Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The joys of goats and donkeys

Since I wrote about a bad goat experience yesterday I thought I'd tell you about my day today which was a fun and somewhat successful animal day. 

This morning I went to a friend's house to help disbud their 5 day old Nubian baby boy.  He's a dollbaby.  I think you'll agree.
His name is Jasper and he's going to be a cart goat.  His 12 year old owner is going to teach him to pull a cart.  I think that's so cool.

He was so brave about the whole disbudding thing.  He never cried as we shaved the top of his head and I think he only cried out once when we burned the horn buds.  When we were done he cuddled and acted like nothing had happened.  I was very impressed with him.  I hope we did a good job.

It was such a beautiful day today, sunny and 65 degrees.  James and I took the dogs to our field.  I walked and James ran.  The dogs did both.  As I walked I thought about how I'd love for our goats to be able to browse the field.  There's so much more for them to eat over there.  After our 6 laps we went home and I loaded Daisy and her mom, Polly, up in the station wagon for a special treat - a field trip you might call it.  I drove them to the field and took them to the farthest point so they couldn't see the other goats.  I thought they'd be thrilled with all the foliage to nibble on.  Nope.  They freaked out and ran straight toward our house.  I chased after them with a plastic tub of corn.  We got halfway across the 26 acre field when they finally got interested in my bribe.  I grabbed Polly by the collar and led her back to the station wagon.  Daisy followed.  I drove them home and they ran straight to the barn door and their goat lot that has nothing for them to browse on.  Go figure.  It was all very comical but disappointing.  I wonder if they  would have stayed over there if the rest of the goats were with them.

It's a shame that we have these animals and all that acreage and they don't get to enjoy it.  That led me to Chy, my mama donkey.  I'd love to take the donkeys over to the field too.  I haven't worked hard enough with her to get her to walk on a lead so I decided today was the day since it was so pretty out.  Again, I bribed with treats.  I clipped the lead rope on her halter and she briefly pulled away.  I didn't give up like I so often do, for fear I'll upset her.  She didn't resist for too long.  Donkeys are smart and very cautious.  Fortunately Chy has come to trust me these past 6 months and I think she wants to please me.  I really do.  We didn't go very far, 5 steps this way and 5 steps that way,  but I think it was a successful training session.  When we were done she was very affectionate.  She wanted hugs and scratches.  I felt really good about it.  I need to be more disciplined about my training.  Maybe one day I'll be able to walk her over to better grazing in the field.  I'd put her in the station wagon but I don't know how I'd get Shiloh in there with her too.

I'll take days like this any day over the disastrous kidding 2 nights ago but it's all part of owning animals and I'm thankful for every one of the experiences, good or bad.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a fabulous day. Only got to 59 up here but it was wonderful.

    How about a large portable goat pen for the big field. You will figure something out.