As I’m sure I’ve said before, the Homestead falls easily into four “zones”: the house garden, sheep paddock, back paddock, and goat paddock.
Usually we have one zone that is incredibly high maintenance, one that is super cruisy, the house which is always in desperate need of attention but gets put off because it doesn’t make a noise, and one that just needs the cursory morning and evening visit. At the moment, the high-need, attention demanding paddock has been the sheep one. In addition to also housing the pigs and broody/nah-can’t-be-bothered-with-motherhood chickens, it’s currently home to the ewes, our feistiest ladies who, having recently cast off their young, are ready to party…or at least eat as much as they can get you to dole out. Neville the ram has the biggest Back Paddock and is our super cruisy dude, and the goats, currently sharing with the six lambs, are our cursory visit paddock.
While it is frowned upon to paddock sheep and goats together, we have found separating the lambs into the goats domain is the best way to instill independence (stop them bleating over the fence to their mothers) and build a flock.
But even the cursory paddock needs a little TLC, especially if the Homesteaders have plans for a dedicated, nitrogen rich, greens garden for which goat’s manure ticks the box nicely. So, while The Resident Engineer waged her war against the pesky driveway weeds, and The Bean Counter caused a diversion by relocating the obstinate thistles, the biannual (that is twice a year) Goatopolis glam-up began.
During the whole raking out, bedding replacement, house realigning, renailing and renovating process it became obvious that our most demure girl, Sandra, was feeling a little off colour. Maybe she guzzled too many of the relocated thistles, maybe she discovered something less-than-fresh when the houses were raked out; either way, she was feeling poorly. Cue a halt in proceedings to administer treatment in the form of baking soda, olive oil, electrolytes and lots of tummy rubs and walking.
This morning, we ventured into Goatopolis with an air of slight trepidation. All recces from the house had turned up nothing and goats are notorious for fading fast. We needn’t have worried as, there she was, maybe not her usual self but not far from it, happy to guzzle another serving of electrolytes and a little treat foliage as well.
It made the tidied up goat residence look all the more glammy to these Homesteader’s eyes.
Lose sleep over our animals? No, not us (ahem).