When I am sitting at my computer, I have an old cell phone we not longer use, near the monitor with a live stream from the security camera on the garage. It’s within my peripheral vision, so I notice when there is unusual movement.
Usually, it’s a car going by, or a cat walking down the driveway. Sometimes, at night, I’ll see deer. Today, I saw my brother’s dog came by for a visit.
Today, I saw some odd movement at the gate.
Several dark shapes.
My first thought was, “dogs.” But why so many? I don’t know anyone in the area with dark coloured dogs, either. Also…
… that’s a really weird shape for dogs.
Those aren’t dogs at all.
There’s a herd of goats at the gate!
So, of course, I went to see what was going on.
They saw me coming. Then started following me around like puppies!!
They even seemed to respond to my saying “come on”, and I was able to get them away from the road, where they might get hit by cars.
They were also absolutely fascinated by Creamsicle – and all other cats that made an appearance!
I had no idea who in our area had goats. The person closest to us is my brother, and he doesn’t have goats. All other neighbours are at least a mile away.
So while I was outside, keeping an eye on the goats and making sure they didn’t get into the junk pile, and stopping them from eating the surviving spruce tree my mother planted along the chain like fence, I turned to the wonders of technology!
I posted some pictures on my personal Facebook page, saying that if anyone in our area was missing some goats, they were at our place.
People started sharing it and tagging people. I posted to our renter directly, since they are relatively close and know a lot more people than I do.
When it was time to head into town to get my daughter from work, my other daughter came out to distract them long enough for me to leave, closing the garage and gate behind me. Not that the gate can stop them, since they can just walk through the barbed wire fence, but I didn’t want them following me into the garage or onto the road.
Once in town, I was able to send a text message to one of my neighbour’s down the road that I have a number for. They weren’t hers, and she didn’t know whose they were, but she knew who to ask.
She not only was able to find out who they belonged to, but offered to contact the owner for me to come get them! Meanwhile, I found several comments on my Facebook post, some saying “they’re not mine, mine are all at home!”, but others suggesting they might belong to a person on a certain farm not far from ours. Who turned out to be the same person that was tracked down as the owner!
He was contacted and come over to get them, before my daughter and I even made it home.
Well. Almost all of them.
He only had a car, so he was only able to take them a few at a time. There were only 2 left by the time we got home. He was coming back for the last ones just as we were coming home. In the time it took me to get the van into the garage, he already got one into his car.
The other one had other plans.
We spent probably half an hour trying to catch this goat! Finally, he started talking about coming back with a gun and shooting her.
I told him it was okay to just leave her. Give her time to calm down, then try again in maybe an hour. We could also come out in a while to try again and hopefully get a rope on her or something. He agreed, and left with the goat that was already in his car. Which is when I noticed he was bleeding from a gash near his ear! One of the goats had got him with a horn. 😦
After leaving the goat alone for a while, I came back out to try and get her used to me being around. My younger daughter joined me.
It… didn’t really work.
She calmed down, all right, but she wouldn’t let us near her. She couldn’t even be tempted with a carrot. 😀
She did, however, really like her own reflection in the window of the front door. She also kept going up the stairs to the door facing the spruce grove.
Unfortunately, it’s been a chilly day, with high winds. We even saw a bit of snow! I ended up getting my parka to stay warm.
One of the things we noticed was the goat’s hooves. They were badly overgrown and in need of a trim.
When the owner came back and we tried again, we failed. He even brought treats he knew she liked, but it was not enough.
As we tried to give her time to calm down, I learned more about her. It turns out, she was one of two goats among the seven that are basically wild. They had been living with someone in the “downtown” of our little hamlet, which turned out to be against bylaws, so this guy took them in. The previous owner had not done anything to get them used to humans. The other goats were expensive meat goats, but these two are milk goats, and because they are so wild, he has not been able to catch them to trim their hooves, or even bring them to a ram. They’re only a year old and have not been bred yet. They have also been the cause of all sorts of problems for him, because of their wildness.
This one goat is the wilder of two, and we simply could not catch her. The poor guy felt so bad about inconveniencing us so much, and he started once again talking about shooting her for the freezer, but I told him we were okay with her staying. In fact, after he’d left and I told my daughters what he’d said, I added that were an issue, I’d offer to buy her! It didn’t come to that. We will see how she does. She might end up spending the night. He talked of bringing some feed over, and while we don’t have any shelter she can use, other that possibly one side of the garage (since my mother’s car isn’t in there right now, as it’s still sitting at the garage in town, waiting to be checked), but there’s still stuff the goat could get into. Including where our van is parked. However, there is also the straw bale in the old garden she could use as bedding, or even the straw still around the old dog houses. I even left the back door into the garage open, in case she wanted to get out of the wind – even the goat was shivering from the cold!
So, that’s where we are at now. The goat is still here, and we will see if we can reach her somehow.
For now, however, she is simply standing at the front door, occasionally butting it with her head, and staring at her own reflection!
My mother phoned while we were outside. I called her back when I could and told her about the goats. She was so thrilled to hear about them, and wished she could see them. When I told her that one couldn’t be caught, she was telling us we should keep it! If we could talk to the owner about selling it to us or something.
Now, we’ve talked about getting a milk goat, but we are not ready for one now! We have no shelter, no paddocks, no tools to trim hooves, no anything!
And yet, if it comes down to it, we’re all pretty much in agreement. Rather than let her get shot, we’ll make an offer for it. And maybe he’ll be willing to teach us how to care for goats in the process! 😀
What an unusual day this turned out to be!! 😀