The Strawberry Moon of June has come and gone
and it's officially summer at MeadowWild Farm.
Christmas is half a year away, but Santa Goat is already making a list and checking it twice.
In his "nice" column are Mojo and Amigo, who accepted a major invasion of their space with equanimity.
Because the bucklings are nearing maturity, they had to be separated from the girls. Barb showed them their new sleep shelter
and food and water arrangements.
(Of course Tzarina had to see if she could sneak some of the boys' food.)
The bucklings now have their own area next to the bucks' barn. They can retreat to their shelter whenever they want, but they can also visit the bucks at will.
Mojo and Amigo checked out the new guys warily, but have been wonderfully tolerant of the invaders.
Mojito, smallest of the lot, finds a refuge where he can hide from the big bruisers and the bullying of his more aggressive peers. He won't look back with fondness on these high school days.
After the initial "get acquainted" period, old and young play together on the stumps
browse in the big pasture
and then hang together in the Gentlemen's Club away from the midday sun.
Niceness even extends to sharing the hay feeder with a good deal of tolerance and grace.
Anisa found herself on the "naughty" side of Santa Goat's list
when she was chewing on a clip attached to her hay feeder and managed to jam her mouth around it so she couldn't get free
and was flopping around like a fish on a stringer. The Farmers had to use a bolt-cutter to release her.
Miraculously, she didn't puncture her cheek or jaw, but her struggling irritated the area so much that it swelled up and developed an abscess.
After two visits to the vet, penicillin shots, and several cleanings & ointmentings each day, her mouth is now almost completely healed.
The older does are also angling for a lump of coal come Xmas time. They managed to break through the back gate meant to keep them out of the doelings' pen, where Keeper and Tzarina were being weaned,
and Eclipse cleaned out the girls' food dishes
while Cheeky subverted the weaning process
and displayed a little bit of attitude.
Eclipse has been especially naughty lately
and eager to show off her horns.
When she learned how to open the latch on the front gate, Barb attached a strap at the top. Eclipse then figured out that she could still escape by lifting the latch and pushing through the bottom of the door.
Another strap down below now discourages her nefarious wandering.
But when the straps were inadvertently left unhooked, Eclipse sashayed out of her pen, broke through the cover of a feed bin
chewed through an unopened bag of the doelings' feed, and proceeded to pig out.
The older girls also take every opportunity to munch on the rose bush that cousin Lila contributed to the Farm.
But on the "nice" side of the list, they continue to produce lots of wholesome goodness, as their official milk tests reveal.
Not to be outdone in the "naughty" department, the youngsters trample and nibble on the herb garden
and hang out in the hay feeders, seeing if they can trap themselves.
Ground squirrels are also on the naughty side of the list; they once again filled in Barb's fire pit (for smoking mozzarella cheeses) and are pretty much taking over the barn
Other "nicenesses" at MeadowWild this past month:
future goat lady Alex spent a good deal of time being mentored by Barb in all things goat;
orioles are off nesting, but catbirds are still hanging out in the front yard;
a deer and her fawn visited in back;
Dustin continues to train seriously for the Olympic Napping Competition;
Ahni and Xiu entertain visitors
and practice their Rolfing massage therapy on Barb.
The doelings got ready for the MDGA Mid-Minnesota goat show
with fashionable new haircuts. Xiu's cute little puffball tail
proved irresistible to her fellow travelers, who chewed on it all the way to Mora.
At the fairgrounds, they scoped out the competition
and visited with friends Laura and Bill.
(Photo courtesy of Brian.)
(Photo courtesy of Brian.)
Keeper placed 3rd and Tzarina 5th out of 16 goats in the intermediate class.
None of the girls did very well in the second ring, where the judge was, they insist, visually impaired.