Sometimes, the goats like to be taken for a walk outside of their enclosure.
They have a great deal of space, but they’ve eaten all the good stuff there was to eat in there, and the other side of the fence is always appealing.
Mainly because of the pine.
Goats LOVE pine.
It has a great deal of Vitamin C and has also been hailed as a natural dewormer, so we are happy to let them browse the pines when they go on these field trips. There are folks who will tell you that pine has toxins that are dangerous to goats and that it has been known to induce miscarriage in pregnant does, but we have seen no evidence of this.
All of our goats have eaten healthy amounts of pine with enthusiasm (both pregnant and not), with no adverse effects.
The biggest problem for our girls is when they’ve eaten all the branches they can reach and are forced to stand on their hind legs to push down a high branch. They typically take turns doing this; one doe will stand and push while the other eats the lowered branch.
It’s all very genteel.
I’ve also been known to use pine to get them to do what I want them to do.
More specifically, when field trip time is over and I want to put them away, pine is my friend.
You see, goats (these two, anyway) love to come out for a walk but HATE to go back in to their enclosure.
You would think that we keep them trapped in spiked coffins for all their whining and unwillingness to go home when walking time is done. More often than not, however, I can lure them back in with the promise of a lovely pine branch.
You should see the enormous pine we have in the middle of our goat yard. The poor, humiliated thing is missing all of its needles, bark, and branches from the ground to about seven feet. From there on up, it is green and lush and beautiful like some bizarre Christmas tree mounted on a pole.
I fully expect to come out one day and find the tree full of goats, eating to their hearts’ content, tired of waiting for me to take them for a walk.