I believe I have finally joined that small minority of the human population known as the
Goat Whisperers. We have all heard and read about the Horse Whisperers, men/women
who have an uncanny knack handling horses, particularly difficult horses. Who can with
the softness of their words and the gentleness of their actions, make the horse do what
they want them to do, not what the horse wants to do. Which usually is to throw a real
Well, now there are the Goat Whisperers. They are the people who can think ahead of
the goat, have the brains of a goat, and know what that goat is going to do before even
the goat does. And, then change the actions of the goat to something they want, not what
the goat wants to do. Thatís The Goat Whisperer, what all goat farmers try to become.
We are one with the goat and then we do our best to change that pesky animal.
For example, this kidding season I had one particularly difficult doe. She was wilder then
a March hare. Iím not sure what a March hare is, but if itís wild, thatís what this doe
was. She was to be a first time kidder and I put all my soon to kid does in kidding stalls to
keep a closer eye on them in case of problems. The only reason Lee and I could catch
that doe to even put her in a kidding stall was that she was so overloaded with kids, she
couldnít move as fast as she usually could.
We trapped her and put her in a kidding stall beside the stall of a tame doe, hoping this
tameness might rub off on her. They could see each other through the panel. The wild
doe took up a new hobby in this new environment. Every time I stepped in her stall with
her hay or grain she became a trapeze artist, practically swinging on the barn rafters.
Anything to get away from me. I was so afraid that she might hurt herself and her soon to
be born kids that I could feed her in record time. The tame doe acted like she had
discovered a new soap opera and kept her face glued to the panel between them to see
what the wild doe would do next. Her tameness did not wear off on the wild one.
Anyway, the time arrived. The wild one was trying to kid. I kept hunkered down behind
the door, peeking through a crack to make sure things went well. Things did not go well.
The kid was unusually large and she was definitely having problems.
I let out a big sigh and tried to ease myself into the stall. She was lying down and at a
wrong angle to do her usual trapeze act, so she did the next best thing. She leapt up and
shot forward, blowing that kid out of her like a kid out of a cannon. Thatís one way of
getting a too big of kid out of a doe, I thought.
There he was, still in his sack, trying to break out. I ignored the doe and ran to the kid
and ripped the sack off him. I thought to myself, "I bet I have a bottle baby. Sheís not
going to accept him now."
But, I lifted him up and moved him half way across the stall, closer to her. She wheeled
around to face me like it was the last stand in the kidding stall, and then her eyes fell
down to the wet crying kid. She melted like a popscicle. She hurried over and started
licking him with me still towel drying him.
Now, I was the one about ready to pass out in shock. That doe was assisting me with her
kid. I knew the next step in this kidding process was to check the teats to make sure there
werenít "plugs" in them that would prevent the kids from getting their milk. That meant I
had to milk my wild doe. I shuddered at the thought, so while she was cleaning him, I
moved to her side and started milking the teats. Yep, a plug was in each one and it took
some strong milking to get them out. She just ignored me.
Lee snuck up to the door because he had been hiding and watching and just stared in
amazement at me milking this insanely wild doe.
"Lee," I whispered, " I am finally a Goat Whisperer. Look what this doe is letting me do."
"You mean her hormones kicked in and her brain is turned off and all she sees is that
kid?" he asks.
"No, no," I whispered more loudly. "I am finally a Goat Whisperer."
The wild doe responded to all this loud whispering by lying down and letting me assist her
in giving birth to her second kid, a little girl. I helped her clean it up and got both kids to
nursing. The little girl nursed, took one look at me and attempted her momís trapeze act
in trying to get away from me. I never saw a kid move so fast after birth.
Since that magical moment of realizing that I was at last a Goat Whisperer, Iíve been
noticing my abilities growing. Take for instance a pen full of goats. Without saying one
word I can clear that pen in a matter of seconds, goats scattered to the winds. Sure, Iím
carrying a drench gun and getting ready to worm, but Iím sure my presence just made the
goats feels so much better that they frolicked happily off to show how healthy they really
The other evening I was showing Lee the strength of my growing powers by calling the
goats in from the hills. I stood straight and tall and whispered the head boss doeís name.
Sheís the one we call to bring the herd in at night.
Lee looked at me curiously. "What are you doing?" he asked.
"Iím showing you my growing powers of a Goat Whisperer. All I have to do is whisper
the doeís name and theyíll feel my presence and come in."
"Uh, huh," he answered.
Evidently I wasnít as far along in my Goat Whispering abilities as I thought, because the
goats didnít come in. Okay, the next step is actions. A Goat Whisperer knows what
particular action is needed to get the correct response from their goat.
I went and got a metal bucket, dropped it on the ground and started kicking it around and
screeching at the top of my lungs the boss doeís name. Lee was so moved by my know
how on being a Goat Whisperer that he had to step inside the feed room to hide his
emotions. Particularly when the neighbors all up and down the valley came out of their
homes to see what I was up to this time.
Proudly I watched as the boss doe brought the herd in a big stampede of dust. Being a
Goat Whisperer is such a wonderful thing. And, what about the wild doe in the stall with
her kids? The next day she actually stood there and let me put grain in her feeder. Of
course, I had to help peel her little daughter down off the rafters. It was just too far for
the little thing to drop by herself.