To goat, or not to goat

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by Lindsay Diehl

This wife and mother loves animals. Her homestead included three horses, seven chickens and six guineas. What more could she want? Goats! A Pygmy or Nigerian Dwarf goat would be a great addition to the farm. They can herd with horses…or can they? The search began and ended quickly, finding the perfect little buckling we called Gunner. Upon the decision to purchase him when he was weaned, we were asked – Do you have another? You cannot just have one goat! A small detail I may have missed in my researching goat habitats, personality, and health needs. Goats are herd animals, this detail is an important one. The search began again and ended with a little doe, Winter. 

Winter arrived home, we settled her into her indoor stall – with bunk beds because goats love to climb. We let her roam her new pen equipped with a homemade feeder, climbing apparatus and a four-foot fence. We were ecstatic to have her home. Gunner would join us the following week, until then we would help her feel at home.

Three hours following her arrival, we came home from the gym and went to tuck Winter into her stall for the night…but Winter was gone! It was now dark, rain imminent. Goats do not like rain and getting wet. The search was on! Four kids, two parents, and flashlights. We searched the nearby neighbors and our property, nothing! We searched for hours. My son and I headed to the bush behind our property. I know the paths, we were safe, my son an avid orienteer. A way into the bush my phone rang, my man asking if there was any sign of her, none. We planned where to meet and told him we were fine. I hung up and continued. My cell battery changed to red, low battery – this was my flashlight, panic! My immediate thought? This is how people die in the wilderness. The rain began…we had to give up and head home.

Distraught and defeated, I invested in asking a friend for help the following day. This young gal went to social media to post photos and notice of a lost goat. Shortly after, friends arrived and shouted, “get in the truck, your goat has been found!”. Off I went to search a nearby county road into a field where she was seen, no luck. Storm clouds were closing in, more rain. We continued down the road to the golf course. I swallowed my pride, walked into the clubhouse and asked “have you seen my goat?”, well yes! ‘Elvis’ they called her had been treated like a queen and had taken up residence in their mini golf course! I cried with delight. 

We spent the next week of holidays building the fence to six feet that Winter can still easily soar over. The day Gunner arrived home, the escape artist stopped jumping the fence. A partnership created.

The goat chronicles continue to this day! The moral to the story, you cannot just have one goat.

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