Wednesday, 13 June 2012

By special delivery ...

Remember the naughty little goats that keep escaping out of their pen?  Mmm ... when our courier turned up today, he got a bit more than he bargained for!  As David and I went out to help him load our packages, we were followed by several small goats - much to the driver's amusement.  As he opened the back door of his van, our little girlie leapt up inside to see what exciting things may be within.  The arm on the left of the picture is the driver taking a picture for his daughter!

We counted them all safely back into their house before he drove off!!

It's that time of year when our own hay has finally run out.  Many hungry mouths to feed and so we have had to start buying in hay.  Very expensive stuff, I can tell you, but we have got a local farmer friend who makes excellent hay and was happy to let us have a trailer-load of very large bales for a reasonable price. 

The goatlings certainly seemed to like it this evening - here they are tucking in!

Contrary to popular opinion, goats are exceedingly fussy about what they eat and you run the risk of spending a lot of money on hay that they will not like.  It happened to us many years ago when we only had a few animals who would not eat a certain few bales of hay.  I watched them get thinner and thinner for a day or so, hoping that they would eventually start to eat it but, as the books often say, goats will starve rather than eat bad food.  I remember loading the hay into the truck and driving over to a horse-owning friend very late one night in total desperation, hoping to swap bales with her.  She was kind enough to agree and I returned home with different hay.  I filled up the hayracks immediately and was so relieved when all the girls started to eat - I was so happy I almost cried!!

Watching the goatlings tonight, I was again struck by the differences that can often occur between siblings.  One of the larger (and noisier) girls is called Scarlet - she is quite dark in colour, with white patches on her face:

Her sister, Vivien, is a little smaller and much quieter.  She is lighter in colour and has a deformed jaw - her lower jaw is short and slightly twisted to one side:

This gives her a rather odd appearance but doesn't seem to affect her ability to eat at all.  She has grown well and is the same size as everyone else, so I think that it is just purely cosmetic.  I have nicknamed her 'Twisty Viv'.

Tomorrow, my little Anglo Nubian boys are off to a new home at the Museum of Kent Life.  This will leave their little sister as the sole big-eared kid this year but she has a lot of smaller-eared friends in her house and so I hope that she won't miss the boys too much.  I know that I will miss them though as they are such characters.  But, they are going to be well-looked after and I will be able to visit them as they grow up.

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