A goat for every home

On The Way

By Olivia Fowler

We have a new animal for Fowler Farm, and I’m not really sure how this happened.  One evening during supper, Fowler said he wanted to clean up the old bird dog pen, an area which has fallen into disuse with the disappearance of quail from the landscape. He has been thinking about breeding rat terriers again and would need the area for this purpose. Since the death of Queenie, our last pointer, who departed this vale of tears more than 20 years ago, the pen has

Olivia Fowler

Olivia Fowler

been taken over by honeysuckle, small oaks, wisteria vine and poison ivy.

The pen is made of chain link fence and encompasses an area measuring about 40 by 100 feet. Fowler decided to acquire a goat for the purpose, so he says, of cleaning out growth both inside and outside the fence. But before this could be done, he spent two full days cutting down small trees and dragging out enough undergrowth to make access into the pen possible.

He then built a neat goat shed inside the pen before picking up the goat from our neighbor, who raises them.  She is a Nigerian nanny goat who is expecting kids sometime in May.

Years ago, during our hog and cattle phase, Fowler suggested adding goats to the mix.  I was against it and said should a Billy goat ever appear it would mark the day of my departure.  Fowler said it would be good for the horses to have a goat, as most horse stables have one to keep the horses calm. I thought our horses were calm enough.  And this was shortly after our experience raising rabbits, which doesn’t bear discussion.

At any rate, when I brought my aversion to owning a goat to Fowler’s attention, he had no memory of it. He said he thought I had said I never wanted to own guineas. I don’t see how he could mistake the word goat for guinea, other than the fact they both begin with the letter G.

But we must set all that aside, as the goat is now a member of the Fowler Farm family. Once she arrived we all (the dogs and I) went out to take a look at her. , Apparently none of our dogs have ever seen a goat before. I might add that the goat had never seen anything like them either.

The Chihuahua was especially interested, getting as close to the gate as possible and keeping the goat under close observation. The goat came very close to the gate as well, and they peered at each other. Suddenly the Chihuahua went into attack mode, growling and bristling. The goat stamped both front feet, lowered her head and charged.

All the dogs then became hysterical, and the goat was very agitated, so Fowler opened the gate to go in and calm her down. I was trying to swing the gate shut as fast as possible, but Red Dog somehow got through before I could close it. He announced his intention of herding the goat. She began to run wildly around the pen, throwing herself into the fence and bleating frantically. After a good deal of work, Red Dog was encouraged to leave, which he did, but against his will. The goat, though angry, was apparently unharmed. The Chihuahua was enraged because she wanted to get in there and teach that goat a lesson. So ended our first few hours of goat ownership.

Although I had no intention of naming the goat, she now has a name — Rosa. The only thing I can’t get used to are her eyes with their strange rectangular-shaped pupils. It’s hard to tell what she’s thinking. Fowler says as soon as she and her kids clean out all the undergrowth they will all be sold. We’ll see, but I have my doubts. Usually any animal who calls Fowler Farm home can expect a long and happy life there.