Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Just your everyday chaos

Mike finished the first two kidding pens over the weekend. Nothing says "I love you" like new kidding pens that keep your sweetie out of the freezing cold while waiting for goats to give birth. This ranks right up there with Valentine's Day five years ago when he installed a toilet on the second floor of our newly-built house, which we'd already moved into, although it was unfinished.

So, this afternoon, I decided it was time to move the three goats that are due next week. They were in the big barn, and I needed to move them to the smaller barn, where the kidding pens are located. I would have to take them through an area where seven other goats were currently hanging out, so to make things simpler, I had Jonathan trap them out in the pasture. Coco and Carmen were agreeable about moving to the smaller barn, but the third pregnant doe, Anne Bronte, suddenly decided to put on the brakes once I had her between the two barns. So, Jonathan came to help. I pulled Anne's collar while he pushed her back end. We finally got her into the small barn and into her new pen.

Then I remembered that I had left the door open to the big barn. Jonathan and I went running into the big barn to find exactly what I'd expected -- the seven goats that had been trapped in the pasture were now in there. Some were feasting on the hay stacks, while others were trying to get into the horse grain and llama feed. So, we used what Sarah (our November apprentice) called the gorilla technique -- we jumped up and down, waving our arms and making mean noises while running towards the goats. We managed to get them to the end of the barn where the door was located, but none of them would go through the door. A few of them finally ran outside, but Clare ran towards me, slipped past me, and headed back towards the hay stack. I went after her. Another goat broke ranks and headed for the hay stacks, and Jonathan went after him.

The next thing we knew, Sovalye, the livestock guardian was running through the barn. He is supposed to stay in the pasture. This was especially bad because Porter was in the barn, and Sovalye thinks the barn is his domain. I told Porter to get out, but that wasn't good enough for Sovalye. No, he had to let Porter know how unhappy he was with the fact that the English shepherd had dared to enter the barn. Just as Porter exited the barn, Sovalye attacked. Jonathan and I started yelling "Bad dog!" and "No!" and Jonathan was grabbing at Sovalye, trying to pull him off of Porter. It's all a blur, but somehow Jonathan and I wound up falling in the snow next to the two fighting dogs. Then the fight was over, and I yelled, "House" at Porter. He high-tailed it to the house as Sovalye watched. Just in case he was thinking of pursuing Porter, I said, "Bad dog!" He put his tail between his legs, lowered his head, and walked away. I looked at the snow where the dogs had been fighting to see if there was blood, but I didn't see any.

But wait, that's not all! Remember, there are still seven goats running around in the barn, wreaking havoc. I guess the goats decided they'd caused enough trouble for one night, because they suddenly became quite agreeable about going back outside. After getting them outside, I went to the house to check on Porter. I was happily surprised that he didn't seem to have a scratch on him. I'm starting to wonder if Sovalye is just toying with all of us. Of course, I'm not complaining. I really don't need any additional vet bills right now. I just wish he would accept the fact that Porter is here to stay. It has been three years!

Trooper update:

I can't believe how much weight Trooper has gained in only five days. His body looks entirely different than it did when we first found him. His belly area has really filled out, and his spine is not as prominent. I'm thinking he was on his own for at least a couple days before we found him. I initially thought he might be a pit bull crossed with a pointer, because of his hourglass figure, but now I'm leaning more towards pit bull crossed with a lab, because his belly has filled out to be almost even with his ribs.

3 comments:

CONEFLOWER said...

What a story. I'm all out of breath!! Perfect example again of why you need to do these sorts of experiments while you are young. Congratulations to both of you!

April Brown said...

Refreshing story, though I'm sure it took a lot of energy!

Deborah @ Antiquity Oaks said...

We were exhausted, too! And on top of it all, I ripped my coat from my arm all the way down to the bottom of the coat, so it's pretty worthless now.

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