“world famous” goat trick

There’s a farm near our house the sells fruits and vegetables and they have a petting farm. They have a sign on the side of the road that advertises their “World Famous Goat Trick” so we decided to stop by today to show Violet the goats.

I took a very grainy and dark video with my cell phone so you could see, but since it’s so bad, i’ll describe what happens after you watch the video.

Anyway, there’s a pygmy goat that climbs the stairs to get to this balcony overhead where there is a rope pulley system with a tin can attached. You put .25 into a candy machine that spits out goat food and then you pour it into the can. As soon as you do, the goat starts biting on the rope to pull the can up where he can eat it. Violet was nonplussed, considering she had just been to the fair with her grandparents and there was a gaggle of chicks eating the goatfood leftovers at our feet.

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this reminds me…

my bedroom is a mess. M-E-S-S. This reminds me of a goat named Pammy.

Goats are smart…forget dolphins or monkeys, goats are the possibly the smartest creatures in the animal kingdom.  When I was little, we lived on an old farm, with an older house. Everything about that house was like a mini-time capsule to the days when my great-grandfather was a farmer.  The walls were insulated with sheep’s wool, the floors were made of brick, and the only doors with wobbly knobs were outside doors.  Having goats, this meant that anything inside the house was not only a huge source of curiosity, but also available to any goat with enough determination and concentration. Usually, they would work on the door knob till it wobbled open and then it was a mad dash to the open bag of dog food inside the door till they were caught. Of course, if the door was open, the whole house was declared “open season” by all other nearby animals…and chickens.

The worst attack ever occured on a Sunday. We were gone to church all morning and afternoon, which meant there had been plenty of time for a determined, concentrated goat. As we pulled up the hill and the house came into view, we knew immediately something was up when the front door was open and a chicken was standing in the open loft window. Running into the house, we found 5 or 6 goats and a dozen or so chickens running out the other door and leaving a ransacked house in their wake. There were still a few chickens we caught in the kitchen, a goat that had wandered up to the loft and was taste-testing a pillow, but at the end of the house we found the instigator…the oldest…the smartest; Pammy. She looked up at us, placidly chewing her cud as if to say, “It’s Sunday! Why else would I be lying stretched out on the biggest bed in the house with an open bible in front of me?”

Pammy was a milk goat, so we didn’t eat her.

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Because, what else am I going to write about?

Once when I was young, I almost killed a greedy chicken.

Who: My brother, a goat, some greedy chickens, and I.

Where: In the barn at my childhood farm in Eastern Washington.

What: I think thats already been established.

When: 1995ish

Why? Well thats the best part. Milking time was always the most exciting time of the day on our farm. The goats knew they were getting grain, the sheep heard and were jealous, the horse hung his head over the fence in curiosity, the cat came running in hopes of a freebie, and the chickens and geese acted on their stealth attack plan. You see, in the life of an animal, food is everything–especially forbidden food, and unfortunately for us, all the animals knew that if one succeeded in stealing food–the rest of them stood a chance of scoring as well. Furthermore, there was no better time to try than at milking time. (Did I mention most of our animals were free-ranging in the summer?)

So, to make a long story short; Coloray and I head out to the 55-gallon grain bins holding a 5 gallon bucket. One of us would hold the animals at bay while the other one snapped the lid off the barrel and filled the five-gallon bucket. Then, we would race into the barn and slam the gate behind us to keep out the goats and sheep, although unfortunately not the chickens. Next, we would let the first goat in while trying to open the gate just wide enough to get one goat, and not all the goats. The ones outside would be craning their necks and standing on their hind legs to see what would come of that bucket of glorious grain.

Here’s where it went all wrong (or right, depending on who you ask). Since Coloray was milking the first goat up in the stanchion, I sat down on one of the open buckets of grain to keep chickens out while I kicked with my feet around the other bucket. Finally, there was such a cluster of chickens on the second bucket (and even one inside)’ that I decided to switch buckets. In fact, I decided to move fast enough to trap that chicken inside the bucket. I sat down fast and I could feel the chicken flapping around underneath me. I wasn’t squishing it–there was plenty of room, but I figured if that chicken wanted to be greedy, it could be greedy trapped in a bucket of grain–serve the stupid bird right!

It wasn’t long before I noticed the flapping and jumping slowing down, and when it stopped altogether, I decided to see what was going on. When I stood up, I realized the chicken had not been in the bucket after all. It had managed to get out quickly enough that it decided to get one last mouthful before I proceeded to sit down across it’s neck.

Mental Picture: White five-gallon bucket. Girl sitting on bucket. Chicken’s body on the outside. Chicken’s head on the inside.

Don’t worry, chickens are surprisingly resilient. It walked in circles the rest of the day, but after that it was fine.

 

Does this story make me a bad person?

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