Sunday, May 29, 2011

On My Toes

It is sometimes challenging, trying to stay a step ahead of the critters.  In the beginning of my goat experience I would feed grain in the morning and alfalfa in the evening, thinking they needed breakfast and dinner like people.  The problem with that program was that they wanted to dawdle over the alfalfa and not go into the barn as I wanted...and they're not people.  It would take upwards of half an hour to coax, wheedle, cuss, and chase them in for the night and I'd be exhausted from running up and down the hill in their pen.  This plan obviously needed a little more thought.  The solution was to give them grain as an inducement to get up on the stand for milking and throw down the alfalfa in the morning for them to munch on later at their leisure.  A little grain in their room(s) at night was the incentive to get them into the barn.  That also took a rethink because I started out going in with them, carrying the treat bucket, and would get mobbed and sometimes knocked down before I could put down their snack.  Now I get everything ready for them as part of morning chores, and bedtime takes no more than ten minutes.  I just open doors and they go in with little to no effort on my part.

My attempt to switch the laundry room chicks from dry mash to pellets yesterday was a dismal failure.  They threw out the pellets three times and then sat in the trough, yelling at the top of their lungs for food.  My thinking was that when they were hungry enough, they'd get the idea and eat the pellets.  Wrong.  Not wanting to be outsmarted by a bunch of little bird brains, I thought, "You want baby food?  You'll get baby food," and put the pellets in the trough and softened them with water.  Ta da!  Those hungry little birds ate two more bowls in rapid succession.  I'm all for win-win solutions.

It rained again yesterday, and there's no way I can out think Nature, so the chicks' pen isn't ready yet.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

The chick's PEN may not be ready, but darned if you AREN'T smarter than the chicklet bird-brains! And you are the queen of win-win if you and Mother Nature could get in rhythm...or better yet, have her do what you say, you'd be just dandy!