Ugh, kids these days–always lazing about the pasture, twiddling their cloven hooves, and complaining about how bored they are. Back in the day, goat youths used to show some respect to farmers, but now all they do is sit around and baah at you. Yep, back in the old days, if a kid ever talked baah to a farmer, they’d get a good walloping atop their horned forehead, but try something like that nowadays and you’d likely get you thrown in jail. So my question is, how do you discipline a goat that likes to ram you in the butt?
Really, I’m asking. I’m new to goats, and although they seemed at first like interesting and fun-loving ruminants, there’s only so many times a man can get battered in the backside before he starts ruminating about what side dishes pair well with barbecued goat. In fact, I’m starting to wonder if God created goats for the sole purpose of testing human patience by way of testing human fence-building ability. I hate to admit it, but, after a decade of raising various types of livestock, I secretly considered myself an expert livestock chaser, having logged many miles behind horses, cows, and pigs. But pride goeth before the goat. I just spent the better part of two hours pacing up and down a fenceline, trying to find the short in our electric fence, all while playing ring-around the farm gate, as the goats took turns getting out faster than I could get them back in.
Pigs are by far the most intelligent animals I’ve tried to contain, but goats are natural escape artists. Literally, I actually watched one of our goats escape from our pasture while sleeping. He was laying beside a metal tube gate, which has a half-foot gap from the bottom rung to the ground. While sleeping, he rolled over (perhaps dreaming about greener pastures), only to suddenly awake in the green grass outside the pasture.
To be honest, I should have suspected goats would be trouble. As a preacher’s son, I always wondered what Jesus was going on about when he talked about the parable of the sheep and goats, but now I know: idle hooves are the devil’s workshop.