It’s no secret that, of all the Homestead animal residents, the goats are just that little bit more…special.
Prior to the arrival of our first goatgirl, we were simply a little eccentric and slightly odd with our backyard chickens and cabbages in the flower border. The arrival of Nessie, then Leia and her kids, and finally Geraldine, made the whole Homesteading dream a reality and suddenly we were making feta, eyeing up overgrown ivy hedges as potential goat suppers, and rescheduling appointments because they “clashed with milking”. The goats were what put the “homestead” into Union Homestead.
Which makes it all the more odd that, since our relocation, the goatie’s lifes have been a little less than centre of Homestead happenings. Due mostly to their homebase locale in the previous owners vegetable garden (the only fully goat-proof fencing on the property), the girls have been living their days tucked around the back of a windbreak and out of house sightlines; Not the ideal situation for our curious caprine cuties.
Today we recified that.
But first, a little update and it is fair to say fortunes in that hidden away goat paddock have been mixed. While Leia, with her Star Wars horns and Ronald McDonald gait (caused by grossly misshapen hooves that no amount of trimming will ever rectify),
still firmly holds onto her 2IC position in the paddock there has been a change in Chief Executive. Our beautiful, bossy, Eagles-loving Geraldine, who ran the paddock with an iron hoof and a disapproving eye, had been getting progressively thinner and more frail. Tests were run, tonics administered, and a beautiful coat to keep the cold out was tailormade by a fellow goat-groupie
but in the end it wasn’t enough. Geraldine’s quiet, unceremonious death brought to end a hell fortnight for us. Juliet’s death a week or so earlier had been the polar opposite as she succumbed to the effects of the tiny rhododendron plant we had missed on the shared house/paddock fence line.
This leaves the bolshy, highly-strung, scatter-brained Marilyn as paddock matriarch, a job that she is just a little too young for.
Hopefully the kids both she and Leia are incubating (any day now) will bring out her softer side and we will be able to cease with the “Cover me!” Starsky and Hutch routine (I’m talking the Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul version here) each morning.
Any day now, the new goat residence with drive outlook and repurposed playground, in clear view and easy-listening of the house, will be filled with the happy sounds and joy that is goat kids.
It’s that whole circle of life thing; so horribly bleak on moment and so wonderfully joyous the next. And in that vein we leave you with a little bit of Homestead joy – albeit from the sheep paddock