Goats, rabbits, chickens (pages)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Fences and Roots

I hate, hate, hate to see animals penned up, cooped up or otherwise crammed into small spaces. I like them to be able to free range as much as possible. In the wild west, I would have been one of those fighting for no fences!

When we brought our goats home we separated and isolated them for a while until we managed the parasite situation. Then I moved them into the new barn and holding pen along with their guard, Rocky, and kept them there for a day. Then, I tested the new electric fence, held my breath and opened the gate. They love it. LOVE IT. There is lush pasture, thick brush, hanging limbs still filled with leaves. Goat heaven. I was afraid they might head for the hills, literally, as there is a LOT of land on the OTHER side of the fence. But, they graze and browse for awhile, then they always come back to the barn and holding pen to relax and hang out. The "browsing" ...eating tree leaves and brush adds so much to their natural diet and contributes to their over-all health.

In the evening, when they hear me calling the chickens in, they come flying into their pen for supper, Belle's bell clanging in the cold air. I lock them in the holding pen at night for safety. We have coyotes running out our ears and a couple of bobcats for good measure. Cougars, too. They nestle in their straw bed in the barn. I couldn't be happier with the fence. It only took a couple of little zaps for the goats and Rocky to learn to keep away from it. I test it every morning before I let them out to make sure it's working. One day a sycamore branch had blown across it but that was an easy fix. Now my beauties can roam to their little goat-hearts content.

Rocky (Anatolian puppy) is learning not to chase and nip at the goats hind legs. He has a log and chain attached to his collar for an anchor. It sounds awful, but it slows him down just enough that he tires easily and gives up the chase. We are on day four. The man where we bought him suggested this treatment. Rocky's mother also had the idea to chase and bite the goats and this remedy worked like a charm.

Tomorrow is HERB CLASS. The Herbalist is in....the field. Come on out and we'll DIG herbs! Increase your knowledge of herbalism. You can take the herbs you dig home and we will also make a remedy in class. FIRST FROST HERB CLASS. Tuesday 11-1 10 am to noon. $20

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