Goat Diaries, Part 1

Goat Diaries, Part 1

Emily Houdyshell, Writer

Goats are a ton of fun, especially when they’re babies, but getting goats can sometimes be a struggle. When you are just starting out, you can’t breed your goats, so you typically have to drive to go get the goat. It doesn’t always go badly, of course. Unfortunately, this was not one of those times.

About four months after we started raising goats, my dad was looking at animals online and found the contact information for a farm in northern Wisconsin – a farm that was selling thirteen baby goats. That’s right, thirteen. And my father decided to buy all of them. But of course he would be too busy at work to be able to find time to go get them, so he sent my mother and I instead.

It was a 5 ½ hour drive. Not the longest I’ve been in a car, but certainly long enough. We started driving around noon on a Saturday – our first mistake. The drive up was pretty nice, and I certainly enjoyed getting to see the farm. The people we were buying the goats from had five hundred milk goats, so there were a lot of animals there, and the kids we were getting were all the babies who had been rejected by their mothers.

We had brought with us two large wire dog crates, which was plenty of room for the tiny kids, all of whom were under a week old. It didn’t take long to load them up, and we were soon on our way back home. But about two hours into our drive, it began to rain. Pour, really. We stopped at a Wal-Mart to get a tarp and zip ties to cover the crates, hoping that none of the goats had gotten cold enough to get sick. Of course, by the time we had the goats protected, my mother and I were soaked through. But at least they would stay warm until we made it home.

It was early morning by the time we got back. My mother and I were exhausted, but there were still things we needed to move the babies into our shed, feed each of them a bottle, and check them to make sure they were all warm and healthy. It was a long night, and one of the kids looked so small and young that we were afraid he wouldn’t last until morning, but eventually they were all taken care of. Those babies were definitely a lot of work, but it was still fun and I loved every minute of it.