I was expecting the goats sometime in late June. On Monday, I contacted the fellow we are buying them from, just to firm up a delivery date, and he informed me that he is coming this Saturday, and oh, so sorry, he thought he had let me know about that. !!! While we have been working hard on the barn, and almost have things finished there, and the fence can be finished in a day’s hard worth of hustling, I had been pretty lax on the ‘what to feed them’ front.
You would not think that getting hay is a complicated business in a province that produces so much. I thought the same thing when I wanted to buy a single bushel of wheat in Alberta. Sure enough, hay is easy to find…in round bales. You know, those 5-foot diameter monsters that weigh about 1500 pounds each, and can only been transported by semi. The ones that you need special equipment to load and unload, or to move around your farmyard. That would not fit through our barn door, and would have to sit outside, despite the fact that they need to be kept out of the rain. Apparently progress has gone along without me, and nobody bales the little 50-pound squares any more.
I had actually been looking for hay since the day after we ordered the goats, back in April. I had not been too worried about it, though, since I did have something of a back-up plan. The back up plan being a small round bale, delivered in the back of a truck, from a colleague at work who raises cattle and draft horses. Unfortunately, she is away on training for two weeks, and I had not spoken to her about it recently, as I had thought the goats were still a couple of weeks away.
Since Monday, I have been panicking. I have posted urgent ads in several venues, asked around at work, and bugged friends and family. No luck. Yesterday, I was whining about the whole catastrophe to my physiotherapist, and she said:
“Wait a minute. You need horse hay? In square bales?”
She left me half-naked, laying facedown on a treatment table, rushing off to catch one of the other physiotherapists who was just getting off shift. I did not mind one bit, since she came back with a name and phone number for the only man in the area who still bales small squares.
The hay – 60 bales – will beat the goats here by about three hours. I did not dicker on the price or the timeframes – this man is now our newest bestest friend. We’re paying extra for our lack of planning, but at least the goats will have something to eat…