I’m endlessly fascinated by the social goings-on in the barnyard. There’s no end of real entertainment, both comedy and drama and sometimes even tragedy if you’re willing to just sit back and observe. It often takes me twice as long to do chores because I’ll become engrossed in watching our 2-year-old filly Willow get right up in the face (do they have faces?) of one of our chickens. Its almost as if she wants them to play. They, of course, could care less because they’re engrossed in looking for bugs and other goodies in the rich, sweet-smelling horse poop Willow and her friends leave so liberally in their paddock.
This year I was really smug because the goat breeding seemed to go really well. And then it was time to get the bucks out of the doe pens. Ideally, the 3 bucks can live in the same pen together. But its always a crap shoot. So many things influence whether they will get along as well as they had before the breeding season. At first, the boys seemed to be happy to see each other. But within a day or two, I came down to the barn to find Mr. T. bleeding from his head. (No pictures of that). As it turns out, though I thought T was being picked on, it seems he was the picker and Rudolf Valentino was the “pickee” – so to speak.
Ordinarily, things settle down within a day or two and after some scuffling the new pecking order gets established and the only butting happens at dinner time. This time, Rudolf was being beaten up so badly he was seeing stars. And I’ve no doubt he would have been killed had we left him there much longer.
So he got moved to another pen, on his own to recover. But he was lonely. So we put Emmy, one of the ‘Does’ he bred, in with him. I guessed that pairing wrong too. They didn’t hurt each other. But Emmy was really missing her girlfriends. She spoke to me all day long and every chance she got to say she’d had enough of Rudolf and wanted to get back to her posse. I thought she’d settle in. But after 5 days she was still prattling on at me.
So we moved her back with her friends and it was as if she’d never left. I’d resisted putting any little ones in with Rudolf because he could really hurt them if he weren’t pleased. But at this point, there wasn’t much choice. So I put Yoda and Fast Eddie – who are great buddies – in with Rudy. And although Yoda was a little unsure about this big fellow, it wasn’t long before he and Fast Eddie were dancing circles around the old man and even he started getting into the fun of it all.
If you’ve gotten all the way through this recounting – here’s a link to a video see how they’re doing today.