Meanwhile, Back at The Ranch: Well, CHUTE!

Holes in the fence
The grass is NOT greener on the other side.

It all began with two goats.  Before we knew it, there were fourteen.  Everything seemed to be moving right along until one day we noticed a couple of the goats were on the outside of the fence.  Our fence had a hole.  Upon further inspection, we notice several holes, one in almost every fence section.  The cause? Roxy, our newest horse, was taking her front leg and pushing the fence down, so she could lean over and eat the “greener” grass on the other side.  This daily practice has ruined about 800 feet of fence.

Goats in the Garden
Hoof prints in the mud.... a dead giveaway.

We knew what was happening.  Every day about lunch time, the goats would go to their favorite spot and venture out into the neighboring field to graze until their heart was content.  They managed to migrate over to my garden at least twice where they ate not only the strawberries, but also every single leaf leaving only stems about one inch long.  Yes, I complained, but I knew repairing the fence was going to be an expensive and time-consuming task.  We are still building a barn, and now it’s gardening season; we had to prioritize the tasks around the ranch, and the goats grazing outside the fence was not a priority until the inevitable happened.

Early Thursday morning I heard the familiar humming of the combine.  The farmer was getting his field ready to plant with step 1: weed killer.  I knew the pesticide could not be good for the goats.  I immediately called my husband to find out what to do.  We decided that even though our second field was ripe with hay ready to be cut and baled, we had to try to get the goats over there.

I put on my running shoes and told my mom,who was visiting, to get ready…we were rounding up some goats.  We worked the goats for about an hour.  I managed to drag a big mean one up to the barn by the horns, but the other thirteen continued to outwit us.  There were just too many holes in the fence, and the goats knew where the holes were. We didn’t.  We managed to get them back on our property and patched up their favorite escape route.  We were able to keep them contained most of the day, but I compared it to border patrol.  There was a lot of fence and only two of us.  I finally let the one goat I managed to capture out of the barn because I couldn’t stand the crying.  I called my husband and told him it was impossible; he needed to prepare for the worst when he got home.

He came home to fourteen healthy goats.  The pesticide had not phased them at all.  He still wanted to get them all into the barn, so as I told him how impossible it had been, he laughed at me.  He and his friend took it upon themselves to try and complete the impossible.  I’m not sure how many times I said, “We tried that,” but it didn’t matter.  They managed to get three goats in the barn.

“We Already Tried That!” (Goat Herding: 101) from Kelly Roberts on Vimeo.

My husband is a genious, but he already knew that.

Today, every vehicle we owned (and some we don’t) was moved to the barn to block doorways with missing barn doors and other possible escape routes.  Greg had devised a plan to build a chute to guide them from one pasture to another.  It was ingenious.  Within twenty minutes a new group of eight goats had made it into a horse stall.

Three to go.



Goats in barn
"Huh? What just happened?"




7 thoughts on “Meanwhile, Back at The Ranch: Well, CHUTE!”

  1. I am sure Susan & Elizabeth had no part in this! If you would just explain to them the dangers of pesticides, I am sure they would walk right into your home and wait until the farmer is finished. They are very reasonable goats, I am sure.

    1. Susan and Elizabeth are the WORST! They need to visit you for a month. Maybe you could talk some sense into them.

  2. Lawn chairs??!?!?! Oh, I can just see that! It’s like herding cats, but I never realized goats would be so much “fun” too.

  3. Julie,
    Your story made me laugh! I can just see you taking the “goat by the horns”. I wish I could see a picture!

    1. Anna, chances of a photo are slim. I’m the photographer in the family, and well, both hands are gonna have to be occupied!

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