It occurred to me the other day, as I was trying to walk through my 5 month old doe kids, that the mob and I looked and acted like the long ago comedy act, the Keystone Kops. I was having one little girl running between my legs because she thought she saw a monster and another behind me rearing up on my back and pounding me with her front hooves, and the rest revolving around me like spastic planets around a sun, and me only able to take tiny baby steps to get anywhere. We sort of moved in mass and me with my arms and legs flailing everywhere trying to keep my balance.
Add a grain bucket in the mix and me also trying to grain the girls, we are a truly wild looking bunch trying to travel in a mob to the feeders. A few of the girls will forget to revolve around me and suddenly stop in front of me as if they had forgot what they were doing. The rest of the group are still pushing me from the sides and back and one or two girls walking on their hind legs behind me, pounding my back with their little hooves, and all of us at one time or another have flipped over the stalled out girls in front of me. Yes, we are the Keystone Kops for sure.
The young buck boys in their pen have a different attitude when I walk through. Oh, they charge me, surround me, but every now and then one will plant himself in front of me and lower his head and pretty much say, “Make my day.” With the intentions he is going to stop me in my tracks. He’s forgetting that he is not one of the big breeding bucks. He’s just an itty bitty thing compared to them, and with my Keystone Kops I just keep on walking right through him. Which makes any buck boy indignant at the rudeness, but what can he do? I have the rest of his buddies surrounding me, each fighting to get closer to me and they just help me walk on through any young buck boy who thinks he can stop me with a lowered head. Nothing stops the Keystone Kops.
I was thinking that I needed cameras in the run-in sheds and fields to catch all the action of my kids when I appear on the scene. In between taking teeny tiny steps because the kids have me pretty much hobbled, as closely as they keep circling me, to taking big giant steps when I see an opening. Oh my, that one never turns out well. Usually a kid runs underneath my highly uplifted foot and I find myself down or stumbling wildly, trying to keep my balance. The kids never scatter in fear with my wild antics to keep upright. They just start circling in closer. We just look like one big clumsy unit moving wildly about. But, if I had a camera making movies of our moves, we’d bring back the hay day of the Keystone Kops. That funny wild bunch of guys moving in mass from one place to another. Only, I’d have to rename the movie the Keystone Kids for us.
When I do have the grain bucket and the kids get even more spastic than usual as they circle me, I have tried using logic with them. “Listen, kids, I can’t go anywhere with you blocking me. How can I get to your feeders to pour your grain in? So, be a good bunch of kids and just politely follow me to your feeders and you will be fed much faster.”
Before I am even finished with my logical argument for them to be polite, I feel a kid rear up on my back and start pounding me with her little front hooves. The others get this look in their eyes and I know they are thinking maybe they all should rear up on me and take me down, the big giant that won’t share her grain. So, off we go again, in mass, swirling, teetering from one side to the other until I finally stumble onto their feeders. Logic never appeals to the Keystone Kids.
Now usually we have feeding pens, made out of cattle panels and with gates. The feeders are inside, we are able to get to them without having to go through the goats. We can put the grain in the feeders and then open a gate and there you go, no problem. But, every now and then the feeding pens are too muddy to feed in or they are occupied with a goat for some reason or another and you have to wade through kids to feed them in an open area.
We’d never attempt that with the adult goats. They are big and strong and the whole mob of adults see no problems in taking you down if you walk out among them with a bucket of grain. But, the kids are usually somewhat safer to grain out in open country when the need arises. Except, of course, when they are acting like the Keystone Kops.