Today I pulled a little surprise on my husband. It didn’t quite work out exactly as planned but still ended up pretty fun and successful. Before my husband met me, when he lived in Santa Barbara (where he grew up), he kept goats and dairy goats, and he has been wanting to get goats since we moved up here 4 years ago. I’ve been pretty resistant to it, I’m generally not a fan of goats, nor the endless noise they make. Still, my husband supports all my horse lunacy and we have 21 acres with plenty of empty pastures, so it just seems Scrouge-like (and selfish!) to deny him his goat dream forever. He had been mentioning wanting baby goats, and a goat to milk. The boarder goats will be going home in the next month or two and he was starting to get sad about not having goats anymore. I’ve been going back and forth between surprising him with a goat or two and staying far far away from the subject, but with the imminent goat departure things were starting to come to a head. My good friend L, where mini doxie Wilbur and min horse Napoleon/El Bandito came from, just happens to also have goats–and Arabs *ahem*–and a couple of turkeys she wanted a home for. We put our little heads together and came up with a good trade for a couple of goats, and thus the surprise husband scheme finally came to fruition.
Today he left early to fish and my plan was to run down to L’s and pick up the turkeys, which he knew about, and the goats, which he had no clue about. And not just any goats, a pregnant female who will make a good milker (Nan) and a cute baby Boer (Maizie).
So my husband would be getting all his goat dreams fulfilled in just two little goat bodies! Of course when I was at L’s the cell rang and it was my husband, J–calling from home! Oh shit! He’s not supposed to be home! I am a terrible liar and start laughing and smiling when I’m trying to be sneaky, so J knew something was up even through the phone. I mumbled something and rang off as quickly as possible but knew I was at least a little busted. Still I have been particularly verbally anti-goat lately in anticipation of the surprise and I didn’t think he would guess I was bringing any of the little suckers home. I drove home and pulled in the yard and tried to remain calm and casually tell him I picked up the turkeys. Of course the little goats were baa’ing in the back of the truck and it took mere seconds for him to discover them. He was delighted and the goats are now settled in a paddock with a shed while the turkeys joined Sheza and the boarder goats in the big field (they had their wings clipped today).
I built a ghetto gate-keeper for the Sheza pasture, the gate was hung a good foot and a half off the ground and the boarder goats slide under it on their knees and ream the gate dozens of times a day. Plus when I have the horses over there they harass Desire when she gets mash. So I cut a piece of chicken wire mesh fence off the roll (without measure, coz that’s how I roll..hey it was only a little too short), grabbed some stakes and my hammer and some hay string–I did say ghetto, didn’t I?–and headed out there. The boarder goats are INCREDIBLY nosy and were all over me and the tools and the gate while I was working. It drove me bonkers and I was starting to question just WHY I felt the need to get more of the stupid things. Breathe, breathe. The female goat slid back and forth under the gate and jumped on, in, and all over the Polaris while I contemplated goaty murder and worked away attaching the piece of fence to the gate. I pounded the stakes in on either side to keep them from diving under it, and lashed the stakes to the fence support posts on either side. I hauled some random giant chunks of concrete out and piled them along the bottom of the fence in the middle so they couldn’t tunnel under. So far it is holding and they were *pissed* when Desire got her mash at dinner and they couldn’t get under the gate to get at it. I should have attached the piece of fence with wire as I know the goats are probably already chewing through the hay string but I couldn’t find any wire naturally and wanted to get it done. I’ll go back through and use wire here in the next day or so.
Monday we’re going back to L’s to take a look at a cute young bay individual of another species of animals I mentioned she had..hehe 😉