I cannot stress enough how much I love goats. They are my spirit animal. They are really smart and fun to work with. But only when they want to be. They really work on their own schedule. And they will be helpful, but only if you make it worth their while.
There are 9 goats that need to be milked twice a day at Quail Hollow, and they are all pretty good goats. I have trouble with Nervous Nelly sometimes, but I am new, so I try not to take it too personally. I give her corn out of my hand and she’s warming up to me.
Yesterday, I forgot to pull the latch down on the pen while I was escorting one goat to milking stand. 5 goats pushed their way free, to the milk stand where their treats are. When they couldn’t get into their treats, they ate some grapes. “Spirit Animal” is starting to make a lot more sense huh?
Of course, I did have to timidly let Emma know that I had a bit of goat problem so she could come rescue me from renegade goats.
Goat mischief aside, that damn milking machine is possessed by gremlins. A complicated series of tubes and some moving parts, it looks like a cannibalized iron lung sent from days long past to harry Quail Hollow interns.
And that is why last night I found myself chasing after a Swiss Alpine goat named Miss Liz in the dark, in the rain, with mud to my knees, cursing those damn goats and that stupid milker.
Goats, it turns out, do not like getting wet any more than people do. I would like to report that it was a bonding moment for me with the goats. After all, here I was in the cold and wet to help relieve their swollen udders for them. But no, not even the promise of corn was enough to lift their mulish (goatish?) attitude.
Once I caught them, and dragged them to the gate in the pen, they had resigned themselves to getting wet, so they would RUN to the stand. There was a large puddle on the path to the stand, and each goat had to figure out how they were going to get across it without getting their toes wet. Some would take the long way around, but others would charge right through as though if they went fast enough they could keep their feet dry. Silly goats.
This was my first time dealing with animals in less than admirable weather, for which I count myself lucky. I still love goats.
I still hate that milking machine.