Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Hollidays to all

I hope that everyone had a very wonderful what ever you celebrate. We had a wonderful Christmas. The goats were so happy to get an extra nibble of grain, and a blueberry bagel for a treat.

Donald's leg is healing well, and he got his cast off today but he is still in the house for a bit. I don't want him re hurting himself in the deep snow and ice that we are battling here. Not to forget, that the temps have been below zero at night, and the high has been about 10 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. I know how bad broken bones feel in this bitter cold, so he still gets to feel like king of the house.

Since he's been inside we have been playing lots of games. He gives us kisses when we ask for them now. I'm also teaching him to dance. I've decided that since his cast is off, we are going to work some more on shake. It should be fun for us both.

I have discovered though that goats have noses like bloodhounds. If the pantry door gets left open he is right in there sniffing out the crackers. The other day one of the boys left a package of crackers on the counter, Donald was wandering around the kitchen for about 30 seconds tell he smelled them and started to get up to get them. Little stinker. I guess we learn something new every day don't we.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Donald has the nose of a bloodhound

Crackers, wheat thins, vanilla wafers, granola cereal, and Ramon noodles. This boy can smell them from 3 rooms away. I do believe that Donald is starting to think he is king of the house. He has his favorite chair, his rug, and his blankets. Boy do I hear it when I wash them.

I think the little fat belly is getting lonely for other goats. I have been taking him out to play with the other fat bellies a couple times a day. I don't think it is quite the same for him. I feel so bad that I can't get him a bottle baby friend. I guess going out to play a couple times a day is going to have to be enough for now. He still has a couple weeks before the cast comes off. I just hope and pray that he doesn't get hurt again.

He's such a silly boy. If anyone sits in "his chair" he pulls your hair. If we even think about getting a cracker of any kind he knows it. He loves to try to get my husbands biscuits out of his hand. Poor guy, he hates it when we humans have dinner. He has to go to his Donald Room.

Caedon has started to play a silly game with him. He will put Donald in his room and hide a couple crackers here and there then let Donald out. So far he has a perfect record of finding them. Caedon is trying to hide them in "better" places like under the cushions and such. Donald still finds them. He truly has a super nose for a goat.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Donald says snow is yucky

Since Donald broke his other leg, and the temps have been in the 30's he's been spending his time being King Of The House. At first I did try to keep him in the barn with the other goats. He cried so much and so loud that I wondered if he really was a LaMancha. We decided that he could just stay in with us. That first day he started to go to the door when he had to pee, so that was going to work for us.

Today we woke up to 6 inches of snow and it's still falling. When we went outside Donald looked at me as if to say "what in the world is that, I'm not going down there." I told him "Fine, you decide if you want to leave the porch or not". A few minutes into feeding, and sure enough here he comes. The trouble with that was that the padding in his cast got wet and cold. So I brought him in and told Cae that he needed to dry his cast, and warm his leg as best he could.

Since then Donald has not left the chair he claimed, except the other time he needed to pee. I put a large flat box outside with cat litter in it for him to pee in. He's thinking that works just fine. He surely won't go out the door willingly. Not that I blame him, I hate snow myself.

Here's to wishing everyone a safe winter.
Lots of loves and Donald Kisses

Saturday, November 28, 2009

When it rains it pours

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. I know that we did.

My hopes for Donald to cart have come to an end. Yesterday the silly boy broke his other front leg. He is so curious about the world, that he doesn't worry about getting hurt I guess. I am still going to work with him, and the other boys, but Donald will be a forever pet. Perhaps since he learns so fast he will help me to train other babies.

I love my little guy so much, and I think this year has been as hard on him as it has us. I pray that the coming year will be much better for all of us.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Helpfull baby boys

Right now the fat belly boys are still in the "sick pen". I'm worried that putting them in with the bigger goats Donald will hurt his leg again. Besides, I love to be able to look out the window at them, and to watch them look in at us.

Today we were doing some work to the back door, it opens into the boys pen. At first Kirrian and Acheron only wanted to keep the cats inside the house. Right up until Donald decided that he was coming inside to help. Of course the other two had to come in and take the screw drivers, pliers, hammer, and every piece of paper they could get their mouths on. For not being in the house before, those boys sure did have fun "helping" fix the door.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gotta love a Goat

Every day I am touched by the amount of affection that "livestock" hold for us silly humans. No matter what kind of a day we have they are there to love us. Each day as I feed there are several of my goats that won't eat until they have had a pet, scratch, hug or kiss. Who ever said livestock is stupid really needs to adjust the way they think.

