My goats believe in schedules. In fact, by the way they act, they set their watches by it. They know exactly when they are suppose to be fed, watered, bottle fed, and checked on. If I am not on time for any of these, what a ruckus they start. If I keep to the schedule, then everyone is content, peaceful, quiet, and what a pleasant world it is.
What I would like to do is first, find their watches and hide them, and second find out who is selling watches to my goats. Think of the selling technique that guy has to be able to sell watches to goats. You could really learn from someone like that.
Until then, right on the dot, a beller rises up from the goats when it is lunch time, supper time, hay time, or just wondering where on earth I am at time. Itís uncanny. I canít really blame them. There is no way you could run this farm if you didnít have some type of schedule.
You canít say to the goats, ďOh, Iíll water you some time in the next week or two.Ē Or, ďIíll feed you when I am not so busy.Ē You would end up with unhealthy looking or dead stock for sure. So, my day is split up into time segments. At such and such a time is breakfast for the goats, at such and such a time itís supper, this is when I water time, this is when I hay time, this is when I run checks on the different herds, and four times a day I bottle feed if bottle babies are around. In between those times I have an hour or two in the house to answer calls, make calls, work on registration papers, prepare and heat milk replacer before bottle feeding, make our own meals or wash clothes, and then back outside.
Many people do not understand the importance of a schedule to a full time goat farmer. I have had women call up and laugh at me because I make appointments for people to drop by to look at goats. Their idea was that I was here full time, so they should be able to drop by any olí time they took the notion. It doesnít work that way on a working farm. If you are kidding or working in hay or needing to water or feeding goats, in order to keep up with over 150 head, a schedule is needed.
And the goats know this better then anybody. At 5 a.m. their voices rise up in unison, ďWHEREíS BREAKFAST?!Ē Right on the dot. I think they have those watches where you push a button and it lights up in the dark so you can read it. Iíve always wanted one of those.
On the weekends I have been trying to train them to let us sleep in until 6 a.m., and actually having breakfast first before we head out to feed them. Iíve been trying to train them to this for over fifteen years and so far they arenít falling for it. You say that a goat doesnít understand the different days of the week, such as a weekend. To my way of thinking, if they have a watch, and a lighted watch at that, and know exactly the hour of day it is, then they should understand the days of the week by just looking at their calendar.
Yes, calendar. Iím still looking for it. I just know they have a calendar out in the barn somewhere. They seem to know exactly when itís time for their shots and wormings and somehow stay elusive as soon as those days arrive. As soon as I appear with the nail apron I wear filled with cool packs, vaccines, and needles and syringes, and the bottle of wormer that sloshes as I walk, the goats make themselves scarce. So, I know thereís a calendar in that barn somewhere that they know the date when I am going to appear to vaccinate and worm.
They also seem to have their calendar marked for breeding season. As soon as I see on my calendar that itís breeding season and I bring the girls in to a holding pen to start dividing them up on who is going in with what buck, the oddest thing happens. Girls who are never friendly to me, walk right up to me and practically say, ďOkay, where do you want me to go? Which buck this year?Ē Put a hand on their neck and they lead right to the gate they are suppose to go.
Same thing when itís time to put the girls in to their kidding stalls. As soon as we have all the pregnant girls in a group, the wildest of the girls will calmly waddle up to you and ask which stall did I want them to go in. Itís uncanny. Of course, the first timers donít do this because they forgot to look at their calendar in the barn, but the older does always know.
I hear a bellowing outside now. Looks like it is time for one groups hay and watering. Whoever sells the herd their watches, provides a really good product because they are never late. Wonder if I can get one from him with the light, like the goats have.