I wanted to write about our friend's goat farm in Clifton Springs, New York. It was our second visit in a year to this farm and I always find it to be such a happy experience. Our friend Jody and Rob have somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 goats ranging in size from a medium sized dog to some that stand four feet at the shoulder.
Jody is a fixture on Facebook with her silly goat pictures. She loves her goats like children and regularly dresses them up or "plays" with them in new and creative ways. I am jealous of her life. Being raised a city-boy, I was never around goats and farm animals, so it's always fun because I love animals.
I bonded with one of the bigger goats named, appropriately enough, Biggie. It seems Biggie likes getting his neck and ears scratched and took a liking to me. It was a weird animal/human connection for a bit. I felt kind of like the Goat Whisperer for a time. I now understand how Jody gets so attached to each of the goats (and the goat kids). They are simple, lovable, but smart, creatures.
Being around these animals for an hour led to some observations.
- Goats will eat anything. While I was petting one, I had one nibbling on my shorts while another started chewing on my shoe laces. Pulling away was a temporary fix, as they were right back in a few minutes.
- Goats are like kids. When they see an open door, they all run for it. "Hey, lookit that, the door's open. Everybody out!"
- They have incredible balance for a hoofed animal.One was perched on a board no more than two inches wide.
- There's a pecking order among them that's not unlike humans. Every once in a while a couple of them will rear up and head butt each other. Reminds me of some hard headed people I know.
- They are a playful animal, if given the chance. They like to climb, explore and Jody even had a skateboard out that they could use. When I was crouched down, one put his hooves on my back. Jody said it was because he's used to getting piggy back rides from her. Who knew?
It was a great experience, one that brings your blood pressure down 10 points just by being there. I'm sure we'll get back again sometime, but until then, I'll miss their playful and sometimes annoying personalities.