I went to check on the goats this afternoon and noticed they were all in a tight group on the hill. I called and called for the dogs and they did not come. Then I noticed that someone had opened the fence and they did not connect it properly and there was a gap between the poles big enough for the dogs to get out. I continued to call the dogs for a couple of minutes and got no response. I called Clay to alert him to the possibility that something bad had happened. I fixed the fence and went looking for the dogs.
The goats were very nervous like something was wrong. When the goats get scared they get in a tight group with the little ones in the middle and the older does on the outside. Kind of like circling the wagons.
It was breezy and I thought that the dogs might not be able to hear me calling. I walked halfway up the hill calling them and thankfully saw one tail bounding down the hill and then two more. I breathed a big sigh of relief and fed the dogs.
Now it was time to count the goats. They were still in a tight group which makes it impossible to get a head count. I called them down the hill and they were very reluctant to come past the area where the fence had been opened. I finally got them strung out enough to get a head count and only got 58. There should be 68! I counted two more times and still got the same number. I went to the car to get my list to figure out who was missing. Unfortunately I switched cars and left the notebook in the Suburban. (will put a list in both cars!)
I decided I would walk up to the top of the hill where the dogs came from to see if I could find the missing 10. Thankfully when I got to the top there they were! Of course one of them was Ginger. Those of you who know my goats will know that Ginger would be the ringleader of the missing ones. She "beats to her own drum." Princess and Black Betty were amongst them as well. How predictable!
I still don't know who opened the fence and what they were doing. I hope to talk to the guy who likes to watch them in the mornings to see if he saw anything. I alerted one of the dog walkers and she said she will start walking her dog in that area to check on things. She is usually there twice a day. How nice to have extra eyes and ears there.
I wish the goats and dogs could talk! Maybe not. :)
Thankfully Clay didn't have to drive out there. He was home picking Autumn Olive berries. When I got home had cooked a 5 gallon bucket of berries into a delicious sauce that we will can. Yum!
South African Boer Bok
Autumn Olive Farms is a family based operation in Augusta County. We have a dual focus model with a singular commitment to the health and wellness of the land, animal and the consumer. We raise the beautiful South African Boer Bok as an environmentally sound method to combat the invasive plant species problem while producing one of the finest and healthiest meats in the world right here in the Shenandoah Valley. The combination of the worlds premier, purpose bred and standardized meat goat with the fantastic forage base of invasive species here in the Valley provides a win-win situation for the land, its owner and the consumer.