When I walked up to the barn I was greeted by very hungry goats. Donna hadn’t yet returned from the store so I ignored them and walked through the gate. As I quickly closed the gate behind me in order to prevent Belle and a few of the more curious goats from escaping, I noticed that Peanut and Scooter were standing on top of their block.

After that cute distraction, I captured and then proceeded to walk Eve. Eve bleated and complained the whole time we were walking as usual but by the time we got into the woods she was running to get back into her pen. I attempted to walk her up and down the path that goes behind the barn but she wasn’t walking well. This is a bit worrying to me because the fair is in a month and I want to do well in showmanship. Although I’m working with the goats twice a week, I am ofter reminded of what I am missing out on by not living with my animals. In the next few weeks I’ll visit the goats three or four times a week and that will make me feel better about showman ship but not as good as I would feel if I worked with the goats every day.

Eve sitting down because she didn’t want to be walked

Putting Scarlett into her halter is usually the easiest part of the day, at least once I catch her. Today she was right by the fence as I was returning Eve to the pen so I just grabbed her horn and slipped the halter over her head. Walking Scarlett was incredibly easy and she was walking well, which was a nice change of pace. When I finished walking Scarlett, I let her eat while I worked with the pigs.

I practiced using a pig stick to lead the pigs around the show ring. Initially, I wasn’t tapping them hard enough to get them to move but after Donna showed me the right amount of force to use in order to get the pigs to listen without hurting them. After some practice I was able to corral the pigs up the hill so Donna could move the truck without worrying about hitting any of the pigs with her truck.

The pigs after I chased them behind their pen

After Scarlett was fed I worked on showmanship with her. Thankfully, showmanship was relatively uneventful other than Scarlett’s usual attempts to remove her head from the chain. I’m slightly relieved that my goats are shaping up because I really want to do well in showmanship and this year I’ll be competing with senior 4-H  members, which include kids who have been showing goats since they were right years old.

Today I only walked Ellsa because Donna wanted to do some deep cleaning now that the weather is holding up. Ellsa is by far the best when it comes to showmanship so I’m not concerned that she’ll regress if I don’t practice showmanship once. 

Ellsa looking at the fields on the pat. The sunlight looked so cool that I didn’t even edit this picture.

We started off by stripping the stalls, which is a disgusting task because all the goats pee in their bedding. This just makes the bedding soggy, musty, and incredibly heavy so it takes forever to strip the stall. We then put hay bales in the stall so that we don’t need to worry about more hay getting ruined by the weather. We also organized the feed and harnesses as well. 

After the stalls were stripped I put hay into the feeders and onto the barn floor. For the goats in the lower patch we used some of the hay from the big bale but we made sure that the hay wasn’t moldy or anything. Once all the feeders were full we moved all the goats to the lower patch. Initially a lot of the goats walked down to the lower patch but Dasher, Scooter, and Selena were completely oblivious. I successfully chased Dasher and Scooter into the lower pen but Selena was more difficult to move. Selena was sitting in a shady corner and was very reluctant to move. I even touched her tail but she was still unbothered. Finally, I just grabbed a horn with one hand ant her tail with the other and she finally moved to the lower patch. 

Once all the goats were adjusted to their new living situation, I removed dirty hay from the feeder outside of the barn. As we were lifting up the board from the feeder we found two toads that were living under the feeder. Once the hay was replaced in that feeder we sprinkled lime on the inside of the barn stalls and the land outside of the stall that’s is all dirt. Once the stalls were spotless, except for the dusting of lime I went home. I was incredibly dusty and tired yet I was happy to see that my work with the goats is paying off. 


About Bunmi Osias

A member of Baltimore County 4-H who is currently raising 3 breeding goats.
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