My neighbour is a stock man. An old fashioned stockman, pushing 80 years old, and he has forgotten more about stock than I’ll ever know. When I complain to him about this or that, he pulls his hat brim askew, hunches his shoulders and drawls a la Gomer Pyle, “First you gotta be smarter than the…(dog, horse, sheep, mule etc”). This does nothing to make me feel better. In fact it makes me feel worse.
I’ve divided the sheep barn in half. Of course not having sheep anymore, I guess its not really the sheep barn anymore, but that’s been its name for 30 years. It’s a hard habit to break. One half is now the winter chicken coop, and the other is is the combo goat, pig and dog barn. There’s only five goats, Momma Goat and her four babies, my Pot Belly pig Dolores, affectionately known as PigPig, and my sheep guardian dog, Queen, whom I call Big Dog. There’s lot of room for these few creatures, if they would just SHARE. But goats don’t share with anyone!
PigPig has one corner, which I’ve piled high with sweet hay–she burrows in and is nice and warm and cosy. But I’ve noticed the past little while, since I blocked the goats from going into the chicken side and torturing the chickens, PigPig has been getting grumpier and grumpier. Yesterday I happened to notice the young goats were tap dancing all over my pig. They pack down the hay and PigPig was moving closer to the edge of the pile every day because it was looser and she could burrow part of the way in. Well, her head mostly and her back was all exposed. The temperature her has been hovering around the -30C mark, colder with the windchill and poor PigPig was freezing. Damn goats.
So I decided to fix up a goat proof corner for Pig. I found an 4 x 8 sheet of particle board and cut a couple of pieces of rough 2 x 4’s and blocked off her corner. I had to coax her in with dog biscuits but once she realized the goats weren’t dancing on her back she burrowed into the centre of the pile and I hope she will be warm tonight. I hung a heat lamp on the goat side–Momma goat will lay under the lamp and the littles will lay with her and hopefully not bother the pig.
So why do I hate goats you are asking? Not because they are pure evil. Not because they torture every other animal on the farm. Not because they tortured my pig in particular (I love my Pig!).
I hate goats because they are smarter than I am…