**spoiler alert** If you are a SCTGC member, this is this month's article. So don't read any further if you want to have a mailbox surprise.
This is an oft repeated mantra at our farm. “You’re doing it wrong!” We tell it to the ducks who want to eat the cat food, or to the dogs who want to eat the goat poop, or to the pigs who knock over their whey bowl. “You’re doing it wrong!”
But the queens of doing it wrong are the goats. And I don’t know if this is all goats or just our neurotic friends the Nubians – but once they decide something is done a certain way, it doesn’t really matter what you tell them. They are convinced that their way IS the right way and it takes an act of God or an equally bizarre new behavioral obsession to get them back to doing it right.
Exhibit A: Sweet Feed. Sweet Feed is our nickname for Carrie Underwood, our first goat to make doing it wrong the new doing it right. Carrie would wander away from the stand when the milking was done and look for an open bag of sweet feed to pillage. Mind you, we don’t feed Sweet Feed. We had an open bag ONCE, for the pigs. One winter, when we were low on whey. Two years ago. She still looks pretty much every day. Most times she plunges her head into a bag, she is disappointed to find just used teat wipes. Occasionally, however, she finds an open bag of beet pulp, so fat chance we have of breaking this habit.
Exhibit B: Sunday Driving with Elle Mai. Recently Elle decided she should exit the wrong side of the stand – away from the exit door - and just kind of hang out there, in the far corner of the milk parlor until we grab her and push her out. Sometimes she wanders a little, sometimes she just stands and contemplates life. Aimlessly. Sometimes she actually forgets about her new meditation spot and exits the stand like she is supposed to – but only sometimes.
Exhibit C: Jade. Jade is a big dumb love. She could do it wrong every single day and never make me mad. Which is good, because she does it wrong almost every single day. Somewhere along the line, Jade decided that she could not get on the stand without first going around front and eating some of her feed from the front side of the bucket. Completely moronic, but it’s Jade. So, Ok. Maybe I accept it because she doesn’t dally. She eats until we tell her to do it right and then she goes back around and jumps up in the right place by herself.
Most of our oddball behavior manifests in the milk room, though there are definite strange quirks outside the parlor, too. Penny Lane, for instance, likes to drink horrible little stagnant puddles of water from the bottom of trashcans or utility carts. LeeAnn likes to drink from the air conditioner unit, a drop at a time. These events almost always occur less than 20 feet from a full, clean water bucket.
What can I say? These girls – they are the cray-zee. And mostly I love them for it. Oh – and one last example. See how the girls in the photo are all lined up nicely in a row?? Now look under their feet.
That was their hoop house.
You're doing it wrong!!!