These Goats

Last weekend we had a hoof trimming day, a wee bit overdue and prompted by an upcoming vet appointment, which is just terrible, I know.  Kind of like flossing before you go to the dentist.  But hoof trimming is just not fun, especially with our adult goats.  I’m quite sure that part of the problem is that we are still very new at this.  Of course, if we move to the every two week schedule that I think they need, surely the girls will become more cooperative.

We give them a mixture of sunflower seeds and alfalfa pellets for distraction.  Though they aren’t supposed to have it until they are on the stand.  Clearly, we need help in the preparation area.

The little ones are learning all about hoof trimming as well.  They practice on each other.

Out of all four, Agnes is the only one that is just awful to deal with.  She doesn’t mind putting ALL her weight on me, but she doesn’t want her hooves trimmed, no way.  She kicks.  When I do any of the trimming Keats watches me, telling me where I should trim more, so I said, “Okay!  You can be the official trimmer!”  I don’t mind.  Really!  He can be the full time trimmer while I am the goat perch.  (My kids don’t like this photo of me, saying I look weird.  That is my smile of agony.  She is heavy!)

The baby boy goats (well, they are about seven months old now!) do behave themselves while they are trimmed.  They are our perfect little babies.  Little John ended up escaping his vet appointment this week, after all.  They rescheduled for next week because of rain.  The poor guy hasn’t been wethered yet due to an un-descended testicle (sorry if that’s tmi!)  None of us are looking forward to his surgery, which will probably prove to be pretty invasive in order to find the missing, ummmm… part.  He has gotten really stinky and is engaging in un gentleman-like behavior, so for that reason alone we will be relieved when all is said and done.

Despite the fact that the little boys are smaller and possibly cuter, I still prefer Agnes and Greta.  Naughty, stubborn animals amuse me.  Those that cause the most trouble are typically my favorites.

I took these photos from up in the loft where I was filling the girls’ feed buckets with their afternoon snack.  Agnes is always very focused on food, and though it was raining, she was jumping up on the side of the barn, anxious for me to hurry up (and stop taking her picture).  Greta, who usually joins her in this, didn’t like the rain, so she was hiding under the ladder, trying not to get wet!

I’ll let you know how the vet appointment goes.  Our first farm call!


  1. My brother used to keep some goats. A Christmas present from me many years ago!

  2. haha! goats are so funny! By the way, I just LOVE your green sweater!! I’m attempting to knit myself a similar one, although I’m a tiny bit afraid I did not get enough skeins. . . we shall see, hopefully I can find the same color if I don’t have enough, otherwise, it may be a short sleeve sweater, ha!

  3. I love the latter pictures of the girls – they look like two cheeky girlfriends enjoying having a photo shoot! I can’t believe how much personality they seem to have just in the pictures, I bet you get to see their personality shine through on a daily basis! best of luck with the vet! jenny xx

  4. Such beautiful goats!

  5. That last photo pretty much sums up the rest of the blog post really – so cheeky! I would love a goat! They are so cute and pesky!

  6. goodness me! I am amazed at what goes on in taking care of goats 🙂 I smiled that you like the naughty ones, so maybe you are cut out for all that teenage angst (ha ha ah)! I hope his “stuff” descends so that life can be better for him and your farmette.

  7. LOVE those last two pics, Ginny! The first like the girls were posing for you, heads together; the second in all their naughtiness. Hilarious!

  8. Charlotte S says:

    Brilliant post and pics! But I have major sweater envy! Please could you tell me which pattern it’s from? Thank you.

  9. Ginny, when we kept goats, hoof-trimming was a dreaded chore. Then we put a round, cement piece in their paddock ( it was a bit of above-ground well-liner that we didn’t need, on its side) as something for them to jump up on. We only rarely had to trim their hooves after that…a delightful discovery. They would walk through it when they were little, too. It’s still in the goat-yard if you’d like it. : )

  10. I am impressed/horrified to see you with a goat on your lap, wearing that beautiful sweater! You look gorgeous. I live on a dairy farm, and it’s depressing what the cows have done to some of my lovely handmade clothes. Most of mine are locked up in the closet, where I enjoy looking at them from time to time. I guess goats have neater poop than cows, but still!

  11. Ginny, your stories are hysterical as are the kids! Our boys love to get in to the goat house and pretend that they are naughtly little gotats as well. It´s wonderful to see you so good humoured on hoof trimming day. I can´t say that there are so many smiles around here on trimming day. Keep up the good work.

