When I was doing my rounds last night, including the outer yard, I got some company.
Though we made a point of closing the gates in the chain link fence, the truth is, the goat could have gotten out at any time, if she wanted. And this time, she wanted to follow a cat!
As I did my founds this morning, she followed me for the entire circuit!
We were having no luck closing her up in the pen we threw together, but maybe… just maybe…
Would she follow me if I walked over to her owner’s place?
I figured it was worth a shot. After having breakfast (and taking some pain killers!), a grabbed a bit of feed in a bucket and started walking.
She enjoyed a bit of feed while I locked the gate behind me. 🙂
For the first while, we were being followed by Creamsicle and Butterscotch. The goat was happy to come along with all of us.
Also, I spotted these ahead on the road. I zoomed in, and it’s hard to see, but…
… can you see those shapes on the road?
There was about 4 or 5 of them, all in a row, when I first spotted them.
I often hear their calls from that direction, and had a good idea of where they were, and this has been confirmed.
This is where the cranes were. When I was a kid, we used to all this area the Three Ponds. In reality, it was more like one pond and a couple of marshy bits, but we didn’t care!
I spent many happy hours slogging around in the water, spotting mysterious creatures among the underwater plants and observing them.
This area is so full of water right now! The last couple of years, even the deepest part here was almost completely dry.
For a while, I thought leading the goat wouldn’t work. I almost reached about a third of a mile when the goat started going back the other way. She was following the cats. Butterscotch and Creamsicle were following, but they reached about the quarter mile mark and didn’t want to go any further. I ended up back tracking quite a bit, before the goat was willing to turn back to me. What I ended up finding was that if I walked my normal pace (which is a brisk walk), she would actually run to catch up with me, and follow along more diligently, rather than wandering off to the ditches as she did when I walked slowly. Especially after we had to pause to let a truck drive by. I think it spooked her a bit, and she kept up with me a lot more after that.
I’d posted earlier about the flowing stream I’d found that was a surprise to me. This is where that water reaches the road.
We are past the farm’s property line at this point. The photo on the left belongs to the guy who owns the goat, I think. That quarter section has been split up since we last lived in the area, and I don’t know where the new lines have been drawn, so I can’t be sure.
This is part of the municipal drainage system, and one which takes advantage of a low area that was already there, naturally. In one of the photos, you can see some piles of dirt from when it sometimes gets dredged. This is more what I was expecting, at our place. Basically, a big ditch of slowly draining water. Not a fast flowing stream.
It’s hard to see in the photo, but the markers are warnings for the dip that runs across the road. When I was a kid, this section of road would get washed out, every spring. Sometimes, so much would wash away, the school bus couldn’t get through. The driver would have to reverse the bus for about 2/3 of a mile, before he could use our driveway to turn around in. Eventually, the municipality cut down all the trees that were growing along the ditches on either side. After that, the road no longer washed away. It wasn’t until after I moved off the farm that the drainage ditch was dredged out, and a culvert placed under the road. It’s at this culvert that the road is sinking!
We turned at the 1 mile intersection, then it was another 1/4 mile or so to the driveway of the owner. It was at this point that I think the goat started to really recognize things. She perked right up and started going ahead of me, instead of following behind.
When I started going down the driveway, which is closely bordered by trees, it took a bit to get the goat to go down the driveway, too – but soon we were walking past a goat pen, and she went right over!
Just look at the size of those bucks!
The other milk goat is in there with them.
As I continued down the driveway, I was greeted by three BIG Great Pyrenees dogs, wagging their tails, furiously. I didn’t know he had dogs! I’d seem them before, but in other people’s fields, and had no idea who they belonged to. Such gorgeous animals!
As I went around, I saw the other goat pen way beyond the house. The owner, however, was not home.
I didn’t expect that. With the lock down, pretty much everyone is home. I didn’t even think that he might not be.
So I sent him a text right away, letting him know the goat had followed me over, and was at the pen near the rams (he called them rams, but male goats are called bucks).
The response was not what I expected.
I thought, at the very least, he would be happy for relieved the goat was home again.
Instead, he was all stressed out that she was there and not in a pen.
Long story short, he told me he was going to get a buddy to go over and put her down.
I tried to reassure him, saying the goat would stay near the other goats and be fine, but nope.
At that point, I was most of the way home again and just stopped responding. She’s his goat, and he can do what he wants with her, but what the heck? Why such an extreme response?
I find myself wondering. He could have been having a lot more problems with the goats than he’d hinted at before, and maybe he had been counting on us taking the two milk goats off of his hands. He had still wanted her back to breed with the bucks, though, and would have kept her until we had a pen ready. Maybe he thought that if he said this, he expected me to turn around and take her back? I don’t know. I’m only guessing.
Whatever his reasons and motives, I can’t help but feel ticked off that he was so eager to just shoot her. I didn’t want or even expect any sort of thanks for bringing the goat back, but I did expect him to at least be happy to have her again. Not immediately have her put down.
Whether or not he’ll follow through with this, I don’t know. I don’t know what circumstances he’s going through with his goats, it’s not up to us, and we are not in a position to take the goats ourselves right now. There is just no way we can set up the fencing needed right now. A few months from now, maybe, but not right now.
In hindsight, I probably should have contacted him before I headed over, but I hadn’t planned on doing it, and didn’t even know it would work. Now, I kinda wish I hadn’t.
It has, however, been a learning experience for us.
I still think we will be getting milk goats, but will go back to our original timeline. We’ll take a couple of years to get ready for them, while continuing to clean up around the property. Then, when we do get them, we will buy them from someone I know, who raises goats and works very closely with them; these will not be untamed goats!
Meanwhile, we can dismantle the pen we threw together, then put together the stuff that is his, like the chicken wire and food containers. I might end up using the wood to build squash trellises, instead. I should probably be outside already, working on that, but…
I’m just feeling quite ticked off right now.