I need to write about our first goat…Billy. Yes that was his real name. Chad and I were just getting started in the ‘farm business’ when a man with 2 kids tagging along behind him, came to our garage sale at our new home. He asked if he could take his children over to pet the horses and see the llamas up close. Of course we said yes, after all, that is why we felt led to get some large animals,to share our place with folks who had young’uns. After a few minutes of friendly chit chat, he mentioned that they purchased a young goat from the Amish almost 6 months ago and Billy was getting too big for their back yard. He asked us if would like to have him…for free! Well of course we said yes! Never turn down a free animal when your starting up a farm! Since we were new at this large animal stuff, it didn’t click inside our heads that there is always a good reason why people want to give away a perfectly good goat (remember the Dorito commercial??). That should have been Red Flag number one! We agreed to meet ‘Billy’ the next day to see if he would fit in with our family. We met Billy in the back yard of a modest house where they kept a few chickens and a very large black lab. Red Flag number 2 was about to show itself! Billy came running straight for us as fast as his little goat legs would trot, only stopping when his horns were firmly planted on Chad’s behind! We nervously laughed as Billy’s mom commented over and over how cute it is that he likes to ‘play’…allot….non stop…continually. Flag number 3 came when the kids automatically hid behind both parent’s as Billy tried to play with everyone within sight!
We took him home, in the back of our van.
Billy was an adorable looking goat with big horns and a non-stop ‘lets play’ attitude. His playfulness consisted of butting everything that breathed….the horses, which kicked their hind legs at him…the llamas that ran away which made him very happy since that meant chase, and anything on two legs! If you moved, he butted…if you stood still…he butted. If you came outside…he butted. He wasn’t mean, just a typical boy goat! After a couple of months of the butting game, Billy started to get gruff! He was beginning to smell like a mature goat! Male goats STINK if they aren’t fixed! Billy needed an ‘operation’. We were hoping that after his ‘castration’ he would settle down. Hope is a funny word when it comes to goats. Our wishful hope did not come true. Billy just wanted to play! Soooooo, we learned to run faster than him in a zigzagging line , we even made escape plans before we ventured inside his pen! Chad and I tried to feed him together as one of us distracted him so the other could sneak in, filling up his food dish and water bucket, trying to be quiet as barn mice. If he heard you, he got into play position, head bent low, horns glowing with determination to butt! We tried with Billy, we really tried. We changed how we did farm chores, we gave him balls to play with and learned how to be sneaky. After a LONG frustrating year, we gave him away…free to some folks who I’m sure had Red Flags swaying in the back of their minds as we commented over and over how cute it is that he likes to play!
Then we got our next FREE goat…Jasper, ‘butt’ that’s another story!