Tag Archives: goat raising

Big Mama’s Crew and the Quest Giver

Betty and Marge

About a month ago, my husband brought home two very large pregnant goats that my son christened Betty and Marge. Instead of easing into things, my husband shooed them out to make nice with the other goats. Well, they weren’t having that. Before you could say Jack Robinson, they were off and running, and it was up to my son to hunt them down.

He tracked them to the defunct water tower, where he spied both peering from behind one of the supports. Bear in mind that my son was a stranger to them, and Betty and Marge had been schooled in the perils of stranger danger. So even though he tried to calmly work his way to their location, they were having none of that. They took off in opposite directions.

Fortunately, their size meant they left an easily followed trail. He was able to find Marge up the hill and in the tall grass. He wrestled her part-way down the hill toward the house and stopped at my father-in-law’s house to ask to borrow a rope to tie up Marge temporarily so he could track down Betty.

Betty was on the other side of the fence that borders La Yacata. She and my son regarded each other for a bit. Finally, my son started talking to her, introducing himself and the like, so that stranger danger would no longer be an issue. Finally, he was able to approach close enough to lasso her. He tied her to a fence post and set about trying to find a way to get her back over the fence. She weighed too much for him to throw over his neck and haul back.

No opening big enough for Betty presented itself. However, she loosened the post enough in her struggle to escape that he was able to knock the post down, pull her across, and then set it back up again. 

Triumphant, he collected Marge and brought both white behemoths back to the house. They weren’t going to have outdoor privileges the rest of the day. The next day, Betty had her baby, and a few days after that, my husband sold the trio.

Jolina, Longshanks, and Runaway

Our herd of goats has undergone other drastic changes recently as well. All the baby boys were exchanged for a new macho, which my husband likes to do periodically to maintain genetic diversity. This macho is a bit strange looking, in my opinion. His face is so long and angular that I’ve dubbed him Longshanks (from Braveheart), although my husband keeps trying to call him Barbas (bearded). Anyway, Longshanks has revealed himself to be a quest-giver.

What’s a quest giver? You may well ask. Every time my son and I loop the block with the dogs, Longshanks pops out of nowhere and approaches. So my son said he must have a backstory. In our warped humor, we’ve imagined that he comes out to give us a side quest. He begins with, “Long ago my kingdom was stolen from me. An evil witch turned me into a goat. Now I wait until….,” and we take turns making up the conditions of the quest. It tickles our funny bones and adds to the enjoyment of the dog walks. We haven’t had a good “walk game” since Spot the Cat. (Sadly, washed-out Garfield is no longer a resident in La Yacata.)

Big Mama, with Brown Mama and babies and in the back Furry Mama.

Then, every so often, my husband gets a bee in his bonnet about having borregas (sheep) even though every time we’ve tried, it’s been an unmitigated failure. The terrain in La Yacata isn’t conducive to the more delicate sensibilities of borregas. They don’t like what there is to forage, they easily scare and run off, and they are generally unhappy campers.

Notwithstanding this recent adventure, my husband brought more borregas into the mix this week. Big Mama, Brown Mama, and Furry Mama are HUGE! Big Mama was obviously the leader of the crew of pregnant ewes. Nobody messes with Big Mama! I suppose my husband learned something from Betty and Marge’s great escape because he hasn’t tried to integrate the borregas with the goats. He even divided the corral so that each species had its own space. 

Brown Mama, the smallest of the posse, was the first to give birth. She had twins, a boy and a girl, which have yet to be named. I expect it won’t be too long before Big Mama’s crew becomes an unmanageable number. Sigh.



Filed under Animal Husbandry