Our horses are not only sneaky, but mysterious! Some how Sparky and the Tank got into the middle pen where all the hay is stacked up with out opening a gate! Two already plump horses gorging themselves sick and both gates are closed and locked. The fence is up so they didn’t push it down and it is too high for stubby mini horses to jump over ( I think I would faint if I saw the Tank jump!). So …how did they get in there??!! Dunkay was on the outside looking in, his mouth watering and feeling left out! All he could do was stand there while his tummy growled as the two over weight horses feasted on the forbidden food! Also, the goats can get into any place at anytime and they too were watching ding and dong eat. Another head scratching mystery at Addie Acres!
My mountain goat was standing outside in the middle of the pasture staring towards a group of trees, usually she stares at the house and only the house! I get nervous when she is looking at something different. Makes me think something is going on that shouldn’t be! So I struggled into the pink nightmare snow suit and dragged myself into the freezing cold to figure out why is my goat standing on an ice patch in below 0 weather! And what was she staring at?? NOTHING! There wasn’t a thing out of order. She was zoning out again pretending to be high up in the snow capped mountains, free and wild! So there we stood, the two of us. A little black and white goat with a dreamy look on her frosted face and farmer Nancy, standing next to her in the pink Carhart snowsuit with a ‘why me’ look, staring at the swaying trees in the -10 wind chill!
I need to take my camera with me every time I go to the barn. What did I see today at the funny farm you ask with bated breath? My rooster was in the middle of the field pecking at grass and there were 4 hens scattered about that hang with him. A kitty walked up to Mr Tough Guy, which made the rooster nervous because he made this strange loud, drawn out clucking sound. When he did, all four hens came running to him! All five chickens then stood there facing the cat like they were going to have him for dinner instead of the cat having chicken for supper. The kitty was in a pounce position with his tail straight up wagging, his fur puffed out, staring at the lined up birds. I think they were having a show down! The cat soon figured he was out numbered, backed down and slinked away. The rooster and his brood scattered, strutting back to their original spots before the war cry was blasted! I can honestly say, I’ve never seen that before! Weird animals we have!
Okay this was GREAT! Earlier today one of the hens decided to come out of the chicken coop and poke around. The wind is howling today and have sustained winds of around 30 miles an hour gusting up to 45! She must of strutted out when a gust came barreling through cause it picked her up and taught her how to fly…Kansas style! She ‘flew’ through the cold air for about 20 feet before landing on her head! She picked herself up, did the bird shake and ran back towards the opening when another gust came and did the chicken dance with her again! The winds of OZ wasn’t done with her quite yet….she got up, headed towards the barn when she was knocked over and did a tumble or two. By this time, I was feeling sorry for her and stopped laughing and rescued her from the enemy. She tucked her head under my arm as I battled the wind to get her back to safety. I’m expecting an extra large egg from her later today as payment!!
she sits at the back door every morning waiting for me to share my Special K without the cats!!
Well, it is spring! Why? Because I had my first bowl of cereal on my swing with Chick Chick and FOUR cats! Yep, it was relaxing to fight off a chicken and starving kitties who swiped at the hen, who in turn pecked back at furry faces. The gang then pushed each other away from me along with a few loud meeeeoooowwww’s and a SQUAWK! I ate as fast as I could throwing some Special K flakes in the middle of the squabble so they would leave me alone, which by the way, didn’t work. They turned into sharks circling the milky morsels then pouncing upon it in a pile of fur and feathers! After the attack, they all looked up at me with squinted eyes demanding in their silence for more….not a few flakes, but the whole bowl! I retreated as fast as I could back to the house with my breakfast held high above my head as the herd of cats ran after me. One kitty ran in front trying to get me to stop as the other 3 sprinted to the back door where they stood like soldiers guarding the entrance, nobody in, nobody out! Chick Chick waited by the swing hoping I would come back and reward her for being good. The cats won. I gave up my cereal and placed it on the porch. It was completely gone within 4.5 seconds. I grudgingly went back to my swing and sat with Chick Chick who was not interested in me anymore now that the food was gone. She jumped down and strutted away looking for early bugs. The kitties relished in their victory and cuddled in the warm sun, paws and tails wrapped around each other, glancing at me with a satisfied look of ‘yep, we rule, you drool’.
Just when I thought I’ve seen it all, my animals surprise me with something else to shake my head at. I was in my office working when I looked out the window to see what the naughty’s were up to. Seemed normal, not much going on in below 0 weather. I had left the barn door open just enough to let them go outside in case they needed a break from each other. I saw two bunnies run out as fast as they could, following close behind was our goat Sierra. She chased those bunnies with her head bent low an inch or three behind a bunny butt all the way to the trees! She then walked back to the barn satisfied that her personal pile of hay was safe from un-wanted dinner guest!
