It was a big weekend here on the farm!
For the long weekend we had the entire clan plus some friends camp and play at what we have officially dubbed “Ft. Umfleet.” We decided it was kinda silly to pay to stay at Ft. Stevens when we can all sit around a fire pit and swim and play horse shoes and frisby golf and bocci ball AND play with alpacas, chickens and goats right here at Angel Acres! Can’t do THAT in a camp ground! But riding a bike around here can get a little frustrating… and we’re kinda short on beach… and we’re not a REAL military fort, but we DO have a tree fort so that’s got to count for something.
The other big news among the ruminants is we have acquired two new herd members!
Gloria and Halo came to live with us yesterday after Grandpa Goat read my September 3rd post in which I let slip my yearning for more caprine lovelies but lack of further critter funding.
The man is a total soft touch when it comes to goats and even more so over his new found obsession… Alpacas! (He insisted on paying for the boys even though we DID have guard animal funds! LOL) So, GG sends me a link to Craig’s List for these bargain Nigerian Dwarf goats… and they were very inexpensive given their bloodline. By the end of the day I had both doelings for much less than the price of one of my older girls, though it may take a while to get their papers.
Anyhoo… unlike Tina and Junie, these little girls haven’t been loved on or even named. We didn’t realize the degree of their “lack of refinement” until we got them home and tried to get them into collars, onto leashes and out of the truck. The fact they DIDN’T have collars on when we got them should have given me a clue…
Got the collars on fairly easily… even the leashes weren’t too difficult. Thought it would be nice if they were met by T and J happily greeting them on their own leads when they hit terra firma.
It seemed like such a good idea at the time.
The “big” goats lunged forward in an explosion of curiosity.
The “little” goats spontaneously morphed into psychotic, flailing, squealing greased pigs and bolted past us all into the field and began bawling their heads of running full throttle for the extreme front pasture… Gloria with her bright red lead, and I’m sure fragments of my husband’s hand, trailing behind her in open mockery of our attempt at a civilized and uneventful “herd merging.”
They aren’t “grain trained” yet, but after about 30 minutes of frantic pasture trotting, were apparently intrigued enough by the ruckus stirred up by all the other animals beating me up for the bowl in my hand they came just close enough that I could stomp my foot down on Gloria’s leash, upon which more screaming ensued (I’m certain the entire countryside is convinced I was singlehandedly eviscerating the poor tortured beast with a rusty spoon) as she repeatedly hurled herself into the air and slammed unceremoniously back to earth. Guess what. I’m still bigger and stronger and scooped that little micro goat into my arms and carried her defeated fanny back to the barn… her panicked little “sister” tagging right along behind me.
It was like an odd rendition of Noah’s Ark with pairs of alpacas and goats eagerly loping behind me in hopes of seconds on the bribery grain. We got the babies into the pen in the interest of calming them down a bit (or a LOT) and for their own safety since Tina IS the Queen and wasted NO time butting them into submission. I got them all settled in with food and water… grain to spark their appetite (and hopefully exploitable weakness)… felt a mild sense of satisfaction (or at least relief) and went in for dinner.
When I came out to check on them before bed, they were standing outside the pen staring at me in defiance.
They’re very small. I’m convinced they can slip through knotholes when motivated.
After a couple of other epically failed attempts to “protect” them and put them in a small enough environment that they couldn’t avoid my loving overtures and endeavors at emotional manipulation, I have released them on their own recognizance. I am trusting that Tina and June will eventually school them on the benefits of being spoiled rotten and lovingly mauled.
They’ve got a month to straighten the babies out before hoof triming time!
On a bright note… here is evidence that the first round of ruminants is getting along famously. Just this afternoon Shiraz and Early were in the barn laying down in front of the “Alpaca-Free Zone” stall when Tina, seemingly without a care, threaded through their great big bodies and around behind Early close enough to touch and disturb him to the point that he stood up so she could get past him.
And even the goats are getting along better.
Ahhhhhh… sweet progress. I can live with baby steps a little while longer.
That’s all from the Farm for now… except for the free Back to School cupcake my Pixies and I will be enjoying later at The Sweetest Thing. I think we’ve ALL earned it!
Farm Girl, out.