Today, all the hard work has paid off - all the sweating, the ticks, the crawling around on our bellies, the manual labor, the ignored family and friends, the chiggers, the daily work regiment that usually left us exhausted at the end of the day was made worth while, because our property has officially become a farm. A FARM!!!!
We set out just as the sun was rising to a see a man about some goats. A man we met two years ago, who was gracious enough to give us a wild ride on a golf cart through his 25 acre goat pasture. A man who we told, that we'd be back to buy some of his goats. A man who probably laughed at that, but today, helped us pick out and load up 6 goats on a borrowed livestock trailer. A man who is probably still laughing, but I will get to that in a minute.
Here are our 6 ladies:
It was kind of overwhelming to pick them out. They were all corralled into a little area and we started pointing out the ones we liked. Before I go any further, he tried to schlep off this little one to us - for free - before we even turned off the truck. As cute as the little one was, we had to say no.
After the kicking, the bleating, the running and the wrestling we ended up with 6 pretty nice goats. One is really pregnant and will probably give birth in a few weeks. One is definitely pregnant and a third might be. One is a tiny little young doe and the last is also young, but not a baby. They traveled well, and we got them back to their new home.
Our plan was to photograph each one as we pulled them off the trailer and make sure we had their ear tag number written down. Number one came off the trailer without a hitch into the interior net fencing.
Number two had a mind of her own and leaped over the net fencing into the depths of our 10 acres. Numbers three, four and six (who is a climber) bounded off to where they were supposed to, while number five didn't want number two to be lonely wandering around alone also leaped off into the wild. They are herd animals, you know!
If we were being graded according to school rules, we would be passing, barely, at 66%. The two little buggers that are literally bounding around the property will be caught and integrated back into the herd...we just need to figure out how.
The goats we purchased are not "people" goats. They are livestock with numbers and if not purchased by us, could have been purchased by anyone at any time or sent off to the livestock auction. I think this might be why the farmer we purchased them off of is probably still laughing, because he knows how wild they are, and while we had an idea, we really didn't have a clue.
Regardless, the view in the rear view mirror this morning reminded me that we really should always be looking forward instead of back. We aren't going to be expert goat farmers on the first day, and we are going to encounter obstacles and problems along our journey. The important thing to always remember, is that we are achieving our goals and enjoying every step of this wild journey we are taking.
We left two wandering girls some water near the rest of their herd before we departed for the evening. The four who were in the net fencing were getting to know their surroundings and calming down.
As we finished up our busy day on the farm (FARM!!!) we saw the two wayward goats on the south line in our future meadow. Our last view was one of them bounding like a wild deer into the setting sun.//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.