Our goats have picked up a very strange habit - hunting lumberjacks. I just want to give fair warning to anyone living near us who regularly uses a chain saw out in the woods. Beware, our goats could hear you and start hunting.
Now, goats hunting down lumberjacks may sound odd to us, but to them it makes perfect sense. Anyone who starts up a chain saw is usually going to cut down a tree, and oh, how they love leaves. Fresh leaves from a tree is just plain olí lip smacking dessert to a goat.
Iíve noticed this hunting fever is even in our young kids. The other day Lee had gone up on the hill, while the kids were having their supper, to cut down some trees. The trees were not only for them to eat, but also for future firewood. The kids ranged in ages of five months to one year, but as soon as they heard that chain saw start, they gobbled their grain even faster and as one unit, lifted their heads, tilted their ears out, and moved in a pack, searching, searching with their eyes and ears. They scanned the hills, pin pointed their target, and streaked out the gate, across the creek, and up the hill, directly towards Lee, just like thirty leaf eating missiles.
You couldnít see Lee at all among the trees, but they heard him. Lee had timed it just right and had the tree down before they made it to him. Usually Lee has to pen the goats up before cutting down trees. They are unafraid of the noise of the chain saw and huge trees falling around them.
If anything, they will run up to a tree that is being cut and eagerly stand under it, waiting for those delicious leaves to fall to earth. Of course, they arenít taking into account that delicious leaves are on heavy branches, connected to a big tree trunk. And, that heavy branches and big tree trunk could mean squashed goats. All they can think about is, "I bet I can get to the leaves first!"
And, if you think the kids are highly motivated by the sound of the chain saw, you should see our adult goats. Itís down right scary. Just picture sixty to eighty adult goats peacefully browsing about when suddenly, the sound of a chain saw can be heard in the distance.
The goats immediately stop grazing and stand to attention with a glazed look on their face. They then scan the hillsides as a unit, not a few looking to the left, a few to the right, a few up in the air, but sixty to eighty heads turn in sync, searching, hunting, scanning, listening. As soon as they pin point the location, they head out, and not at a leisurely walk, usually itís a good stiff trot or full out gallop.
Can you imagine someone innocently cutting up his winterís firewood, the tree is down, he has stopped to wipe his brow and look around, when suddenly, bursting through the brush, comes sixty to eighty wild-eyed goats, hollering their heads off, stampeding up to him, wanting to know where were the leaves and why on earth was he cutting up a dead tree anyway?! What was the sense in that, they would demand!
Now maybe he thinks he can scare this marauding bunch of goats away, who seem way too interested in his firewood, by starting up the loud chain saw and spooking them away. Ha! In your dreams! They would only crowd closer and help him locate the next tree, and this time it would be one with leaves on it. None of this dead wood burns best in wood stove or fireplace nonsense! You need tree with leaves, would be their advice.
To show how ingrained this lumberjack hunting can be, we had about sixteen pregnant does in the barn, due to kid at any time. All they could do was waddle a few steps, they were so big. Lee starts up his chain saw and the goats almost took the roof off the barn with their hollering. They wanted to be out there in the chase! Hunt down that lumberjack, make him cut down those delicious leaves for them. The barn shook from their yells of wanting to be set free to hunt down that lumberjack. And, you think a coon hound can get on a trail and bay like crazy. Why, thatís nothing compared to a lumberjack hunting goat.
So, the next time you think you can quietly go off and cut some trees down with your chain saw, think again. Around the bend there might come a stampede of screaming, leaf loving goats. And, would you give me a call so I can come and get my goats? Thanks.