Here are some timely tips for goat buyers, whether first timers or old hands at buying goats.
Even experienced buyers need a refresher course every now and then. Youíve heard the
old saying, "Boy, I wish I knew all that heís forgotten." Well, here it is. Donít worry, I
never understood that saying either, but then, maybe Iíve forgotten.
Letís say youíve already decided to check out the ads in the papers and free
advertisements and have decided to go that route instead of the sale barns for now. Youíve
called a few people with goats for sale and youíve found out there are a lot of different
breeds out there. Youíve also found out that wether is a neutered boy goat and itís
pronounced "weather" even though its spelled wether. You know what a billy is and what a
nanny is and you are starting to feel quite experienced by now. So, you pick out a few ads
and set up appointments to go see the goats.
Now an important decision has to be made here and that is clothes. What on earth do you
wear to look at goats? Those golden strapped sandals are quite nice, but take in
consideration where you are going. You are probably going to a farm and I know youíve
read about farms, but itís reality time now.
Goats have a tendency to make goat berries (hard round "poo"), so you had better wear
socks with those gold strapped sandals. You donít want hard round goat berries rolling
between your toes and distracting you while you are discussing goats with the goat seller.
But, if itís a rainy day, donít wear socks with the sandals. Youíll need to be able to get a
grip with your toes as you navigate a soupy barnyard.
You want to wear your brand new white tennis shoes? That is a great idea. You can really
see your feet in those white shoes. You can spot exactly where you are stepping and also
know where you have been by the color of the shoes.
Okay, back to clothes. Contrary to popular belief, goat sellers do see other colors besides
green (your money). They will be able to tell instantly if you are an experienced goat buyer
by the clothes you wear. So, make a good impression. No, donít wear your Sunday go to
meeting clothes. This will label you as a greenhorn. Besides, the congregation will
appreciate you not wearing those same clothes to church on Sunday. But, if you want a
seat to yourself at church and plenty of elbow room, go ahead and wear your Sunday go to
meeting clothes to buy a goat.
If you insist on wearing strapless halter-tops, take in consideration the action of bending
over and trying to pick up a squirmy, fighting, baby goat and trying to clutch it to your
chest. Now, this may not be a problem for a guy wearing a strapless halter top, other then
the distraction of a guy wearing a strapless halter top, but ladies should consider this.
Skirts are freeing, arenít they? Plenty of leg movement in skirts. But, whether you want to
be that free, chasing across the pasture to catch your new purchase, your gold sandals
sparkling in the sunlight, itís up to you. Remember, if you have a windy day youíll be
spending all your time trying to hold down your skirt. And, itís really hard trying to chase
down your new goat purchase while holding down your skirt. Trying to get a leg lock
around a goatís neck while your hands are occupied is very hard, trust me.
Okay, so weíve about decided on pants of your choosing and a sturdy shirt. These will
look quite nice with the gold strapped sandals. What about shorts? Well, it certainly could
get cold in winter, but if you are hot blooded, go right ahead. Just remember, if you are
carrying a baby goat to the vehicle those babies have sharp little hooves. If they are
thrashing around in your arms expect the upper part of your legs to look like a busy road
map with really wide roads. Even if you are leading an adult to the vehicle and that goat
happens to have horns, if it whips its head around much the tips of the horns can do a
number on unprotected legs. Unless you are a quick dancer and can dance out of the way
of those horns, doing splits, kicks, and a fancy two step.
This leads us into vehicles. What do you carry a goat in? If you have a car with leather
seats, that will do quite nicely. Leather cleans up with saddle soap and warm water and
what if you get a particularly stubborn stain? Why, heat up some 100% neatsfoot oil and
soak those seats. It will change the color of the seat to something darker that should hide
the stain. Oh, and donít expect to keep the new car smell after hauling a goat around in the
back seat. You get more of an earthy smell. You might want to change the name of your
car to "Mother Earth" or something like that to prepare passengers as they get in. We call
our van the "Goat Mobile". That way people know what to expect when they get in.
What kind of stains could you possibly get from a goat? Well, goats arenít exactly known
for their bladder or bowel control, especially when excited. And, boy, will they be excited
riding in the back seat of a car. They probably will lose their vocal control too and sing
different renditions of "Baa, Baa, Scared Goat" all the way to their new home. Did I
mention ear plugs are good to take along on a goat buying trip?
Some people have large dog carriers to put in the back seat of the car for baby goats.
Others actually build a large box out of pallets to put in the back of their trucks. Camper
tops on the back of trucks are particularly handy to put goats in. Self-contained camper
tops are not a good idea to haul goats in. Toss a goat in there and after itís dismantled the
stove, refrigerator, and bathroom, it will then crawl up on the main bed and make stains
that will challenge the best spot remover on the market. The only way to rid yourself of the
goat mess in your self-contained camper is a good bonfire.
Now, when you have decided on the place to go to look at goats, the clothes to wear, and
the way to haul a goat home. Next is actually arriving. When you step out of your car,
donít say to the goat seller, "Whatís that awful smell?" Remember, a farm is not supposed
to smell like your living room. At least it better not. If you step out of the car and take a big
breath and say, "Ahhh, this smell just like my home." The goat seller will naturally wonder
if he should sell you any goats, for health reasons of the goat.
Next, well, it looks like Iíve run out of space. Sometime soon we will have to cover buying
quality animals. Happy goat searching.