Goats in the Garden-Sept 2013

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Viv McNeil



Well we did get a summer eventually, certainly here in the South we have had some really warm weather and it was lovely to be able to watch the goats sun bathing instead of peering out of their shed at the rain.

I mentioned in my last notes that I thought that Crystal may have copper deficiency as her coat was tinged with red so I bought a mineral supplement which contained copper, it came in a gritty powder form and I sprinkled it on the evening feed for all the goats. Even though there was a strong aroma to the supplement my other goats ate their feed as normal, however Crystal decided it was not for her and managed to eat her feed and leave a small pile of the supplement in her bowl, needless to say the other goats cleaned their bowls. This happened several times so I had to think of another way to get the supplement in her. I thought I would try a syringe but it was too thick, I tried making it wet so it stuck to the goat mix but she still managed to leave it in the bowl. Eventually someone suggested using olive oil to mix with it, which I then stirred into the goat mix and as she was unable to separate this from the feed she eventually ate it. I don`t know if it is a coincidence but her coat has now lost some of the red tinge.


My talk to the Rotary Club, which I gave in June, came as a bit of a surprise.

I had been contacted by a lady asking if I would give a talk on pygmy goats to their group, followed up by another lady confirming the details. I duly turned up at the venue, expecting to find a room full of women only to be greeted by very smart businessmen in suits. I had to sit between two very nice gentlemen at dinner, one was a surgeon and one was something in the city. As the most I have ever had removed was a verucca when I was a child I struggled to find any common ground with the surgeon, and the `city` has always been a mystery to me. I couldn`t help feeling that pygmy goats must be way down their list of interests and began to feel very uncomfortable.

Dinner finished eventually and I gave my talk. I don`t know how I came across but these polite gentlemen (and one lady) listened and somehow I got through it and dashed for home.

Take this as a warning, if you are asked to give a talk make sure you know your audience.


I had some really bad hay this summer and my goats just refused to eat it. I say it was bad but I could not see anything wrong with it, it smelt fine and it was still a bit green but it did not suit my girls, I was concerned they were not getting enough roughage and spent a lot of time cutting vegetation from my garden. The Jerusalem artichokes were devoured with relish, also blackcurrant bush leaves and an assortment from other trees and bushes. I even resorted to feeding them my broccoli, which I had been lovingly tending from seeds.  Eventually my supplier had a delivery of this years hay and I threw the old bales in the bin. Living in a town with no access to farms often causes a problem with hay, I know we are told buy `good quality` hay, but where from.  I am quite prepared to travel if there was any within a reasonable distance.


I have only been to two shows this year as with no kids or goatlings I was only able to enter one class. Hebe did very well, which was encouraging, but it did seem a bit pointless travelling too far with only one goat. I hope you all managed to get to at least one show, the weather has been so much better this year and makes a good day out.


It is time to be thinking about next years kids again, how quickly a year goes by.


Best wishes