I did not think that before this week was out I would have MORE to write about my goats, but as they often do, they proved me wrong. Especially Rosie and Lily.
After the Chicken Soap Opera at the beginning of the week, the goats and chickens all seemed to settle in with each other nicely – Vinny very much so. He’s a ladies man through and through and he loves Rosie and Lily. Monday – it was entertaining.
Tuesday – my husband got tired of the hens not laying in the nesting boxes. They were laying their eggs on the floor of the coop, right NEXT to the nesting boxes, but of course, not IN the nesting boxes, causing us to have to crawl into the coop every single time an egg was laid. I can get in the coop pretty easily – I’m smallish at 5’6″ and 115lbs. My husband is 6’4″ and weighs 220lbs. I could think of a lot of analogies here, but suffice it to say, he is a square peg trying to fit into a round hole when it comes to the Coop.
So I look out the window on Tuesday afternoon and my husband has torn apart Coop D’Ville. He completely removed the entire back wall where the nesting boxes were. Having experience in my husband’s projects, I attempted to lay low. But, alas, he saw me… And summoned me to help… Darn all you chickens to heck for not laying where you were supposed to lay!
It took us an hour, but we got the Coop back together – and I’d like to share the good news that they are actually laying IN the nesting boxes and neither of us have had to crawl in to collect eggs. Hooray! Victory is ours!
Recently, Rosie and Lily discovered Coop D’Ville, and more specifically, the laying feed we have inside. Laying feed is important for hens whose job is to lay eggs – it has lots of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that help in egg production. Apparently, it’s also very tasty to goats. We initially kept the front door open to the Coop because the birds like fresh air and, well, smells. Chicken poop is not nice, I’m sure you might have guessed at that. Rosie, in her ever expanding curiosity, decided one day to jump IN the Coop from the front door and munch on a week’s worth of laying feed. Great job ruining the fresh air, Rosie. We had to keep the door closed from then on.
But did that stop the goats? Of course not. You know better by now. Lily, who is younger and smaller than Rosie, found her way up the ramp and into the Coop to enjoy the tasty chicken feed delights. We still haven’t figured out how to keep her out, except to shoo her away whenever we catch her. Helpful suggestions will be accepted.
Wednesday – Lily slyly went for her daily Coop snack and her big ol’ goat booty broke the ramp. She completely broke the hinge and it came crashing down with a loud kaboom and some baaaa-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ing. It was pretty funny – I feel privileged to have witnessed such a sight – but my amusement didn’t last long because I knew I had to go tell the bossman… My husband.
Me: Hon, uh… Lily broke the ramp to the chicken coop.
Me: Well, she went up the ramp like she’s been doing for the chicken feed…
Husband: No, like, how is the ramp broken?
Me: I just told you, she went up it…
Husband: No, like where is the ramp broken?
Me: It’s at the coop! Where else would it be??
Husband: *silence* I’ll go look at it.
The English language can be tricky, huh? Anyway… After assessing the situation; building new supports for the ramp; and then laying in the chicken poop to install it (EW), the ramp is back together and functioning nicely.
Thursday – I decided to do a whole house clean (I am a clean freak, that’s another blog post, another day). I was in my vacuuming groove (so satisfying – you turn the machine on and the dirt DISAPPEARS), when Sydney started barking her head off. While I can barely get her to give me more than a pathetic “woof” when we’re doing tricks, she has a very formidable bark when she is protecting her property (or so she thinks she is – we let her feel important).
I figured it was the UPS man or maybe even just my husband coming back from the shop – but, no, it appeared there was a large white dog outside our yard and in the driveway. I squinted and looked at the dog more closely. Something wasn’t right. And then it hit me – that wasn’t a dog. That was Rosie. ROSIE WAS OUT OF THE FENCE. And then I saw the other goats – THEY WERE OUT TOO OH MY GOD WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON.
I ran outside in my trusty rubber boots to try and lure Rosie into the front yard so I could close the driveway gate – at least then she couldn’t run into the road and get hit by a car. The worst case scenario thing was screaming through my head and I fought panic. Rosie wouldn’t come to me, despite a handful of treats. I feel like she knew she was toying with my emotions and acted purposefully. I can’t prove it – she’s a goat. But I know by now she’s a sneaky one. She lazily walked/rubbed/scratched along the fence and finally I got her into our front yard where she couldn’t escape. She could go swimming in our pool and grill up some hotdogs, but she couldn’t get to the road. I opened the small gate to the goat yard and hoped she would go in while I gathered/herded/rescued the other goats.
Back out to the driveway I went. I found a large tree branch and attempted to make myself look big (or at least wide) and move the goats back to their fence. Lily is actually doing what I want her to do – WOAH. I’m sure she had no idea she was being helpful – she would never just FOLLOW directions, no way. At this point I’m near the shop so I yell out for my husband to come help. He came out and I all but screamed, “DID YOU GO IN THE GOAT FENCE AND LEAVE THE GATE OPEN?!?!” Husband gives me the look – you’re yelling, stop yelling – and hops in the golf cart to try to get Rosie in from the other side.
I got the three younger goats into their field at the lower side of the fence, where it appears the latch – which is a simple lift-up-drop-in-place kind of thing – has been nibbled on. As it’s too tall for the three youngins, and I was starting to think Rosie might be at fault for this fiasco.
I ran around to the front side of the goat fence, counting chickens to make sure they didn’t escape too, and all four goats have now escaped into the front yard – the driveway gate opened again so my husband could drive though on the golf cart. More panic. GOOD LORD GOATS GET IN YOUR FIELD.
Somehow my husband, Captain America, convinced the goats with telepathy voodoo and sweet feed to go back where they belonged. And after a huge sigh of relief in between deep breaths from having ran at least a quarter mile (I do not run. Running is the worst.), my husband and I looked at each other and simultaneously asked, “Did Rosie open the gate?”
I can prove neither her guilt nor her innocence, but I believe that Miss Smarty Pants, Rosie, may truly have opened the gate and freed herself and her fellow field dwellers.
When I told this story to my brother, he said, “So Rosie is like the Moses of goats. LET! MY! PEOPLE! GOOO-O-O-O-A-A-A-A-A-A-T!”
At the end of the day my husband asked, “Why exactly do we have goats?” But I’m pretty sure I misheard him. He must have said, “That was fun! Let’s get more goats.”