Its with sadness, and relief, that we say goodbye to our goat Cookie. Initially we had him on a chain, along with our other goat Archie, to clear blackberries, but that involved me having to travel for an hour each day to make sure they were ok, and to let them have some exercise. I did this for a year, and although it was my choice to do this, after a year, I decided that I would like the goats to live in the paddock. That and the fact that I'm pregnant with our second child, and I know I wouldn't have been able to 'devote' the time required for such a task each day.
So we tried 'upgrading' the paddock fence, adding an electric wire at the bottom, making sure it was all tight etc, and putting a small yoke - a Y shaped branch on Cookie's neck to stop him getting through. Now the thing about goats is that they are far too clever.... This worked for a few weeks, and we were pretty pleased with ourselves.
But then he figured out how to get through, so we 'upgraded' the yoke, something a little bigger... Cookie ended up wearing a yoke that was almost a 1.5m top to bottom. And yet, it didn't take him too long to get out again. Soon he was out eating fruit trees as well as the Mountain Ash tree we planted for our daughter when she was born (on her placenta). Then other indigenous trees. We continued to try, but soon he was out on the road, harrassing people getting their mail. He is a 'people' goat, so he doesn't care much for the others in the paddock with him, he would much rather follow someone around... This could be a problem, depending on who he follows....
So it was back on the chain. I put an ad up locally, but I was pretty certain that Cookie would be doomed to a life on the chain. But amazingly a lady with 3 other goats (who knows what they are like, and is able to cope with that!) rang up, and well, yesterday we delivered him!
I hope he wont give her much trouble, but I think he will be very happy there, she feeds them hay and other feed in winter, and there is so much grass, we couldn't even get him to raise his head for a photo!
So its a big relief, a weight off my shoulders, I hate to keep an animal chained up, so I'm very pleased that things have worked out. Now I guess we will see how long before she rings us up because she can't cope with him!