May 5, 2010

Repetitive Tasks

I bet you thought I was going to talk about doing dishes or weeding the garden, didn't you? No, my repetitive task these days is putting the yearling goats back in their pen.

They have the largest of the goat pens right now, and have full-time access to the pen behind theirs where the good weeds grow abundantly and oak trees overhang for shade and snacks. But are they happy? NO!

Down in the corner is an old oak tree, just outside their fence in the horse pasture. Several mornings Lavendar was outside the fence, snacking on the brush and oak leaves. Sometimes the horses are there too. I guess she's getting along with them ok.

I admit that this was the first fence we put up when we moved to Oak Hill over five years ago, and the fence is in sad condition and needs to be redone. And of course they want the good green stuff on the other side, in spite of having lovely alfalfa hay available in their shed. Now that we have the new goat barn up, although it's not ready for occupancy yet, refencing is on the list of Things To Be Done, enclosing the woods and a clearing for the goats. I'm planning a couple of pens for rotational grazing.

At first I thought Lavendar was going under the fence, and I fixed that. It kept her in for a few days. Then I found four of them - Lavendar, Dove, Splendor and Imagine - loose behind the pen. They had gone under the fence behind the chicken coop. I held up the fence bottom and they slid back in. I fixed that fence. Twice. Then I retied the top of that fence - just in case they were going over the fence - to the barbed wire that has been there for an unknown number of years and is still tight.

This is when I gave them full access to the second pen, hoping that the forage would keep them busy. It did for awhile, but of course they've now eaten the weeds down a bit. Friday I put Lavendar and Dove away four times. Saturday there were four of them out. Sunday I put three of them back in the pen twice. Monday all four were out twice. Tuesday there were two. (All this math is giving me a headache.)

From back to front: Lavendar, Dove, Imagine, Splendor

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over in the same way and expecting different results. I must not be crazy because I *know* it's just a matter of time before they are loose in the barnyard again.

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