Meet Hank!

Kenny, Dolly, and Reba have been adjusting well. They have come to accept Curry as their boisterous, playful guardian and weathered thunderstorms (lots of them!) with courage. I did realize, after the zillionth storm, that I needed to move their shelter. It was not drying out between rains and I worried they would get sick, so my hubby and sons helped me relocate it to the other side of their pen. It was a good decision and there new south-facing location, plus a plywood platform on top of cinder blocks, has resulted in a nice, dry shelter even after the heaviest of rains.

Anywho, a couple of weeks ago, I got a text from the woman who sold our first three goats to us. She had a whethered male she needed to sell, and thought I might be interested since he and Kenny used to hang out together.

Me, texting my hubby: Honey, can I buy another goat?

Hubby: Do we have room?

Me: Yep, not a problem.

Hubby: That’s fine.

With which I jumped up and down, squealing to my kids, “We’re getting another goat!”

The next day, we brought home a sweet, blonde boy.

Meet Hank!

Yes, he is named after Hank Williams, Jr. 🙂
Look that that lovable face!

Hank is so sweet. He is a big eater and has learned to climb on top of the hay in the feeder to get his fair share! He was shy at first, but now realizes I come with treats so he warmed up quickly. I love to scratch his chin and give him a good belly rub. He has a very distinct, throaty bleat that makes him sound a little annoyed. Ha!

Adding him to the mix was interesting. He is bigger than the other three and Dolly, who was the original alpha and loved being in charge, promptly head-butted him in the side when he entered the pen. Apparently she wanted to make it clear that he wasn’t to try to usurp her authority. Even Kenny, our little guy, has given Hank a few solid head-butts when it’s meal time!

So, I felt a little bad because the other three basically formed a clique and made Hank work hard to join it. For the first 2 or 3 nights, they slept snuggled together while he slept alone. Poor guy.

And then there was Curry. He had finally stopped chasing the goats, but Hank’s arrival was more than he could resist and he regressed a bit. I caught him driving the goats behind their shelter and pulling on their tails with his wagging away, so back on the other side of the fence he went until he remembered his manners. He wasn’t trying to hurt them and obviously wanted to play, but they protested loudly! I can’t say I blame them. Thankfully, it only took a few days and now they are all buddies.

Everyone is getting along great, now. The goats sleep together in a warm, furry heap and Curry has learned to be gentle. Our little herd is complete and we are dreaming of what is next. I bought harnesses and plan to work with the goats so I can take them into the woods and let them clear out some of that underbrush. Maybe we will build a nice barn back there at some point and fence more acres in, but right now I’ll take any excuse to be outdoors in this glorious and unseasonable cool weather. If it means putting goats on leashes, I’m in!

Goats on leashes…now that should be interesting.

Meet the Goats!

It finally happened! After years of dreaming, months of scheming, and lots of patience from my husband as we prepared our land to become a mini-farm, we brought home three of the cutest goats you’ve ever seen!

We picked them up on Good Friday, April 2. It was such an exciting day! As we got them settled in their pen, it felt surreal. My daughter said, “Mom, does this mean we live on a farm?”

“Yes,” I said. “It sure does!”

It has been a true gift to watch my kids and their friends enjoy all that we are building here. Children who have never seen a farm animal reach out in wonder as a doeling or buckling eat out of their hand or nibble on their shoelaces. Adults have called me out of the blue because they want to come play, and neighbors’ kids show up with big smiles because they were just out back with the animals.

“If you build it, they will come,” right?

God has big plans for this little farm. Plans that stretch beyond milk, vegetables, eggs and soap. Creation declares the glory of God, and I am seeing it happen here, in this place surrounded by trees, water, and blue sky. Here, where the roosters crow in the distance as cattle noisily greet the dawn from across the road. Here, where animals teach us how to get along, cats and dogs playing together as the goats learn to trust their new protector and the barnswallows fly about just overhead. It seems metaphors are leaping out all around me these days, and I believe God will give me much to share with you. So, without further adieu, I would love to introduce you to the goats of Arundelle Green…

As if our goats weren’t enough to be excited about, work is well underway on our most incredible chicken coop! It is going to be a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that will surely be the backdrop of many portraits and picnics. It is nearing completion and our hens will come home shortly after. I will be back to share photos when it is finished.

Have a wonderful day! If you need me, I’ll be out back with the goats.

Blessings, from Arundelle Green.

Meet Curry!

Even though I built a sturdy shelter for our soon-to-arrive goats, I have been a little nervous because we have an abundance of predators out here. Most are nocturnal, but not all. There have also been spottings of coyotes during daylight hours, as well as reports of big predators like mountain lions (though we are not in the mountains, but close enough) and an occasional stray dog that could take down a small animal.

My husband and I pondered the possibility of a livestock guardian. We had a German Shepherd who passed away two years ago, and we missed our big boy. After a little research we decided a Great Pyrenees mix would be a good fit for our burgeoning mini-farm. I searched Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and the local animal shelter for possibilities. Great Pyrenees puppies are expensive, so I was hoping to “catch a bargain,” so to speak.

A couple of weeks ago, someone posted a photo of a beautiful Pyrenees that had been taken to the animal shelter. A stray. I thought, “Oh, what a pretty dog,” and went on with my day. After all, he would surely be claimed by his owner.

Surely.

The next day my oldest daughter went on a day-date with her boyfriend to the animal shelter. She texted a short video of a dog, declaring it to be the sweetest dog who was the only one not barking (a definite plus!) and I recognized him immediately as the dog I had seen online the day before! He was still there.

The following day was a Saturday, so I hauled my three youngest to the shelter to see if he was available and how he interacted with them. My son, who is 14, was excited because it was his turn to name one of our pets and he already had a name in mind. Davis is a huge basketball fan, and Steph Curry is his favorite. It was an easy choice! We walked up and down the rows of cages until we found him.

Love at first sight.

As we loved on this sweet boy, a volunteer saw us and approached with a smile. We told him we were looking for a livestock guardian, that the dog would live outdoors with goats. He nodded and said this dog would be perfect for that job. He told us they get Pyrenees through there all the time because people don’t realize how much this breed needs to work, so they get bored and run away. After a while, owners get tired of chasing after them and give up.

We had to wait a few more days, in case someone claimed him, but no one ever came. They asked us to bring our little dogs to the shelter to meet him on neutral ground, and it’s a good thing because Clara and Hollie were not exactly welcoming. After much growling and snarling (from the little dogs…the Pyrenees just wanted to play!), we welcomed home the newest addition to Arundelle Green!

Meet Curry!

The volunteer offered to take a photo…and Curry was so excited he gave me a big hug!

Curry spent his first week home in a cone because he had been neutered and wouldn’t leave the incision alone. He handled it like a champ, though, and is now cone-free. He had his first vet visit and it turns out he is still a puppy! She estimates he is 10-12 months old and still has some growing to do. At 79 pounds already, he is going to be a big boy!

We love him.

He is, indeed, a perfect fit.

And now to bring home the goats…

It’s a flurry of fur and happiness here, at Arundelle Green!