Essential reading…….5 Things you didn’t know about keeping goats!

Cappy and Pimms….5 things you didn’t know about keeping goats!

I was being quizzed recently by the children as to how many and what actual animals we had kept here over the 28 years I’ve lived in this house.  The answer is lots and all different varieties, but their main fascination was the discovery that we did, at one time, have 2 goats!

So cute!

This was the brainchild of my husband, Paul.  Having seen some baby goats at a friends house he decided that keeping one as a pet was the best idea ever!  Enter Pimms,  pure white and apparently a Saanen?  She was tiny, very cute and crapped tiny pellets of poo all over the house as Paul had decided she should be a ‘house’ goat!  One of my many ‘face palms’ from my life with the ever eccentric, extremist man that I called my partner.

Within a few days he had made a decision that I should have become used to by this time, she shouldn’t be an ‘only’ goat, it wasn’t fair, so, enter Cappy, a brown and white Alpine who was similarly tiny, cute and also shat pellets of poo all over the house!  You may understand why it didn’t take me long to put my foot down and insist they moved out of the house and, with several empty stables available, they were very soon relocated into their cosy new home.

All was well whilst they were little, they looked cute running around the fields although they were one more thing to add to the endless list of miscellaneous mouths to feed and served no greater purpose than ‘just being’!  At least the chickens gave us eggs.

As time went on the cuteness factor started to diminish and the people who kept their horses here appeared to be the main witless victims of most of their antics!  This is what people may not know about keeping goats:-

  1. They serve no practical purpose unless you have the desire to milk them (I did not).
  2. They grow horns!  That is, unless they’ve been de-horned, which ours hadn’t, and understandably, the horse owners were not overly happy with receiving regular butts up the bum as they bent over to tend their little darlings, the copious amounts of horse feed stolen from bags ripped open wasn’t popular either!  Complaints were regular and sometimes heated!
  3. They love nothing more than searching for, and finding, new ways to escape and dash off down the lane to pastures new.  They were known by farmers and householders far and wide for magically appearing in fields and gardens merrily scoffing any available plants and flowers!
  4. They are incredibly fussy eaters, contrary to popular belief, they won’t eat their food once they’ve knocked the bucket over and it’s been on the floor!
  5. They do, however. love to eat bark from trees and were particularly partial to the bark of an enormous, extremely old Oak tree next to the stable yard. Inevitably, having eaten it all the way around the lower part of the trunk, it eventually had to be chopped down.  A late legacy of having them that I was none too happy about.

And so it came to pass that Paul finally made the decision that the goats needed to be re-homed!  No shit Sherlock?  He searched for, and found, a couple who already kept goats for milking purposes who were happy to take them on.  They were going to a happy home where they were well looked after and genuinely appreciated for…..well……being goats!

Another chapter in our lives where we learnt the hard way that things are never as simple as they would appear to be and the repercussions can be epic.  See my book for the chapter on the egg saga that ensued after Paul’s decision to buy 200 of them!  The egg mountain, the egg round and the eventual realisation that maybe his brilliant plan wasn’t so amazing after all.

Do I regret all of these bizarre happenings in my life?  No, I don’t.  Whilst tedious at the time, at least I can look back in wonder at all of the weird and wonderful happenings that have constituted the last few decades and know that, if nothing else, my life hasn’t been boring!

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