  12. Ginny, your goats are beautiful! My grandparents had goats called Daisy and Lucyand I have very fond memories of them. I wish we had enough land for goats 🙂

  13. Ginny, how do you store all your photos?

  14. Megan Wahl says:

    the second to last pic of the goats is just amazing- you can see into their souls

  15. I shadowed a vet for a day at the end of college and we visited several farms including a dairy with 300 milking cows. But my favorite stop by far was the little farm of an older couple who kept donkeys, skunks, goats and had a baby alligator in their barn (surprise!)! I got to help the vet “catch” the donkeys and goats and give vaccinations. It was really a lot of fun. Good luck! 🙂

  16. Love these photos. Looks like it is a family affair and everyone chips in to help.

  17. Ah I remember hoof trimming, my Dad was pretty skilled and confident, looking back. Your picture bring back many memories. But trying to work out what breed of goats you have, I would have though Anglo Nubians but can’t work out the small ears on two of them!?

  18. I love your goats…love the ones without the ears…..although
    they seem like a lot work and up keep…maybe not I don’t know
    I’ve never owned a goat….perhaps one of your children will
    become a vet…you never know!

  19. Looks like Greta is fond of sticking her tongue out. I wish you well with the hoof trimmings.

  20. My husband trims our goats’ hooves; he’s the only one strong enough to deal with them. The goats are pretty good as long as he doesn’t take too long. I wonder if Heidi’s grandfather or Peter had to trim the goats’ hooves? Maybe in goats’ natural habitat climbing around rocks, they hooves wear down naturally. We don;t live in an Alpine setting, but we have noticed that now that our goats are free-ranging in our neighbor’s 10 acre field, their hooves don’t need trimming as frequently.

  21. I just love your goats! We’re expanding our little homestead to include dairy goats next year, and hoof-trimming is one of the things I’m most nervous about! The breeder we’re buying from said she’ll teach me, but STILL! Looks like you had lots of helpers, though 🙂

  22. Just love your stories about the goats! Like you I love the naughty animals the most. We had a goat when I was a child, named Marcel. He loved climbing on his shed and could even climb in trees! Your stubborn goats remind me of him, so thanks for nice memories!

  23. Ginny, your goats are lovely, but where are their ears!?

    I did chuckle at the goat stand. If only they made them for children eh?!

    Thanks for posting.

  24. It sounds like a really tricky job, well done you! CJ xx

  25. I love the goat stories! I could never, ever have them, but part of me wishes I was a farm girl, so this fulfills my vicarious dreams. 😛

  26. Ginny, I don’t know how you manage to take such amazing photos of goats!!!! Even my docile sheep are difficult to photograph! Your adventures in animal husbandry always bring a smile to my face as I relate so very well…we are just over a year into our journey of raising sheep, and we our goats arrived this past spring. I wouldn’t trade a moment of it…honestly. I am hoping to buy some coveralls for my husband and me for Christmas…too much lanolin on my clothes and especially after hoof trimming days…ick! Everything I own has become farm-worthy and I don’t have any nice clothes for town days anymore. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
    xo Jules

    • Oh, and I showed my little girl your goat pictures here and the first thing she said was, “Where are their ears?” I didn’t even notice! Two of your goats have very different ears than the Nunbians that we have (and your other two). Funny! She says she wishes she could play with all of your kids…both humans and goats!
      xo Jules

  27. I enjoy all of your animal escapades. I know nothing about goats, but it is fun to learn from your experiences. Mostly, I wanted to thank you for the beautiful yarn I received in my mailbox yesterday! Thank you!

  28. Wow! Goat work looks like HARD work! Way to go!
    They are certainly adorable.

  29. Thank you for updating us on the goats. I kind of fantasize about having goats some day- my kids love goat milk and cheese (they are lactose intolerant), but it’s so expensive! I also romanticize hearding animals after reading The Shepherd’s Life and Goat Song. Oh, and our family has been listening to the James Harriot books, so your anatomy talk and feelings about the upcoming vet visit aren’t so shocking!

  30. I love this post! we love our goats and I love seeing yours. Hoof trimming is never a fun time…but the kids sure do it make it look fun (trimming each others feet…I giggled so much)

  31. Wonderful post and those goats…so cute. Love how Bea and Silas are trimming ash others feet, now that’s working together ;-/

  32. Melanie King says:

    Having a side in our stantion makes that job easier. You can push them up against the side and only have them moving or kicking one direction instead of freely. Just a thought!

    • Good advice! Our stanchion is pushed up against a wall. It does aid in keep the goats under control when milking and trimming. Maybe it keeps them calmer, not having to watch both sides for activity?

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