Donald follows me to feed the San Clemente Island Goats even though he and his buddies were fed first. He leans into my leg with his shoulder and tips his face up for a kiss. Once he has it he's off to eat. Kirrian and Acheron want their loves, scratches and kisses after they eat.

Daffy wants his nose scratched and told he's handsome, Honey wants to have her ears scratched. The dairy girls all have different ways of loving up on us too. Chick (Donald's mom) wants to be hugged, kissed and her neck scratched. Then she pets me. Sweets (Kirrian and Acheron's mom) wants to get a quick neck scratch, then she wants to pet me. When she has had enough she kisses my cheek and walks away. Samantha wants to lay her head on my lap and have her ears scratched, her neck rubbed good, and a kiss on her face.

So, if livestock are stupid, why do they make such wonderful pets? They are all so individual in wants, needs and what they like. Livestock animals touch the heart in ways that traditional pets can't or don't. With all the love they share it amazes and touches me. I wonder how people could possibly think such lovable animals could be a threat.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

fall fun

Today the weather was quite nice, and the boys were loving it. Donald has decided that it is really fun to play tag with the other boys. He's a bit smaller than they are, and more agile as well. When they think they have gotten him, he jumps up on something to get away. After having broken his leg he sure does love to jump. He stands up on his house several times a day to look in and see what I am doing. He's also learned that he can knock on the window with a foot and get my attention that way too.

I had the boys out with me this morning to play while I was doing some yard work. Watching them run about and try to herd the turkey and chickens was more fun for me than them I think.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall Weather

All of the fat belly boys are enjoying the cooler days. Donald's Angora sire is showing up in his super soft fuzzy fur. The other babies are putting on a heavier coat also. None of the adults of yet have winter coats.. We've been enjoying walks, and playing games together. I haven't been able to spend as much time of late with them. The city I live in is trying to make me rehome all of my animals. We don't have an animal control ordinance here. There is a nuisance ordinance instead that states anything that irritates one neighbor is nuisance, and the city can force removal.
Because I am disabled, and the goats are part of my therapy I have involved the local Disability Advocate in hopes of keeping my pets. In the mean time, the fat belly boys and I will continue to go for walks, and to work on the many things that they have learned over the summer.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fall is in the air for sure

Donald is getting around very well on his leg now that it's out of the cast. I decided that he and the other "fat belly boys" would winter out in the sick pen. I'm being over protective, and don't want Donald to get hurt by the bigger goats. They are all getting a nice winter coat, and looking so very cute. I really hope we don't have a harsh winter this year, the last couple were really bad. Daffy and some of the older dairy goats don't have much of a winter coat, but all the babies do.
The pen they are in is right outside the living room window, and my bedroom window. We put their house under the window, as it was the best place for them. They have additional shelter from the porch roof there. Donald has become quite the little voyeur with all his looking in the window at us. The other day he really startled one of the boys and my husband. He also seems to enjoy watching TV through the window. Silly boy.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Donald's cast is off!

It's been 5 weeks now, and we took the cast off today. His leg is really weak from muscle atrophy so he has a soft splint on to support the joints. He was following me about being very happy not to have his cast on anymore. His happy outlook just amazes and humbles me daily. I'll post pics of him with his soft splint when the rain stops.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Who knew?

I swear there is no such thing as a Donald proof fence. Right now the three fat bellies are in the "sick pen" somehow Donald let himself out. The problem though is that when he let himself out he left his cast in the pen. He was on the front porch looking in at 6:30 am. We spent 20 minutes looking for his cast though. Didn't take much to put it back on. The silly goof laid on Cae's lap and pulled his beard, and ears. As soon as we got the cast back and let him down he walked up to me with his face tipped up like he does for kisses. What a silly boy.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Donald is doing much better

Yesterday when Donald called to me I went to sit with him and just love on him and the fat bellies. When I walked up to the gate Donald looked up at me and actually put weight on his leg. He only took a couple steps with weight on the leg, but he was very pleased with himself. Maybe he was so pleased with the loves he got.

