It turns out my goats have a sense of humor! I have made it my schedule at the first of every month to trim their hooves and give them their de-worming medicine, and here it is, October.
My husband has built me this wonderful little goat stall just inside the door to the chicken run in case it gets too cold this winter to leave them outside. It has a cushy rubber floor, a hay feeder, and a nice little swinging gate. I decided to set up their grooming table in the stall and bring them in one at a time for a trimming.
Eddie was so traumatized last month when I brought him into the barn to be sheared, he hid from me for the next two weeks. So this time, I started with Ely, dragging him through an opening in the electric fence into the barn and lifting him onto the table. He was agreeable about putting his head into the stand as long as there was a peanut waiting at the other end. Ely will do anything for a treat.
Trimming his hooves was not so hard. I’ve done it once before and I brushed up on the technique on you-tube videos first. Still, Ely shuffled and bleated while I wrestled his feet into position. My husband came to watch the entertainment and burst out laughing when suddenly, brushing past my legs, a white blur of goat crowded into the stall. Eddie did not want to be left behind in the goat yard.
I finished the job on Ely, shoving Eddie out of the way each time he tried to jump up to be next to his brother. I pushed Ely out the door and turned to Eddie to get him up onto the table. He would have none of it. Each time I reached for him, he scooted around the other side of the table. I shoved it against the wall to corner him, and he squeezed underneath beyond my reach. When I finally grabbed him by the horns, I had to drag him up onto the table he previously was dying to share. He lay flat on his belly, forcing me to lift him up onto his feet. As I pulled and coaxed and shoved his head into the restraint, my husband yelled, “Ely is in the chicken coop!”
Sure enough, rather than trot politely back to the goat yard while I was busy with his brother, Ely went exploring in the chicken run. First, he hopped up onto their little platform to look around. Then, he noticed the inviting little door with the ramp up into the coop. I’d have never thought he could squeeze in there but in he went with no hesitation. I had my hands full with Eddie, so my husband had to run out to push Ely back out and close the trap door.
At last, with all eight feet trimmed, I went to herd the boys back into their own yard. I was able to pull Ely by the horns across the normally electrified barrier, but each time I turned to go get Eddie, Ely tried to follow me. My husband went to stand guard over Ely while I chased Eddie down with the shepherd’s crook. He really did want to be with his brother, but dodging me was so much fun he had to make a fool of me just a little while longer.
Finally, two goats back in their yard and the mess on the floor swept up, I remembered that I needed to give them their medicine. Sure, I did not think to do it while they were restrained. I easily squirted a dose into Ely’s eager mouth, but I gave up on Eddie who kept up his game of keep-away. We’ll try again tomorrow, when he is hungry and not expecting it.