2 days ago
June 30, 2009
Feed Pen Chaos
Life with goats is interesting. Some times are more "interesting" than others and one of those times is feed time. Let me assure you that no matter how they may act in this video, the goats are not starving. They are all well fed and all of them have 24/7 access to good pasture and hay, but they are not waiting on hay. This is their grain feed pen and grain is like candy to goats. It is a little bit like holding a bag of chocolate bars in a school yard full of unruly children. Only these children have horns. So for safety's sake I am actually kneeling down behind a cattle panel with the camera up so the fence doesn't show.
Speaking of safety I don't like the way they crowd the gate but we have not figured out a better and more safe way to feed a whole herd of goats their grain yet. We don't feed a lot of grain but I do like to use some so I can do a head count and check everyone out each day. I used to take the grain bucket out in the pasture with the goats and dump it in pans when we had half this many and that doesn't work out so well, actually it was kind of insane. The sweetest and fattest goat in the herd would just as soon trample you than miss one kernel of grain. I always reminded myself if I fell to remember to throw the feed can AWAY from my body, curl into a fetal position and hope the herd didn't think I was holding out with extra grain in my pockets. haha! (hope you know I am joking)
A few people have told me their goats are so well behaved they will line up at their designated feed pan and wait patiently to be fed. FIBBERS! They just have to be because otherwise I somehow own the most grain piggy goats in Kansas. There is no patience or designated feed pans on our farm. After the gate is open everybody grunts, growls and runs around playing "musical feed pans" until all the grain is gone because they are convinced each pan of grain must surely be better than the one they already have. Once the chaos of feed time is over my pack of single minded grain piggies turn back into the gentle, sweet and affectionate goats that they are. Some grain time chaos is just part of owning goats.
Of course feeding time when it is muddy is a whole other experience! Click here to find out why proper footwear is important on a goat farm and why I hate mud.
*Thanks to my husband for help in making this farm video.