I am a trial-and-error farmer who reads up on the wisdom of the internet and takes my best guess on which advice to heed. When we prepared to adopt our two angora goat last fall, we set aside a nice fenced pasture and worried that it might not be enough to keep them fed. It is turning out that just the opposite is true.
Last fall, I made a point of leaving all the scrubby grasses and weeds because I had read that goats love the interesting stuff. They showed little interest in going out into their field unless I went out with them. So finally, we mowed it all down and planted a pasture mix in the hope that this spring they’d glory in all that fresh fodder.
Now it is spring and the field has grown lush and tall, but the goats don’t like to walk through it and instead spend all day lying around on the bare spots. I quit giving them hay to encourage them to eat their pasture, but even that wasn’t working.
Today, we surrendered and mowed their field down. Suddenly it is much more interesting to them. They especially like the criss-crossed tractor tire tracks that are just like a matrix of goat paths.
So, what’s the moral of this story? I guess that trial-and-error is not such a bad method to learn a new skill as long as you keep trying things. If my goats could speak English they could explain to me what they had in mind, but since they don’t I have to be observant and pick up on all their little signals.