Inferred/Perceived: Why [the heck] (nose wrinkled) did you get (wrinkle nose up even more, furrow brow and sort of squint eyes) goats???
I wasn’t raised on a farm. The Animal Whisperer never had goats. We live in the city…and the most that city people have is…chickens. That is, if they’re a little outside the box. Outside the margins of a typical city family. Outside the realm of reality. Weird. Crazy.
Some people look at it that way, I’m convinced.
But goats? Yep. Goats.
It all started when I was 7 or 8. I read Little House On The Prairie and swore I’d be a farmer with lots of animals. More like a pioneer, actually. I wanted to be Laura.
Then. I grew up.
I have some friends that farm. I don’t want that job.
But, Laura was still in me and Animal Whisperer is, well, the Animal Whisperer. So, goats entered the conversation about a year ago.
They came closer to reality in July when I noticed the on-sale milk I bought from the grocery store was from OHIO. Hello! I live in Colorado. Half way across the country is too far for my milk to travel.
I’m not much of an environmentalist…but I can see that jug of milk left a pretty big whatever-kind-of-footprint we’re supposed to be watching out for these days. And, the kicker was when the milk rotted about 5 days later.
And, how do they get grocery store milk to taste sweet anyway?
We had been buying a lot of raw cow’s milk from a local dairy farmer, so I know what it tastes like when it comes out of the cow. It’s good. But it’s not sweet. It’s not pure white. It’s not uniform thickness. It’s real milk.
It’s not grocery store milk.
I’ve done some double takes at milk jug labels to see if there is some fine print “may have corn syrup added” or “may contain artificial sweetener.” Can’t find it. But I’m convinced it’s there.
So. That’s one reason.
Second reason is: Rattlesnakes.
We have two small kids and their friends who are just the right size to be done some serious damage by some angry family member of the rattlesnake that was decapitated by the Animal Whisperer by our barn last year. (Good story. For another time.)
We have a lot of weeds, grasses, and low growing bushes where rattlesnakes can find exceptional safe haven. Where kids like to hide. Run. Play.
Goats eat stuff. Supposedly anything they encounter (Which is why they ate nearly the whole choke cherry bush in their pen before we realized it is poisonous to them. Animal Whisperer cut the rest of it out. They survived.) They could be the man-power necessary to clear the brush. Not me. And not Animal Whisperer. There would be no place for the snakes to hide.
I had planned that they would devour the whole lot of snake haven in the first day at our house.
They didn’t. They tried suicide instead.
They have made a minor (very minor) dent in the weed and brush situation.
But a much smaller “footprint” in the our milk’s travels from farm to table.
– The Goat Cheese Lady
P.S. Third Reason: A cow is too big to fit in the back of the truck.