I really need to start putting warning labels on each goat I sell. I’m thinking about, “WARNING! Goats can be addictive.” That should cover it and no one will think to blame me when they go from one goat to fifty. One friend bought four from me and in less than a year, she had a hundred. She loved the four she got from me so much that she bred them and then went out and bought more and before a year had past, she had one hundred.
She let her addiction to goats get control of her. Now, me, I am in control of my addiction. I am quite content with my one hundred and fifty to two hundred or so. So, how can you tell if you have a goat addiction?
One mark of addiction is when all you think about is goats. You relive past experiences of goats, such as that cute little kid that comes up wanting a hugging. Or, that wonderful doe that kids and gives you the chunkiest, cutest babies you’ve ever seen. Or, that big buck that quietly comes up to your side and respectfully asks for a petting.
Your thinking is consumed with planning for the care of the goats, wormings, shots, better housing, trimming feet, bringing in really good hay for the winter. You spend a lot of time studying bloodlines and thinking who to breed to whom. Scheming when to kid and getting set up for that fantastic occasion. What it all boils down to is most of your thought process is about goats.
Another mark of addiction is when every spare and not spare moment is spent with the goats. Sure, you are having to worm, give shots, trim feet, feed, etc., but when you don’t have to do that and you just find yourself wandering around with the goats. You find yourself spending time with them before going to work, checking them over, feeding. Then you spend time with them when you come back from work, feeding, checking them over and wandering around with them.
You no longer take vacations any more, at least no longer than a day vacation. Because, really, who’s good enough to take care of your goats? Your vacations are now spent kidding, which you have put in a lot of time and planning so you could be there when the girls kid.
Now, some of us don’t even have a nine to five job. We say our job, our business is the goats. We set ourselves up with little business cards, websites, advertise. Twenty-four seven we are with the goats, but what we are hiding is that we are secretly addicted to the goats.
You ask that if you are so addicted to goats, how can you stand to sell them? Some can’t stand to sell them and don’t. Other addicts are extremely proud of the product they are producing and will put some up for sale in order to afford to keep improving their goats, feeding them the best, affording the best care, able to afford another really good buck to introduce to the herd. But, you will notice they never sell all their goats, and they keep certain ones back that will never leave the place, because they just can’t bear to be without them. Keeping those few forever helps them to sell some of their wonderful, wonderful goats.
Goat addicts find that they just don’t quite tell the truth to family on how many goats they really do have. People don’t understand the goat addict. They make it sound like you just might have too many goats. Why, just the other day Lee was standing beside me near the pasture gate watching this absolutely beautiful wave of white shiny goats with red heads flow down the hill, heading to the barn. It was just breath taking to see so many beautiful goats.
Lee asked, “Uh, just how many goats do we have?”
I replied as sincerely as possible, “Three or four.”
Counting is something goat addicts do not do. I remember a good friend who got goats but got hooked on the livestock guard dogs protecting them. She loved and admired those dogs. She always said livestock guard dogs are like eating potato chips, you can’t have just one. I believe she had one dog for each goat she had and she had a rather large herd of goats. But, I didn’t count the dogs. I understand an addict when I see one. And, I knew the answer if I had asked how many dogs she had.
Now, back to that label to glue on the goats. Maybe instead I’d just better put a big sign up by the driveway, “CAUTION: Goats can be habit forming.” And, then make them sign a waiver that they understand this and I am not responsible for what happens after they get their first goat. That just might work. They might try to say that the label on the goat was too small of print and they couldn’t read it when they bought it. Ah, here comes the next addict now, pulling into the driveway.