Saturday, December 19, 2009

Goats (by Julie House)

After 6 months into my externship, I got the opportunity to bring goats home to my family’s 10 acres. This would seem on the surface to be just like managing our sheep and goats at the ranch, and our contract grazing off site. But bringing them home definitely made everything more personal.
Within the first week I got a call at 4 in the morning from my aunt that the goats were in their yard. In an attempt to bring them back to their paddock, I learned that they do not herd the same as sheep, and having them separated from the sheep at my house made driving them down the hill much more difficult without the use of a herding dog. By five thirty, I had made some progress back to our property, but had given up on getting them into their pen by myself and made the phone call to Dan to bring Taff, his herding dog, and come over to help.
Since then, they did get out into the neighbors yard once more, but I have become a better fence builder since and have managed to keep them contained. They still always seem to keep the family busy. My dad will feed the dog when I am late coming from the ranch. One of our guard dogs died of old age a few weeks ago, and yesterday a doe fell into the ditch and needed a good push to get out. Also, I have walked more of the property than ever before and seen things that I did not know were there, thanks to the goats for uncovering them.

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