He is still a little stinker though. When Cae got home today Donald called to him, and when he went out his cast was most of the way off. He had pulled all the cotton out of the cast, and it slipped down. While we were fixing the cast he was trying to eat the cotton.

It makes me so happy to see him recovering. I wish he had never gotten hurt, but he did, and I'm glad he's getting better.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Doing better

Well, got Donald's cast changed yesterday. What a trooper he is. He snuggled into Cae's lap and let me change the cotton bandaging under the cast with no fuss at all. He did demand lots of pets, kisses and of course he didn't mind having a goaty massage either. I think if he could have purred like a cat he would have over the pets and massage. He is really sucking up the attention he gets too. He's no ones dummy either. It started to rain yesterday, he and the other fat belly boys were inside their house. He decided he wanted one of us to come running so he cried like he was being hurt. I get out there, and he's looking at the boys like "see, if you cry she comes". Gotta love a smart goat.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Donald Update

Every day as we do chores we let all the kids out to graze for a bit. Donald was crying like he was being tortured so I let him out. I really didn't think he would go far, but stayed really close anyway. I turned to change the water from the dairy girls to the Angoras, that quick the little stinker was in my yard wagon. I'm still wondering how he jumped into the wagon. Got him out of the wagon, turned, got one of the doelings off the top of the hay stack. In that short amount of time he had gone 50 feet and jumped onto the stump.

I am amazed with Donald and his heart. I really think my little guy is going to be just fine. I truly thought that he would lay about for a bit longer than 1 day. I certainly didn't think that at 5 days he'd be jumping into and on things. In hindsight I guess I shouldn't have been too shocked. A few hours after the leg was set he had climbed onto the railroad tie that we play follow the leader on.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tip of the Day

Brushing your goat daily will help you to spot any sores or injuries. If you brush them in water from a running hose they will have less fear of water, and won't balk at water crossings. I also brush my boys in mud then wash their feet. By washing their feet I can also keep on top of hoof trimming, and any other hoof issues. Because I do this so often, they are extremely easy for one person to trim their hoofs. Big payoff if you are the only one taking care of feet.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Doing good today

Today has found Donald taking it easy. He's a remarkable little goat though. He's up and eating very well, as well as drinking. He is trying to climb and stuff, I might have to take his railroad tie out. He is staying in the play area with Acheron and Kyrrian for now. I didn't want the bigger goats to pick on him. Having the three fat belly babies together is turning out to be another bonding experience for them and me. Donald calls to us to come sit with him every hour or so, so while we are out there we are petting and brushing the other boys as well. All three of them seem to like having undivided attention, without the bigger goats pushing them away so they don't get pets.

Tomorrow I am going to go on with our training with Acheron and Kyrrian. If Donald wants to come out and sit with us, I think I'll let him. For sure he will continue to get daily brushing, and treats. I also think that I will make a halter for him. He likes to "model" when he thinks he looks handsome.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Very stressful day

This morning my hubby and I were trying different things to come up with a better goat halter when all of a sudden, Donald fell off a trailer and broke his leg. Thankfully we were right there and were able to instantly set the leg and do a temporary splint. Our wonderful vet gave us the supplies to properly cast it along with pain medication.
Right now Donald is resting well. He has been up and eating, and begging for kisses. He quickly figured out that if he cries we come running. When we get to him he holds his sweet face up for kisses. I have moved him to an enclosure that is right under the living room and my bedroom windows. I wanted to be sure that I could hear him.
For the next few weeks I will only be working with the other two weathers Acheron and Kyrrian. I will still post about Donald and his recovery. Tomorrow I will post pictures of Donald and his bright red cast.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Follow Me

Teaching this is pretty simple. I take a handful of the treat of the day and walk away from Donald. I stop after a few feet, and if he is behind me he gets the treat, if he's in front of me I change direction. I make sure to stop as soon as he is behind me and give him a treat. It only takes a couple times, and your goat will follow too. When they have followed for a few yards, stop and give another treat. After a few times of doing this I just hold my hand behind me, sometimes I have a treat, sometimes not. They still follow, after a few days they know that they are supposed to stay behind you.
NOTE: I do not turn around to give the treat for following me. I stop, and extend my hand behind me for them. When I'm working with more than just Donald anyone in front of me does not get the treat. Seeing Donald get the treat is enough to encourage them to stay behind me too.
Tip of the Day:
Even if you only have a few minutes to spend with your goats today, do it. Take a minute to pet them, pick up their feet, brush them, scratch their ears, and give them a kiss. Those few minutes will pay off. Picking up their feet will have a huge payoff for trimming, they won't have a problem with you doing anything to them.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Today we worked some on the leash, and on following without the leash. All three of the little fat bellies are doing wonderful. I decided that I would add jumping onto the stump. Donald caught on fastest. But then he will do anything for a taste of bread or whatever is in my pocket. Today it was animal crackers and bread. As soon as the others saw him get a treat it was super simple to get them to jump up. Now we are going to work on having them jump up when their name is called.

