Rescuing Goats

Rescuing goats is not a common activity for me. It can be crucial.

Most often this means kids are lost. They went to sleep and the herd had moved on without them. Or the herd crossed the creek and they were afraid of the water.

Louie needed rescuing regularly as he easily lost track of where the herd was. Being blind he couldn’t see the herd was only ten or twenty feet away. Of course no goat would answer him so one of us had to go out and rescue him.

blind goat listening for herd
Louie tried really hard to keep track of the herd. He listened for the sounds of the goats grazing ripping leaves or grass off. He followed the sound of the goats walking through the grass. But this had a limited range of about ten feet. After that he was out of touch and searching. He would first listen, then circle. If he couldn’t find the herd, he would start to panic and take off in the direction the herd might have gone. Panic would keep him from hearing his name called, even convince him he was being pursued. The best solution was to keep him in with Goat Town USA Gaius. They were best friends and rarely very far apart. Gaius always answered Louie and went back to get him any time he got lost.

We finally took to staying with the herd much of the time as Louie, for some reason, would take off up hill when he got frantic looking for the other goats. He could really cover some ground and was hard to catch up with. Being half panicked, he wouldn’t turn around or wait for his pursuer.

One half grown kid got stuck in a forked tree. Finding her was pure luck as she was Alpine and fairly quiet.

Rescuing goats is much easier with Nubians. They announce their situation loudly enough to be heard back at the house even from hills a quarter mile away.

That was the case recently. I was working around the barn making needed repairs. The nail supply was in the garage. A goat could be heard calling.

Rescuing goats list now includes Nubian doe Juliette's Lydia
High Reaches Juliette’s Lydia loves eating acorns. She is normally a quiet goat. When she got trapped, her big Nubian voice announced her problem to those working across the creek, by the barn, across the street and at the house.

Goats call for lots of reasons, most for communicating among themselves. Nubians like talking to each other. Except this goat had a worried tone and kept calling.

Following the calls took us out across the creek and up the first hill. A wind burst a few years ago knocked down a lot of trees. One was forked.

Lydia had stepped through between the forks. To understand what happened I need to describe my Ozark hill.

This hill has a fifty to sixty degree grade. It is covered two to six inches deep in loose gravel. Climbing it once a day would be great exercise.

trap waiting to make rescuing goats necessary
This fallen tree is a freak accident waiting to happen. The tree alone isn’t a problem. The goats can easily walk through between the branches. The gravel is the trap. Lydia stepped through and her feet slid down the hill. A chain saw eliminated this problem.

Evidently Lydia’s hooves slipped on the gravel and she fell on the lower trunk. It had no bark left and was slippery. She slid down closer to the fork.

Being a normal goat, Lydia tried to squeeze through. She slipped down to where the fork was too narrow for her to get through. She started calling for help.

It took two people to shove her up the trunk. The gravel made this difficult, but she got out. She took off to rejoin the herd without a backward glance.

Rescuing goats is done as a service to goats. It gains no thanks, only the satisfaction of saving a goat.