SUBTITLE: Double Secret Probation
We pulled down our road bright and early this morning and saw a crowd standing around the front gates. My heart sunk into my stomach. We pulled up and the crowd started chattering away. It's all kind of a blur now, but basically two of our goats were spotted by the passers-by and they were in need of rescuing. They were rescued and they are okay.
Back Story: Before starting on this farming adventure, we decided that we wanted to use a 7-strand, high tensile fence for the perimeter of the property with a big charge on it. We would further contain our goats with net fencing that also had an electric charge. We practiced with the net fencing and made sure the electric going to it would work a few weeks ago. Friday evening we set up the area we wanted the goats to start working on when we unloaded them. The net fencing was not able to hold a charge due to the tight space, thick underbrush conditions and undulating terrain. Well, you all know how that went. We left the four goats in what we had hoped would be a safe and secure area that again, did not have electric running through the net fencing.
Disclaimer: While this is a blog and everyone's intent is to want it to be sunshine and lollipops all the time this blog also serves as our personal (albeit public) journal. We want to share our experiences even if they are not all positive. Everyone can learn from the trials and tribulations of others. I hope to serve that purpose for anyone that wants to take on the challenge we have.
Today: After chatting with the wonderful neighbors who scaled the gates (and didn't get zapped) and cut two of our goats from the net fencing that was NOT electrified, we decided we needed an entirely new game plan. We gave our name to animal control who had been called, profusely thanked the neighbors, exchanged phone numbers, and slowly took in the new reality that instead of two goats bounding around our 10 acres, we now had all 6. Animal control? Yes, animal control was called by the good samaritans, who thought they might need back-up or extra hands. I think the animal control lady was happy she didn't have to shag down 6 goats bounding across the county.
Our barely passing average from yesterday at 66% dropped to Double Secret Probation. I could hear the goats echoing, "Toga, Toga, Toga" from deep within the farm.
Regroup: We took a quick walk around the area where they had been sort of contained. The damage was minimal and easily repaired (net fencing is designed to be cut and repaired easily). We took a longer walk around the main arteries of the farm trying to see if we could spot any goats roaming about. Unfortunately, we didn't see any signs of them. Our hopes were that because they are herd animals, they would gather up and feel safe in one group.
Thinking: The goats we purchased were basically on an open range/pasture. They spent their time in a herd and interacted with humans for food, worming and being sent off to auction. This is fine. This is in our future plans, but like I said in yesterday's post, we didn't have a clue. You make plans, you have a vision in your mind of how things are going to be, and then like the quote from the infamous Mike Tyson: "Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth."
Plan Roll Out: What had once been an undesirable place to work, was now the best area to try to trap our wayward herd - the south line! We took one run (160 feet) of the net fencing, heavy metal t-posts and fiberglass, step-in posts (to sure up any sagging) down to the meadow and set our plan into place. We set up a "trap" of sorts. Our hope is that they will seek out food and water and this is the area that they will find all they need. We shook the food can, hung out for about an hour after everything was set up, and still didn't see any sign of the ladies. We left the farm with high hopes they will hang out with the food and we can hopefully trap them into the properly laid out net fencing.
I guess we can always change the business plan from farm to wildlife management area...//tr
In 2014 a couple of 40-somethings decided to make a change. The purchase of 10 raw, pine scrub acres along Florida's Nature Coast started it all. This is that story.