Sunday, November 24, 2013

Goats in the House (Literally)


What's not to love about a face like this?
Our new goats, Kiki and Clementine, are settling in quite nicely. We had a sudden cold snap hit on Friday and the daytime temperatures suddenly dropped into the 30's, which is absolutely unbearably cold for us Central Texans. We are miserable. I have lived in Wisconsin so I know that human life can be sustained in colder temps but only just barely. We had only had our goats home for three day when the cold started and I didn't know what to do with them. Their outside home was a small rigged yard with a dog house for shelter. It just didn't seem like enough when I was wearing wool socks, jeans, three shirts, and a sweater indoors. So I consulted the lovely, helpful people at The Goat Spot and Backyard Herds. Most folks agreed that the goats could stay outdoors in this weather but one woman made a good case for bringing them inside if I was going to be worried about them.

Yes, they are wearing sweaters.
 That is how we came to have two goats in our house all weekend. It turns out that goats are far more suited for inside living than many dogs I know. And some cats. (My goats would never poop in your suitcase on purpose.) The first couple of days the goats were here they were terrified of us, which made them hard to handle. I plied them with raisins and honeysuckle branches and now they bleat nervously when I leave the house. We have a mudroom with a concrete floor at the back of the house, just off the kitchen, and that is where we put the goats. Goat poop, in case you didn't already know (I didn't), is really inoffensive stuff. Their diet consists of wood and hay, for goodness sake, so their poop is just tiny little odorless balls. It's easy to sweep up. I put an outdoor chair cushion on the floor for them and instead of lying on it they use it to pee on. Which is fine by me because the fabric is waterproof so I just come along and wipe up the pee with a paper towel. (The cushion will get tossed when all this is over.)
Little Sister adores the goaties
The best part of having the goats indoors these few days, besides the humor factor, is that it's given us all a lot more opportunities to get to know each other. They come up to us now and even sit in our laps. They don't scream or make much noise at all. I plan to put them back outside in a couple of days when it warms up but in the meantime it's pretty fun having house goats. When they escape through the baby gate into the rest of the house they look hilarious. Their little hooves go tap tap tap on the tile floor. One of our cats, Lupe, is obsessed with the goats and has spent a lot of time with them. We saw the smaller goat, Clementine, try to headbutt Lupe, which was awesome because they are basically the same size.

Clementine, the reddish brown goat, weighs 11.5 pounds. Kiki, the black and brown one, weighs 13.5 pounds. They are tiny, about the size of my cat but heavier for their size. Before I decided to bring them inside I made them sweaters out of old toddler shirts. I just cut off the sleeves and stuffed the goats into them. How's that for makeshift (and hilarious)?

My goats are better dressed than my children or myself

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