The pics are Donald on the stump, Acheron behind me and Kyrrian on the other side of the stump.

All three boys following me. Acheron is on the leash. Sometimes he develops a bit of ADD and would rather check the world out. Today he was trying to get into the grain bin, so he got the leash.

Here is Donald jumping onto the stump. The other boys were by my hubby trying to convince him to give them a treat.
Every morning and evening when we do chores we let the "fat belly babies" out with us. I have been working on them following me. They tend to get underfoot when they are running in circles around me. For the last few days I have had a treat in my pockets. When I am walking I will offer the treat behind me, and only to the baby(s) that are behind me. They finally got it today, all three of the little fat belly boys. It was wonderful to walk with them behind me. Donald caught on first, he really wanted the bread, and then Kyrian, Acheron does everything his brother does, so it was just a domino kind of thing. I have let them out a couple times today, and they have all stayed behind me.

Next we are going to work on walking without the leash. I think I'll do that very slowly, and they will still have leashes until we get away from people and roads.
Tip Of The Day:

Vary the type of treats you give. If there is variety they are always willing to work for food. I use leaves from their favorite trees, favorite weeds, peanuts, triscuts, ritz crackers, saltines, animal crackers, grapes, bread, and of course, grain. In the summer I am very careful not to give them very much with corn. I have read that corn can heat them up too much in the warm weather. Don't know if it's true, but not willing to risk my pets

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

This week I have been working with Donald, and two other LaMancha weathers. They are all three months old, and so full of energy and love. I am always amazed at how smart they are. They have been walking on the leash with me every night, and are doing wonderful. We take different trails all the time, and the new sounds, sites, and smells don't bother them at all.

Teaching them to walk on the leash is very easy. First let me say, NEVER LET A GOAT DRAG A LEASH IF YOU ARE NOT RIGHT WITH THEM, AND NEVER TETHER A GOAT UNLESS YOU ARE RIGHT WITH THEM. Having said that, every time we feed the babies are let out. They follow us around and munch on weeds. For us the first part of teaching them to walk on a leash is to let them drag one for two or three feedings. We NEVER leave them unattended. When they realize that the leash is not evil I pick it up. They usually balk at the pressure of the leash. That's where the treat comes in. I hold the treat out a bit in front of them so they have to walk to get it. Then I turn and walk again, when they balk I give another taste of treat. It only takes a couple times and they figure out that if they follow you they get something good. After they are following for several yards, I offer them a treat and a love. From there, it's just practice several times a week for a few minutes, or take walks.

Donald acts like walking on the leash is wonderful, he gets to taste things that aren't common in our yard. The other two weathers wait to see what Donald is eating before they sample it.
They are all following me or walking beside me, and don't make any effort to be in front of me. I really like for them to stay behind me, and am very pleased with how well they walk on the leash. The reason I like them behind me is simple, I don't want to trip over them and one or both of us getting hurt. That's why I teach them to stay behind me.

All three of the boys are jumping onto a platform to get a treat, and I've been working with them to get up when their name is called. I hope that by the end of the week they will be jumping up as soon as I tell them too. When they are proficient at jumping on the platform I will ask them to jump on something higher until they are jumping in the truck with ease. I'll write more on that over the weekend, along with how I teach them to do the trick.
I have discovered that by teaching one of the boys the new task the others learn much faster. I have been taking turns teaching either Donald or the slowest learner the new task. It works so wonderfully!!!! The others see what he just did, and are happy to do the same for the treat. I also work individually with them during the day to help reinforce the trick, as well as working with them in a group

I am having so much fun working with these guys, it is turning out to be really good exercise for me as well as the goats.