Here in Goatland

I sheared the goats last week, on an 80 degree day. They were panting out in the sun, and I figured they’d love to feel the cool breezes again. Of course, the next morning it turned cold and hasn’t really let up since. I was worried about them, so I dragged my husband out that night to put up the big piece of particle board we use to block the wind from their shed.

It was the right thing to do. I frequently found them peeking out the door, or nestled back in dark corners on the straw to keep warm. However, I began worrying that they may feel insecure without being able to see what’s going on out in their surroundings. I told my husband I’d like to get a piece of plastic to make a window so they could look out while they are keeping out of the wind.

He found an inexpensive sheet of clear acrylic and cut a hole in the wind break. It looked great! The next morning it was on the ground, shattered into bits and pieces by my mischievous goats. Back to the drawing board, we ordered a larger rectangle of really tough plexiglass, guaranteed unbreakable. We cut a larger hole this time, and put in a beautiful picture window.

Later that afternoon, my husband heard something like a door repeatedly slamming shut and went to investigate. Eddy was facing the window, scratching his hooves on the ground and slamming into the plastic with his horns like a mad bull. I suspect he was attacking his own reflection, but I think we foiled him this time. It is still in one piece tonight.

With this cold snap, I’ve been on a race against time to get the shearing, cleaning, drying, dying, and carding of the goats’ mohair done out in my room in the barn. I found that regardless of what colors I choose, I have to dye it in three batches, two pots at a time, because there is so much of it. This time I chose a bright blue-green. The first batch was coming out too blue, so I added yellow late in the game and I got a really interesting patchy color job that I kind of like. I couldn’t re-create it in the second batch so that one was more uniform. By the time I did the third batch I was bored with that color so I tried another one that turned out a bit dull, but I still like having some variety. I guess I have a lot of spinning and knitting to do now.



About bluestempond

Hobby farmer living at Bluestem Pond in Michigan.
This entry was posted in Farm Animals, Fiber crafts and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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