We have a small hill by the garage that faces the barn and the animals like to eat the grass up there. Well it’s been snowing allot making the pasture very icy. The horse and donkey droppings have now become hard rocks that stick up like tiny mountains hiding under the snow to trip me. Any who….Dunkay was pawing for grass under the crusty blanket on the slanted side of the hill, ignoring me since I didn’t have any grain in my hands. I yelled out to him, “Dunkay, what ya doing up there” he turned and looked at me, he then proceeded to come down so he could greet me, his favorite human. Because of the ice, he started to lose his footing, sliding towards me with his legs doing the cartoon act, you know where you all you see is a circle of legs going around and around but they aren’t moving? I’m standing there watching him slide towards me, no traction under his hooves that are pumping thinking a hundred thoughts per second like, “oh no, do I run? Do I try to stop him? Will he knock me down if I can’t move away fast enough? Is he going break a leg? Is he going to die? Am I going to die? Where’s Chad when you need him?!” I spread my legs a bit, bend down a little and put my arms out, sorta like a baseball catcher, only in pink, hoping to catch a 300 pound donkey. What am I nuts? I come to my senses within seconds and step aside and let him slide past me. After he got his footing, he looked at me with a grin on his face! I believe he actually enjoyed himself!
Well since I’ve been writing about goats, I will tell about the 2cnd goat we got…for free. Jasper! You would think that after Billy, red flags would be easy to recognize. Well they’re not! Jasper came to us approx. 3 months after Billy went to live at his new butting playground. Jasper had been raised by an elderly lady who kept him in the house for the first year of his life. He was treated like a child and he excepted nothing less from Addie Acres when he joined our family. Jasper took over Billy’s old pen. It was the perfect goat area! It had a cozy 2 room shelter with a thick straw bed, a special wood ‘goat pole’ that we put up so he could scratch his horns and take care of any itch he may have. It had a large private pasture for running, playing and to lounge around in the sun with a small dirt hole for a body rub. Jasper had a couple of good points right from the start. He was already fixed and even thou he liked to play, he wasn’t a ‘butting’ goat. He would push around colorful beach balls, muzzle our hand for a massage and he had an unusual talent… escaping from any pen no matter where it was or how strong the structure! Billy the goat would butt us to play and Jasper the goat would escape so he could trot up to the house looking for his human family. He would spend un-noticed hours searching for a tasty bush he wasn‘t allowed to eat. We reinforced the fence, replacing most of it with horse fencing, plus we pounded in a few heavy duty posts to prevent him from pushing a wall down. Goats are famous for finding a weak spot in the fence or locating a hole as small as a guinea pig that they can hook their horns into until it is big enough to squeeze through. If he could get his head through an opening, his whole body would follow without effort! Jasper would work on his pen everyday, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! There were many times when would I find him standing on the porch next to my white wicker furniture staring with dancing eyes, tail wagging! He was patiently waiting for me to come out to feed him and play. We had folks knocking day and night to inform us that our escapee was out enjoying exotic flowers. We caught him standing on his hind legs, front hooves on the window sill, looking in the family room trying to find life inside the house! Jasper was too friendly! He didn’t want to be alone and he didn’t enjoy living outside like an animal! I really liked Jasper, he was cute as a button and loved his humans! But he refused to be caged and enjoyed his freedom too much. It finally got to the point that we needed to find him a real farm with farmers who knew how to keep a Houdini inside the barn. So after a few short months we gave Jasper to a young lady who fell in love with him. She was active in 4H, and excited to show him off at the fair. We told her about his escape adventures, not holding any information back. Lucky for us, this teenage girl was raised on a large farm, experienced in taking care of goats. She was willing to take Jasper the escaping goat and teach him proper farm manners. When the day came to say goodbye, I was sad. I gave him a hug and help load him into her trailer. I watched my silly goat ride down the gravel driveway, his furry behind sticking out, tail wagging as the dusty white cloud enveloped them. I was disappointed that once again we were goat free, yet relived that I didn’t have to chase him down 5 days a week, worrying he might be struck by a car. Our ‘goat less ness’ lasted for about 8 months. Our next 2 FREE goats came from the Michigan City petting zoo. Their Care Taker promised that they wouldn’t try to escape, reassuring us that because they were hand raised at the zoo, they didn’t have that natural instinct to butt, they did however, enjoy circling around people for grain and vanilla wafers. Welcome Dillon and Sierra…the staring goats!