Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Moooa ha ha ha!

I'll tell you about the maniacal laughter later.

Today, Mary went to Bible study once we got the kids off to school. I was here by myself for a while.

So, I went outside and took care of the animals. There wasn't a whole lot to do, though. I went into the main shelter area to check on things and Sarah (the horse) came up to see me when I went to the opening that leads to the pen. I petted her and talked to her. When I walked back to the door, she followed me. That's kind of unusual. What isn't unusual is that the goat ran up and got between me and the door. I don't know if she was looking for attention, or if she wanted to escape.

But the horse wanted more attention. I petted her some more and hugged her neck (shhhh! Don't tell anyone!). Anyhow, ever get kissed by a horse? I keep telling her that she's supposed to be Mary's horse.

But I finally escaped. I tossed the horse a pitchfork full of hay because she was pretty much down to just stems.

Now the goats... you have to understand the goats. They are real stinkers. They are intelligent -- more so than cows, anyhow. And sneaky, too.

That little one keeps squeezing through the fence into the chicken roost area and eating the laying mash (chicken feed). If the shelter area door is open, he escapes.

I told everyone that he's going to go to the meat processing business if they don't get around to teaching him to pull a cart. That's what they got him for, but now they're distracted from that by the horse. Maybe they'll believe me, and maybe not. In any case, I have been calling him meat boy because you're not supposed to name your meat animals.

He escaped again later, so I picked him up and carried him back to the pen. He isn't hard to catch because he comes to humans like he would his mother. I picked him up to carry him, and he tried to kiss me. Dumb goat! How can I take you to the butcher shop if you're going to try to lay goat kisses on me?

Later, we went to the feed mill. I bought 150 pounds of laying mash. The chickens sure have been eating way too much of that stuff lately.

I poured it into the feeder, which made the feeding trough part of it almost overflow. Then, I saw through a gap in the manger that there is a goat sticking her head through the fence. I thought I had taken care of all the places that they could use to get at the feed about a year ago!

So, I beat her about the head and shoulders with a snow shovel.

OK, that's an exaggeration. What I did was to take a plastic snow shovel and use it to make a bunch of noise and commotion so that she would back out. Within about ten seconds, she was at it again.

So, I ducked under the nest boxes and went into the roost area. Before that, though, I shut off the electric fence chargers and grabbed a length of wire.

Both wires run along the ceiling at the back of the roost area. Let's see... the most powerful charger is on the top wire. It didn't take long to hook the small length of wire I brought in from the top fence wire to the metal gate.

I went back under the nest boxes and plugged the chargers back in. The results were instant. I heard a nubian goat baaaa in surprise.

now you know what the maniacal laughter is all about. Frustrating goats...

After that, I gave Mary fair warning that I had electrified the gate. She forgot, though, and started to climb up on it. She was startled so badly that she fell backward right into the shelter area (which is in bad need of a good cleaning). I told her that she should let me know the next time she wants to try that so that I can watch. The doctors tell me that the bruising will go away in a couple months, and that I'll eventually be able to use that body part again.

(Just kidding, of course. One of the things I love about Mary is her sense of humor.)


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