Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas all and may your stars twinkle brightly!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Good For a HUGE Laugh!

Yesterday I had one of those farm occurances that you never expect to have happen. It was pretty funny and I so wanted to go get my camera, but the silly doe (goat) was panicking. so her well-being took precedence.

One of my Angora goats, Delila, got a 5 gallon Fortiflex, horse-watering bucket stuck on herself. It was tied and she was eating her grain but obviously broke the rope resulting in a HUGE goatie predicament of catastropic (in her opinion anyway) situation. Evidentially while I turned my back to continue feeding, disaster happened. Angoras typically keep their horns and my 2 girls DO have them. They aren't normally a problem with them though. They curve back and down so aren't in the way much and they try to avoid having them touched.

But, the not-to-bright Delila tried to jump thru the bail of the bucket. Yes, RIGHT, she got STUCK! BOY was she STUCK! She had both front legs thru it and it was sticking out to the side and probably not too comfy as she is full grown! I'm also sure she had some encouragement in this endeavor. I rushed over to rescue her as the herd queens were standing and staring at her. They were also probably laughing hysterically inside, knowing those 2! Plus it was Claire's feed bucket, not Delila's! Delila and her twin, Daisy, normally eat from a mineral bucket that is short, much wider and a bail too small to get thru. It's big enough for both to eat together which is their preference. And, the bail of this black bucket is not the shape of a goat's ribcage right behind her elbows! She was STUCK, but she was also being "pinched" a bit.

Have you ever tried to remove a full grown, panicking goat from a bucket? Well, let me tell you, it's NOT easy and it's NOT quick. It's also not something Delila wanted me to be a part of.

I finally had to get her out of the pen (easily done) so I could work on it without help. I think the queens were offering to blast her the rest of the way thru the bucket if I'd quit yapping at them and get out of THEIR way. BRATS. You're right, my girls are NOT all nice to each other. I have BULLIES in my barn! (Note that is b U lly, not b i lly, he's in the other a pen and referred to as a buck, not as a billy.) Any way, I digress and Delila has escaped the barn all together. And, of course, # 2 BULLY, Sugar, has jumped out of the pen to come help. After all, any goat with a huge black growth must need chased off the farm!

Eventually, I get Sugar bully (use to be Sugar baby) shut back in the barn and it's just Delila and I and the horrid bucket - in the rain. Fortunately, I did manage to get it moved back from her girth to her loin area. She STILL couldn't get out though and had it back on her side. I had to get the bail moved to better align with her anatomy which did help. But it meant the bucket needed to be worn with it up off her back like a camel. It was NOT going to come off the direction it get jumped into. The horns were going to be a massive issue, not to mention her shoulders and her CURLY locks. It was raining out pretty hard so by this time she had WET, CURLY locks that wanted to stick to and wrap around the bucket like burdocks on your socks, or sand burrs sticking to your bare skin. The deeper the better and NO help in any manner. Curls like this like to turn into knots when wet!

Digressing again, I've never washed fleece before. I've been afraid of doing it for fear of turning it into a major matt that can never be returned to curly locks. So, I was really taking note of the wet locks adhering to my fingers, the bail of the bucket, etc.

Delila informed me thru flinching and trying to get away from me that it wasn't too comfy for her and she was now blaming me for the whole escapade. She wanted distance and no part of my shenanigans. Did I ever tell you that she and twin Daisy came from a big "spread" in TX and were dam-raised as it typical for angoras? So if you know goats, you know that they aren't the lay-in-your-lap, adore-your-human types. I may as well be a predator at this point and the bucket is also one!

Finally, after some trips around the yard, her hunger helped and directed her to the round bales of hay where Summer (mare) was busy munching and observing the chaotic, frantic, light bulb with the dimmer on doe. As soon as she was in the corner with her mouth full, I was able to get my hands on that bucket again. THIS time, it turned around on her flank much easier so I was able to move it further to her rump and it became a huge tail. Maybe she thought it was a jockey and she had become a race goat. Actually, I know better. She is not a "thinker". She's a blind runner without a thought flitting thru her brain.

But, a few more attempts at sliding the offending bucket even further back were successful. The hard part was holding on to a horn, keeping my knee into her elbow and ribs and sliding an unwilling bucket further back and not pulling her curls out by the root.

It FINALLY worked. I got it off. BUT, Delila didn't know it was off and I had let go of her horn and removed my knee from her side.... AND OFF she went. Only, she didn't know the bucket was off so was still doing the bucket-bound-goat-dance and was still sure that it was going to eat her right up. And, being the "predator" I am, I took the offending predatory bucket and headed to the barn. It was still pouring buckets of rain upon my bare head and my sweat pants and jacket were now totally soaked and water was running into my rubber "mud" boots.

Fortunately, goats HATE the rain. That being, Delila came to her senses and decided being in the barn was her place to be and in she came, still bucking and dancing. When I returned her to her pen, she finally realized she was minus one bucket and still hungry. So she headed to her own bucket while skirting around the others of which she probably expected to be the next to grab and eat her. Her problem then was that Daisy had finished the grain that both would have shared and Delila had none! HER bucket was empty and it wasn't suppose to be as she'd not had her dinner!

I felt bad for her and gave her a bit while talking to her and making sure the queens kept their distance. That's not either as I seem to have Velcro on me and they have the other joining piece.

Eventually calmness resumed and chores were finished. I, however, continued to shake my head and periodically chuckle while muttering under my breath.

All those humorous phrases about not the brightest crayon in the box, not the sharpest knife in the drawer, not the shiniest tool in the shed, a sandwich short of a picnic, etc all fit my 2 curly haired Angora does. Are ALL Angoras like this? Is the whole breed dumber as a box of rocks? I so hope not!

Oh, I DID tie the bucket up higher so only the 2 bullies, er queens, can reach into the bottom to eat. Those 2 girls are taller and they really do believe that that bucket is THEIRS. So hopefully I have the bucket situation successfully resolved. These 4 girls don't usually use this pen but, what can I day? I've got Kernals, the ND buck, co-habiting with the ND does and Jewels and MaryJane who came home last week from their community service project. The queens and Angoras are all higher in the pecking order than the 2 younger ND's, Jewels (Alpine) and MaryJane (LaMancha/Saneen). So in order for breeding to go better, the other does had to switch pens as Kernals, Jewels and MaryJane can jump out of the other pen and could have been a breeding catastrophe. (Delila and Sugar bully are also jumpers.)

I betcha chores won't be that exciting for a while! I don't know if any of them could come up with a more hilarious, insane situation!
Did I tell you I now have 4 rabbits? Their cages are hung inside the pen where Delila, Daisy, Claire and sometimes Sugar are. I'm going to do some worm raising for chicken/turkey feed and composting. Maybe I'll be able to sell a few too! Those poor rabbits probably REALLY wonder about their new home. I'm sure they never thought they'd live amongst some CRAZY goats! I have them in that pen as my intent is to periodically (regularly) give them some free time in the pen so hawks don't get them nor other predators. They'll be able to have free run of the pen when the goats are out doors during the day. So they should be happy with the situation as they have daily comical entertainment!