Oh man, where do I start? Big Garner and I had talked about adding goats to our farm for a while. I know at some point I would like to have milking goats to make shampoos, lotions, soaps etc. One day on a whim we took the Kids to Lollipop Farms. If you have never been to Lollipop you should go and if you have been but have never been outside to their barnyard, they have a petting zoo during the summer months. Check out their website at www.lollipop.org and consider donating to this amazing place! Of course, we went in the middle of February…in New York… it was 20 degrees outside (a mild day), but I was worth is as we met the amazing animals, we would soon be taking home.
Now when I say, we went there to just look at the animals, initially we did. The we met Stuart. Oh Stuart, it was love at first head scratch. He came right up to us in the barnyard. We decided right then we wanted him. Our guide informed us that when Stuart was little, he contracted a spinal worm that effects the way he walks slightly. They were able to complete get rid of them and he has a clean bill of health, he just has a slight slope in his spine.
Now goats are social animals, however, Stuart really hadn’t bonded with anyone. This meant we would be able to pick a companion for him. It was then while standing with Stuart that our guide timidly asked if we would be interested in a couple goats that had come in with special needs. I’m a sucker for injured or needy animals, always have been. Of course, we said ok we would like to at least meet them. We walked down to a secluded pen and that is where we first met C.C and Diamond. While watching we soon noticed that C.C had a very peculiar walk. Our guide explained that their previous owner, a wonderful man, had to give them up because he could no longer care for them. He was very upset and took the best care of them that he could given his age. However, he was unable to properly care for their hooves. He made several attempts to have someone come and trim their hooves. It became so bad that C. C’s hooves had grown so long she was no longer able to walk on her feet and began walking on her knees. She had been doing this for so long she will no longer walk correctly. Once surrendered to Lollipop they began diligently working with both C.C and Diamond to get their hooves corrected. Diamond’s hooves were quickly corrected, and she is doing fantastic. C.C’s are taking a bit longer to correct. Because of the length we are on a biweekly trimming schedule. One week we trim her front hooves the next week we switch to the rears. We hope to be able to trim them back to where they should be. It will take time, as we are only able to do a little at a time.
Now, don’t let this concern you. C.C can take care of herself. She is the Momma hen of Goats and will put Diamond and Stuart in their places. She has adapted herself quite well and is very happy to lay outside in the hay wagon and just munch away.
After hearing their story, we wanted to give these girls and Stuart their forever home. Where they would have a ton of land to roam around for the rest of their days. We quickly told Lollipop that we would be taking them and 4 of the potbelly pigs.
Soon after our project get the barn and pasture done before spring began. We hoped for an early spring. We begged for an early spring…. We did not get an early spring. We got a lingering winter that would not give up! We originally had a finish date of the beginning of April. Well seeing as the land was still frozen, we could not get the pasture fencing in. We did as much as we could with the barn during that time. We haled everything out of the barn that is now our goat/pig pens. We wistfully looked at the open land that would be our pasture and hoped that spring would come soon so we could get the fencing in.
Finally, spring came and by the middle of April we had an end in sight. We contacted Lollipop to give them the good news. We would be picking them up the 2st weekend in May. Yeah!!!! We were so excited. Four weeks to go!!!!
A week later we got an email from Lollipop. Asking if we could take them any sooner…um how soon? They stated as soon as possible as they were getting 9 new pigs in and needed the space. New date was now going to be the last weekend in April. We had a week and a half. Commence freak out!!!! Two weeks sounds like a ton of time, Right? Not so much… During that last week, Big Garner was out of town on work, I had a concert to prep for, plus the kids, their school stuff, and I also had my young nieces for a couple days. OVERLOAD! So, while Big Garner was home, we spent every waking moment working on finishing up the pasture, the barn pens etc. It was a mad dash to the finish and stressful, but BG and I work best while under pressure. Our kids, luckily at the point in their lives, really do not need us to dote on them and hand food. They were a huge help.
Delivery Day finally came, and we welcomed out amazing new additions to the farm. We noticed immediately that the pigs were a little bigger than we had originally predicted for the space we had. We will do some tweaking on their pen come fall (they have decided sleeping outside in the summer is the best)
There you have it the beginning to our story with our Goats. Stay tune for my next blog on Stuart the Houdini of Goats and be prepared to laugh and please send me wine!