Monday, January 20, 2014

happy hour

There's been more snow. And ice.

When I start morning chores, it's often rather gloomy.

Piper usually comes along, but to be perfectly honest, she doesn't always help. This morning, for example, she went straight off on some mission of her own. Very busy, she was.

While I dealt with frozen latches. I use these double bolt-clips for all sorts of things, such as hanging each goat's feed bucket.
It's hard to hang a feed bucket when a latch is frozen.

The answer to a frozen latch is directly-applied heat.
Glove off:
(Not my favorite thing.)

This morning, Sambucus had a suggestion.

"Never mind that frozen latch.
You can just stand right here
and hold my bucket for me while I eat!"
"See? Perfect! Don't move!
I'll only be ten minutes or so."

 Yes, Bui, that would work if you were my only goat. But I can't hold everybody's bucket at once, and naturally everybody likes to eat at the same time. This is why we put on collars and ties, and everyone has their own bucket, hung up with a latch and...


"What are you saying?
I am NOT your Only Goat?!"

This morning, after everyone had finished their grain and been turned loose, and I had collected the collars and topped the water buckets and distributed the hay and filled the mineral feeders, the sun suddenly came up. It sent bright lateral rays here and there across the paddock.
Lily, searching for that one perfect blade of sweet, dry meadow grass hidden deep inside a million lesser blades, was lit by a dazzling ray:

I wonder if everyone with livestock enjoys hearing them eat.
The goats' little munch-munch-munch always makes me smile. 

As I headed back to the house carrying the empty water buckets, I whistled for Piper and she raced up to reveal the success of her mission:

"Found it!!"
It's amazing how much can happen in an hour.


  1. Spring can't come soon enough to suit me. I am tired of dressing in layers and I can relate to frozen locks. Later on we did get heaters that would keep the water from freezing. Otherwise it was chopping ice so that the livestock could drink. I would love to live back in the country, but at my age my kids tell me no. I grew up on the farm and we always managed to have new babies during the winter months whether it be calves or pigs. Have a wonderful day. Stay safe and warm. Hugs and Prayers from your Missouri Friend.

    1. I try not to start longing for Winter to end until at least mid-February, otherwise it would seem like an even more discouraging wait ;)
      Winter babies can be really tough. I've been trying to time the goats for post-snow, pre-blackflies. It's a narrow window!

  2. Just the sight of your hand on the frozen metal latch gave me shivers. I have Raynaud's Syndrome, and whenever I take care of my friend's horses during the winter, my hands freeze instantly when I touch their metal buckets, even through my mittens!

    I love your goats' eyes. So beautiful and gentle.

    1. Ouch! Do you have especially warm gloves or mittens for biking? I recently saw some that were actually attached to the handlebars, and I thought of you.

  3. Your goats are delightful - but I hope they know how kind you are to them. Not sure I would happily bare a hand in that cold!

    1. I keep telling myself that once the new shed is built, I will have a better system. Then all this latch-thawing will be like a nostalgic Pioneer Tale..."why, I remember when..." ;)

  4. I heart Piper! even if she's not much of a goatherd.

  5. You draw lovely word pictures, I can just imagine the sound of your goats munching!

  6. It's so lovely to see your menagerie Quinn! And your snow looks lovely -but that's because I'm tucked up in the warm and not having to defrost latches with my bare hands!! Xx

  7. Looks like you are in danger of leaving skin on metal there!

    I think goats are among the most rewarding of livestock to keep ... I have two friends who keep goats and they are the happiest people.

  8. What a delightful post! Interesting about the double ended clips too, I hadn't thought of that for hanging buckets. I'll have to keep that in mind.

    1. They come in handy for all sorts of things, Leigh. I used to pick up a couple of bolt clips every time I was at the feed I buy them by the case!


Thank you for leaving a comment! I enjoy reading each one, and will usually reply either here or on YOUR blog!

Due to spam, Anonymous comments are blocked. I'm hoping to avoid the annoying Word Verification gizmo! If you find you cannot leave a comment, please email me so we can try to sort it out.