Harvard or Houdini?
My two newest goats are Harvard and Gloucester. Gloucester is 18 months old and very sweet. He is more timid and as a result doesn't race around. He stands and considers and is thoughtful. He stood beautifully for this picture.
Then there is Harvard. When I picked them up, Nancy (who is my goat whisperer and holder of all goat knowledge) told me if I ever wanted a goat I could train to do tricks or pull a cart it would be Harvard. He is only 6 months old but is smart and confident and is in constant motion. I have tried to get pictures of him but as soon as he sees me he comes racing forward to see what I'm doing. This is the best I've been able to do.
All new goats get 30 days of quarantine just to be sure they aren't bringing any new diseases to my house. Of course, I have complete faith in Nancy and the cleanliness of all her goats but it still seems like a reasonable precaution. Harvard and Gloucester have been in a stall during the day but out in the pens behind the barn in the evening and overnight. When they are in their stall, Paxton and Shakespeare are out in the pens. Paxton has gotten over being very sick and but has been seperated so I can feed him twice the amount of feed as the other goats. He was by himself for about a month and I noticed him getting depressed so I brought Shakespeare in to be his stall mate. Shakespeare is old and also can do with some extra feed so it seemed like a good match. They are great together. Pax is much happier and Shakespeare is putting on some needed extra weight.
Yes, we can talk about the fact that this isn't a real quarantine if all four goats get to be out in the pens even if it's not at the same time. But let's not.
Yesterday afternoon I put Pax and Shakespeare back in their stall and let Harvard and Gloucester out to run and play behind the barn. I heard a clatter and turned around to see Harvard outside the fence. Seriously? I grabbed him and put him back in the barn. We had a little chat about the fact that Gloucester was frantic with him outside the fence and Harvard should have a little respect for his best buddy's feelings. I had no sooner closed the gate than Harvard raced through the barn and out into the pens and over the fence. At least I think that's what he did since I didn't see the process but he arrived back at my house faster than I did.
Here is what I suspect. Harvard jumped onto the overturned black plastic water trough, up onto the lowest shelf full of wood, scampered to the end and jumped down by way of the barrel.
The old saying is that any fence that will hold water will hold a goat. I have had a couple of smaller goats, Paxton in particular, who used to crawl out under the fence before we added extra rails but never have I had goats that climbed up and over fences. Angora goats just don't do that so much but dairy goats apparently do.
I put both Gloucester and Harvard back in their stall last night so I could go to sleep and not worry about late night wanderings. The first thing this morning Ron and I were out in the pens moving things around. We got rid of various old and very worn out equipment like the black plastic water trough that leaks anyway and broken feed bins. We moved all the wood we wanted to keep up to higher shelves and looked at all the pallets. The ones in good shape we kept and the others went on the burn pile.
Now there is nothing there to give Harvard a boost up onto the shelf of wood. So far he is staying right where I left him - in the pens.