Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A gaggle of goats

Yesterday I wrangled my good friend, Laura (and her baby Isaac - he kinda had no choice), to come on a drive with me to visit a farm up north that rescues goats and tries to find good homes for them. No one knew we were coming, I was just hoping they wouldn't mind once we showed up. Thankfully, when we arrived, a lovely volunteer greeted us at the gate and invited us in to meet the goats. Between Laura and I, we took over 140 pictures in one hour, but I've included just a few of my favorites here, along with the stories that make these pictures so memorable.

This first pic is what I'd like to call a goat posse. If you've never been around goats, the first thing you might want to know is that they are very social (unless they haven't been socialized, in
which case they'd be antisocial...). When we walked inside their fenced home, they came running, ready to sniff us and nibble us and rub their horns against us. Some of them followed us around, never shy to solicit us for affection, and sometimes butting others out of the way who would compete for our attention. I could tell from the get-go, this bunch was full of personality and overall, a gaggle of goat loves.

This dude right here (pic #2) he latched onto me right away. He's a big goat, but thankfully, he didn't have horns (it's easier not having to dodge them). He was all legs and pretty skinny, and he just get nuzzling me for some hugs. My kind of guy...

Speaking of horns, this guy in picture #3, I also caught his eye upon walking into the pen. And notice, he's got rather large horns. I think there's something about the horned goats, because this guy's got a load of personality as well as a flair for mischief. He also followed me around, and after awhile, noticing I was paying attention to a whole bunch of others in addition to him, he must have gotten starved for some affection.
He began
rearing up on his back legs, turning his horned head toward me in mid air and then charging me to do a little head butting (though in my case, it would have been my stomach). I wasn't prepared for this and didn't quite know what to do. I grabbed him by the horns and held him back, though he kept wiggling free and doing the whole routine again. The nice volunteer came and rescued me and remarked that he must be in need of attention. I guess so! This jealous, affection-starved, head-butting goat decided he'd show me just how unhappy he was with my choices by soon after eating my coat. I had rather naively, I'll admit, hung it up on a
gate post outside the entrance to their pen. I was enthralled with taking pictures of goats in another pasture when the volunteer called out, "Is that your coat he's eating?" I ran over and sure enough, Mr. McCoat-Eater was happily chewing the corner of my coat, having already digested part of the elastic cord and working on a piece of plastic that had been fastened around the cord. His little ploy had worked, and we made up (picture #4). I don't know why, I seem to attract the obnoxious ones.

Alright, so pic #5 is just downright heart warmingly adorable. This was Isaac’s first time meeting a goat. He’s a pretty chill baby who takes everything in without giving much away in expression (a lot like his daddy), so you can’t tell by the picture, but he’s pretty enthralled by this first encounter. This was the only baby goat on the farm, and she won her way into all three of our hearts. Someday she’ll be the same size as the big white guy above, but right now, she’s soft and petite and her horns are a very person-friendly size.

Ok, so there was this goat teeter totter that Laura and I thought was amazing. These two goats playing on it (pics #6 & #7) were like actors on a stage, reenacting a scene from the Matrix, barnyard style. It all happened so fast, I didn’t have time to laugh about it until I looked at the pictures.

Now this goat in pic #8, I don’t know her story, but she’s the new kid on the block. She was a bit aloof, but you could tell there was a strong personality underneath all that hair. The more I studied her, the more she resembled a character out of a Shakespearean play.

Finally, the little spotted goat on the left in pic #9, this is Romeo. The volunteer pointed him out to us and shared that she recently adopted Juliet, the goat. It sounds like the makings of a tragic story, because little Romeo here is indeed in love with Juliet, but the volunteer has been unsuccessful thus far in adopting Romeo. The two star-crossed lovers are separated, for now, hopefully with a nicer ending than the play.


  1. I love this! I would love to take Annika there when we visit next!!!!!

  2. Yes, we may need to plan a trip - she'd love it!