask her if she learned that touching the electric fence has consequences. Explain to her in clearer terms why this is her side of the fence and that over there is your side of the fence. As you turn around to leave, you swear you can hear laughing.
Return to your lawn chair. Gather up your sandwich, anticipating the fresh bread and tomato melting in your mouth. Look over at the goat pasture. Oh good, she is still there and clearly understands the rules now. Close your eyes as you chew your sandwich. It is a beautiful day and you have so much to do but
you have a few minutes of peace and quiet to just sit in the sun, and doze for a few minutes.
But wait, you hear foot steps behind you.
"Hello! I'm right here with you again!" says the goat. “I did it right this time though. I went under the fence, no electric shock. No consequences!”
Try to refrain from yelling, harshness gets you nowhere with a goat. Accept that your goat simply wants to be with you, and your half eaten sandwich. Forget about the comfortable lawn chair, and walk back to the pasture with your goat. Find a good rock to sit on. It is warm from the sun and feels mighty fine on your old bum. Sit and share the rest of your sandwich with your goat.