Well, I’m long since back from Alberta, but having the odd struggle with getting back into the routine.
Yesterday, I went out to do the evening goat chores, and the girls managed to bust out of their yard while I was over feeding the boys. The hook-and-fencing-staple system which had been a ‘good enough’ gate latch for almost two years…suddenly wasn’t. We have known for ages that the staple had been slowly working its way out of the post, and had even pounded it back in a few times. We even had an eye bolt that we could have installed weeks (or more) ago, but we got lazy. Operator error.
Tonight, again doing evening chores, there was another goat escape. We tie the girls up to feed them their grain, as everyone is on a different feeding program, depending on age and pregnancy/lactation status. We’ve rigged up a system of leashes on the posts in the girls’ yard, where each doe can be tied out of reach of the others, and I can put down individual buckets for them. The girls are used to the routine, and it takes about a minute to tie them all up, as long as you do it in the right order.
Well, tonight, I had tied up the girls as usual, and served up their grain. While they were eating, I filled their water bucket as I always do, and was just going through the stall door to put hay in their stall when they all started kicking up a huge fuss. Missy and Saffron, in particular, were lunging about so violently that they were choking themselves. I dropped the hay and ran out into the yard, thinking that huge coyote was back. Looking in the direction that all the goats were facing, I saw…
…two white bunnies, running back and forth. Frolicking, even.
“But they could have had teeth, Mom”, six sets of wide goaty eyes said to me. “Big, sharp, pointy teeth…”
Bleh. I checked the buckets, and everyone was already finished their grain, so I unhooked them all to chase them into the stall for the night. Of course, being flighty creatures, nobody would go into the stall – when I chased them, they shied away from the barn door, and looped back around to the far end of their yard, where they stopped dead and stared, quivering, at the last point where the rabbits had been spotted. Stupid goats.
I grabbed them one by one, and shoved them into the stall, latching the barn door behind me each time. However, seconds after I shoved the last goat into the stall, a couple of goat faces popped out the other barn door. The one that their inside stall door should have prevented them from getting to. Oh, yeah. That stall door that was hanging open when I dropped the hay to rescue the stupid goats who were trying to hang themselves over a couple of frolicking bunnies.
Operator error, again.
Maybe tomorrow night will go a little more smoothly…