Sunday, 16 September 2012

Those ********* horns!!

The goats have settled in, but shame about the sheep. It's those horns. I think they are  freaking the flock out. Or it might be the bell which chimes quite merrily every time the little white goat moves. (It hangs round her neck on a bright red strap). Last night the sheep kept up a right old din until Lester went out with his torch to see what was going on. Apparently the sheep all charged towards the light, asking to be let out of their Paddock. Couldn't stand the clanging of the bell. Lester told them to stop being silly and go to sleep. Trouble is that the goats want to be part of the flock so they keep going to make friends with the girls, which then clangs the bell, the sound of which then freaks the sheep out. Up and down they chased all evening, and most of the night. 

And those horns, used very successfully whenever there is food in the offing. No more does Jacob, the ram, hold sway over the flock. No more is he able to barge everyone away from the morning or evening maize so he can have his fill first. No, as soon as the maize is put on the ground there is a rush to get first mouthful, the goats, being the new ones, are slow to act because they are unfamiliar with the routine. Ah but they are quick minded. They look, take in what the sheep are doing, have a quick think about whether they ought to be involved, charge, head butt the flanks of the sheep, and wahoooo, they have won the maize. 

At the food trough this evening there was no battle however. The bums of the sheep were huddled round the trough as usual and eating the maize kernels, the goats went in amongst the sheep, the sheep quickly dispersed. I think it was the horns this time. They are big horns for such little heads. Being smacked in the face by one of them would not be nice. 

Jacob has horns, but they are tightly curled round his head, which is useful. Lester can grab hold of them and give Jacob a rollicking, which he is needing quite a bit of late. He has taken to hanging back in the mornings, letting the girls go out first, then charging Lester from the rear, giving Lester quite a clout. The other day this happened, and Lester grabbed him by the horns and frogmarched him back to the Paddock. Left him there all day he did. By lunchtime Jacob was looking very forlorn. But now the goats are giving him something to think about, so he is diverted from his need to show Lester that Lester does not have any rights over the ewe girls at all, and if any servicing is to be done, then he, Jacob, will do it. 

Max (our Tamworth boar) has decided to talk to me again. Had quite a conversation with him yesterday afternoon as I picked up the acorns beside his pen. Perhaps it was because I  was kneeling on the ground so was below his height, or perhaps it was because he was trying to charm me into giving him some of the acorn harvest. It worked. He can be quite a charming fellow when he wants to be. 

So the goats are settling in, and they are so charming, so alert, and so dainty. But one had a garland of oak leaves entwined around her horns this evening, a sign that they are stretching up the fence to get the oak leaves. It remains to be seen whether or not they will actually manage to climb the fence. We are watching them closely. The fence is 1.5 metres high. I thought it was too high when Lester first had it installed but watching those goats makes me think that perhaps a metre higher would have been better.

Will let you know about the little cow when we see her tomorrow morning.