Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Goats and Cats--and a Dog [In No Particular Order]

The billy goats, Dandelion and Caraway, prior to their break out from the pasture.
When F. arrived home, he set to work reinforcing existing fences and constructing a sturdy 2- strand electric fence to separate the goat pasture from the area below our garden.
The billy goats were kept under surveillance in the dry goat pasture for a week and the four non-milkers moved across the lane to what had formerly been the domain of the bucks.

My favorite of the mature goats, Zenobia, who is the oldest goat in the herd. Her distinctive black 'beard' doesn't show well in this photo.

Dandelion with his head through the gate.

Bobby Mac showing off as he keeps me company in the garden.

Charlie is likewise a companionable soul, often getting in the way of my hoe, wanting my attention when I am weeding.

For a few days the dry goats stayed in the long pasture which borders the shady side of the lane.
They were alert to my footfalls whenever I walked down the lane and quickly formed a procession on their own side of the fence. 
I have found that goats are very conversational. 
At convenient spots along the fence,  heads were thrust through to be patted and complimentary remarks were exchanged. 

One of the goats, Evonnia, found a way to escape the pasture. Returned by F. she refused to stay in.
When I walked down last evening I was surprised to find that the ladies had been returned to their original pasture and the bucks were back across the lane.
F. assures me that the boys have considerable respect for an electric fence.
I will miss the enthusiastic greetings of the does.  If I wish to fuss over them I will need to go through the barn and out to the hill pasture gate.

The baby goats at their grain trough.
When I was caring for them, there was persistent pushing at the fence above the trough.  One little girl goat managed to get her head stuck three times.
I lashed a variety of found objects to the fence as a deterrent. 

This is Munchkin, who patrols the hill pasture. The dry goats are her usual 'group' to guard.
She is friendly, takes her job seriously, doing a great deal of barking.
When we drive up or down the lane she races along the fence, whirling in circles as she nears the end of the pasture.

Charlie and Willis frequent the garden, sometimes disagreeing as to who is 'top cat.'
Willis takes his role as the farm overseer to heart.

Charlie is an amiable nitwit!

Sally, one of our outside cats. Sally likes to assist if I am weeding the strip below the porch. 
She and her sister, Sadie, have developed testy ways in response to the years of lordly dominance by Willis.

One of the mom-cats who lives in the goat barn.

Misty morning in the pasture.

Delphinium, waiting her turn to be milked.
She habitually stands in her grain bucket, removing her feet only to put her head in the depths of the bucket and slam it against the wall. 



  1. You know, I always wanted goats - Anglo Nubians just like these. I love their names (especially Zanubia, which sounds like Zenobia, one of the Bronte heroines they created and wrote about).

    I hope that the goats now decide to stay put in their relative fields - interesting how the boys were respectful of the fence and the girls just did what they planned anyway!

    Lovely cat photos. I have bought a pot of catnip for mine, but it's high in the greenhouse until it may survive their interest once it's planted!

    1. Jennie; Interestingly, the nanny who got out didn't challenge the electric fence, but found some other way out of the pasture. As F. admitted ruefully, "Goats are not the easiest livestock to keep!"
      Something about the Nubian registry requires that goats born during each year must be named with a designated letter of the alphabet. B. has told me this year it is "H." Not many have names yet--a fine buck called Hickory is a keeper as is one the triplets, a black girl with a distinctive 'roan' frosting. She is Heather.
      I have usually needed to barricade a new planting of catnip, otherwise it is ripped from the ground. Once well established it can survive an enthusiastic feline wallowing!

  2. What an amiable menagerie! Their habits and quirks and personalities are endlessly interesting.

    1. J.G.; Much as I am enjoying the goats I'm glad they are not my usual responsibility. B.'s herd has been built up over about 2 decades and they are handsome creatures. Life with animals has its aggravations and losses--but it is never boring!

  3. What an enjoyable post about the critters in your life.

    Have a great day dear Sharon ~ FlowerLady

    1. Rainey: 'Critters' makes me think of Ellie Mae of Beverly Hillbillies fame! I have learned to enjoy the great range of vocalizations which the goats can produce. Who knew?

  4. They sound like interesting neighbors. One cat always has to dominate, had one who would forcefully remove the other cats from our bed at night.

    1. Janet; I read this and smile--remembering several felines who, if they didn't actively chuck another off the bed, would make life so miserable that the supposed 'intruder' would plop to the floor and scuttle away.

  5. Lovely for you to have the pleasure of the goats without all the responsibilities!
    Your cats are looking well and happy. I remember when Willis arrived with you . He`s a fine mature cat now.

  6. Ann; Isn't it astonishing---this is our 7th summer in Kentucky which makes Willis a cat of sober and mature years!
    The goats are a constant source of interest--and of course they are excellent as grass mowers and browsers of brush. They made short work of the brambles growing along-side the barn.

  7. The animals of whatever sort are a collection of real characters aren't they:) Dandelion looks so innocent in the first photo - butter wouldn't melt as they say!

  8. Rowan; It doesn't take much time spent around animals to realize that each one has a distinct personality. Dandelion continues to greet me when I walk past the reinforced fence of the buck pasture--I speak to him but I don't have any wish to associate closely with him!