Oh my! What a morning I've had. My kids are gone camping with their grandmother and that leaves the chores for me to do on my own. My hard working hubby would help, in fact he did the chicken feeding and watering last night, but he leaves way to early in the morning to help with the goat chores. We have 6 goats right now, hoping to down size a bit this coming fall, but for now we have 6. Four of our goats are full size Nubian's and all have attitude. The other two are Nigerian Dwarf...so sweet and well mannered, MOST of the time. :)
This morning was a challenge...I am not normally the one down there doing all of this on my own. Goats are smart, let me tell you, and they KNOW it's not normally me on my own and they worked it this morning. Milking went fine, that was a breeze. We have a system that the goats stick well to and as long as we follow the same routine, they are fine. Then came feeding time. I gave the girls their hay and water, then refilled their baking soda and minerals. All of this, except for the baking soda and minerals can be done from outside the pen....smart thinking on the part of my wonderful hubby. I am the one that instructed my son where to hang the mineral feeder...not the best location in the stall. I'll admit it. :( No problem filling the feeder with the minerals and soda, it wasn't until I had to exit the stall that things started to go sideways. Our yearling doe was standing in front of the gate, as I got her moved and the gate open that gave Cookie (our Nigerian Dwarf) her way out. I was distracted with Savannah and not paying attention to how far I had opened the gate. Cookie tried to squeeze between my legs, almost knocking me over. Thankfully she didn't get out, but we had a wrestling match...me with my hands full of baking soda and the mineral scoop. Whew...that escape plan was thwarted and I moved on to feeding and watering the boys.
The buck stall is behind the main barn, so I took the hose back there and put it into their watering bucket. Then came back into the barn to grab a few flakes of hay and to turn on the hose. As I was unlatching the boys gate, I was unable to see that Sam, our Nigerian Dwarf wether was situated in a place where he had an easy escape once the gate was open.
The gate flew open...thanks to Sam...and I struggled to get the hay into the feeder, thinking (not really using my brain at this point) that they would follow me to the feeder. In the mean time, Sam was out and Cooper (our Nubian buck) had gotten out of the pen. THAT is when I realized that Cooper no longer had his collar on him. FUN! I get to chase down a 180 pound buck (thankfully not in rut or he would be extremely fragrant) and try to convince him to go willingly back into the pen. Sam was another matter. That short legged little stinker is fast, I can be a fraction of an inch from his collar and he will bolt just out of reach. Thankfully he wasn't as hard to catch as he has been in the past and he was lead to the pen without much trouble. Cooper, that was another story. He was thoroughly enjoying his feast of blackberry leaves and nice tasty grass. Every time I'd get close to him, he'd push himself farther into the thorny brambles and out of my reach. Grr!
So, what did I do? I thought about leaving him out until he had his fill, but I have other things to do...like scrapbook in my quiet house....ALONE! :) I went to the barn, questioning my knot tying skills. You see, my Navy Veteran hubby is the knot tying expert around here and my skills are very much lacking. I managed to tie what I think is a slip knot or at least something that won't strangle my buck and head toward him. Just as he decided to move onto a more tasty looking blackberry vine I slipped it over his head. Yay! I had him. Then he started to drag ME into the blackberry vines to get yet another tasty bite before I had him in the pen. UGH! I have no gloves on, short sleeves and carpi's on....NOT blackberry vine diving attire. I got him pulled away from the vines, all the while wishing my kids had followed through more with teaching Cooper to take a lead. He bolted into his pen, acting like he was SO happy to be home and looked at me like it was my fault he had been gone from his beloved home for so long. Crazy goat! As I left the buck pen, he bawled at me in his high pitched voice....he sounds like a sissy boy, we always tell him that the girls are going to laugh at him. Normally I will go back and talk to him some more, but NOT today! I'd had enough. :)
Thankfully, that chore is done until my wonderful and helpful husband is home tonight. I can now enjoy my morning and afternoon of scrapbooking...in a quiet house...with no one needing a thing from me...just me, my music and my photos. :) I need this break, need this quiet, need this refreshing. My kids all come home, thankfully, tomorrow. I don't think I could handle another day of chores on my own. :) Plus, I just miss my kids. :)