The Goats Figured Out — I Didn’t

Our critters are a mess — but in a good way. They make me laugh. They make me cry — from simply stepping on my toes to tragically dying in my arms. My goats have taught me how tenuous life is; but, they’ve also taught how to enjoy every day I have with them.

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Lorch is taking a bite of food from his bowl. Naturally he gets a mouthful, being a horse, of course. Notice the ladies standing around him waiting for the food to drop.

Probably as many goats have died in my arms as there are goats who have been born in them. My most cherished moments are when a newborn looks at me for the first time. Living with goats is a blessing, offering me a life that I will cherish to my days end.

Living with goats enriches my life every day. Individually they are entertaining and collectively they are amazing. Take for instance what they’re doing to Lorch, one of our horses. He’s a messy eater. He’ll take a bite of food then hang his face off to one side of his bowl while he chews — dropping large amounts of food to the ground.

When we first got him, I fed him outside and put a rubber mat where his food landed so he could eat it without eating dirt. (Being a new horse owner I wanted to take care of him to the best of my ability and him eating food off the ground didn’t seem like the healthy thing to do, even for a horse.) That worked for a about month or two then the rubber mat got muddy and tore.

Next I moved his feeding into the barn where I put a large bucket under his bowl to catch the food that fell. Being a horse he missed the floor bucket most of the time. The silly horse will not hold his head still; he’s constantly looking around while he’s chewing, dropping food everywhere within a three-foot radius.

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Lorch holding his face off to one side of his bowl dropping food every time he chews. The ladies are ‘sweeping’ the food up. Trust me, no morsel will be left.

After several months of trial and error, I’ve given up. Now, what lands in his floor bucket I pour back into his bowl then sweep the rest into his area, dirt and all. I try to save as much food as possible so he gets his nutrients. Now that I’m a more experienced horse owner, I’ve gotten to the point that I hope the dirt is enriched. Silly me. I”m dealing with a horse here.

The goats have a much better solution. As soon as they noticed how much food was around Lorch’s feet, they started hanging out there. But now instead of me taking care of his dropped food, the goats do. They keep the area nice and clean of all food morsels.

I really should delegate more often. Our critters have many, many talents. All we have do is watch them and let them do the job. With them working, my life is definitely easier.

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