It simply doesn't do to change the routine; it just makes the girls cranky. Tree Guy won't plant the remaining two trees in the big pen until he scrounges up some fence wire to cage the saplings. I can't let the girls into the pen until the job is finished. The way it's supposed to work is this: after the last goat leaves the stand, she and I walk over and open the gate so they can all graze the other field and lie in the shade of the big oak, and I go on to finish the barn chores. Poppy waits at the gate; she likes to be first in line. For the past week, I have not opened the gate. Poppy never gives up hope. She noses the bars and rattles the chain, and then shoots sorrowful looks at me over her shoulder as she stands and waits. I feel bad when I ignore her. The other girls are getting into shoving matches in their impatience and someone pulled a mouthful of hair from Inga's back. I can make small, incremental adjustments in their time schedule as the hours of daylight lessen, but not letting them into the big pen is a major change in routine and the girls are not, repeat, not happy. And when the goats aren't happy, "ain't nobody happy."
I'm the one having trouble with another change. Sundown is coming earlier and earlier (and I don't even want to talk about the coming time change). It has been my habit for years to walk out in the evening and tuck in the chickens first, then go on down to the goat barn, circling back to the house when I'm done. If I'm running the least bit late, I've had trouble convincing the big girls to go into darkened stalls. Rethinking the process, lately I've switched my route and put the goats to bed first while it's still light, then go back to the chickens, who've by then already gone into their coops. Habits are hard to break. Done with the goats, I've been done for the night. Now I have to remember that the chicken doors are still open and I've had to retrace my steps to gather eggs and make sure the little girls are safe from hungry night things. The change in routine is working well for the critters, and I'll get used to it...in time.