Our goat visitor is definitely a stubborn one!
I spent a bit of time sitting on the bench by the door, hoping to get her interested in some pieces of apple. While I was hoping to help the owner with her this morning, my husband helped in a way that he could: doing research on how to catch a runaway goat.
You can’t. 😀
All the reference he found said that you have to get them to come to you, and suggested luring with food such as fruit or raisins.
I’d already tried a carrot, which she ignored, and it was no better with the apple!
Still, I wanted her to get used to the idea of us being around, and maybe getting curious enough to come close. Since she is absolutely attached to our door, I decided to do some work in the future garden plot. I wouldn’t normally be doing something like this on a Sunday, but being out there was needed.
I had the idea that, if the owner came back with one of the tamer goats on a leash, this goat would probably follow it all the way home. It’s not much more than a mile away, and it would be slow going, but I thought it would work better than trying to catch her and put her in a car! I was able to send a note to the owner with the suggestion, but he said he would try coming back after lunch with some chicken wire to try and corral her.
So I got some progress on the garden while I waited for him to come over, and to let the goat get used to me.
The darker area is what I got done today. I won’t go much further than this, as I don’t want to go too close to the elm tree.
There are so many roots in there! I could go back over the same area over and over, and keep finding more roots!
Also, see the little green dot on the left?
That’s our new soil tester.
For some reason, I thought it tested soil temperature, but no, it doesn’t. It tests for moisture, sunlight and pH.
There is a little switch at the bottom for each setting. Moisture and light were not things I was too interested in at the moment, since I’m still digging roots out.
This is what I was really wanting to know, right now.
The pH. The range for that is marked at the bottom, and I can see that it’s at about 7.5
With 7 being neutral, I find it interesting that is goes down to 3.5 on the acidic side, but only up to 8 on the alkaline side. I guess soil is more likely to be acidic than alkaline? I’ve never really thought about it before! 🙂
Anyhow, this will help me know if I need to amend the soil in any way, before I plant in it. I’ll be testing the soil in the old garden area, where the squashes will be planted, later.
When the owner of the goat came back, we used his chicken wire and whatever we could find around the yard, including the saw horses, to hold it up around the front steps. When she went to have some of the food he brought, he tried to close her in, but she ended up plowing through the wire. After that, she figured out what it was and didn’t allow herself to get corralled in there again.
Several times, we just stood off to the side, avoiding looking directly at her, quietly talking and waiting. I ended up telling him about how we were planning to have milk goats in the future, but in the shorter term, were thinking of perhaps borrowing some goats and have them in a moveable paddock to eat our grass in the outer yard, where I can’t mow. He agreed that goats would be very efficient at that! He also gave me some information on what we would need to do to have a milk goat producing; I hadn’t known, for example, that the kids were weaned at 3 months, and that the goat would need to spend some quality time with a ram right away. She would continue to produce while pregnant, then the cycle would start all over again.
I also told him about our trying to tempt her with apple, but that she ignored it. He told me that she’d never had anything but animal feed! At least now, there is grazing available, but she wouldn’t have had even that for long, in the pen she and the other goat were in, with their original owner. It would have been all gone, quickly, and this was not a moveable pen.
After a couple more attempts to corral the goat, he had to leave for the city. I had assured him that we are quite enjoying the goat, and would happily take her if we could (we just aren’t ready to own a goat!), and I think that was a relief for him. No more talk of shooting the goat for meat! He does have the other milk goat with his ram right now, and he’s really like to get this one in, next. We are absolutely okay with her staying in the yard for however long she needs. It’s not good for goats to be alone for too long, though, so for her sake, I am hoping it will be sooner rather than later.
As we were chatting, and he was talking about wanting to breed her, he even brought up the possibility of giving us some kids!
Before he left, leaving the chicken wire behind for us to use, I assured him that he didn’t need to worry about her, and we would keep him up to date on how things went.
What we did, however, will be for another post! 🙂