Contrary to popular conceptions, goats are not impossible to keep penned. Yes, they are inquisitive, more so than sheep, but in general they do not want to be separated from their peeps, not being comfortable totally out on their own. But there is always one in the crowd. This year it is our Zelda the Beautiful!
Zelda is much taller than most of our goats, taller than her mama, Elf. In the past week or two I have found her outside their pen at oddball times. Meeting me in the driveway on my way up to feed them in the morning, standing inside the milking greenhouse in the afternoon, and then yesterday afternoon we looked out the window and saw her on one of the compost piles that are most definitely not inside their paddock. Since I have been off this week, I have had the time in daylight to go over all the places I really though she might be coming out. Our dinky green gate was definitely a possibility, so I put the extra blue gate inside that one. I have never seen any of the animals go over that one, even Zorro the llama. (Silly to have two gates, but we can’t get a t-post in until the ground softens). So when I saw her on the compost pile yesterday I was quite surprised!
Turns out that she has been going to the top of their paddock and pushing on the cattle panel that’s sagging a bit, and she must just scale it at the right moment and jump into the snow up under the birches on the ridge. John pointed out that he thought she might be able to get over there, since we had gotten everything beefed up, and when I waded over there through the still deep snow, I found her landing zone. I have always been sorry that we didn’t put t-posts every 8 feet along the 16 foot cattle panels, and there is ledge at the top of the hill there, and the t-posts lean a little as they are not deep in the ground. I shored two panels up with some supports, and hope it does the trick until the ground defrosts a little.
Zelda probably had a good little jaunt, but when I got up to the paddock she was waiting by the gate, and when I opened it up she ran in and had a little snuggle with her mama. I think Elf gave her a little talking-to, but as of today, so far everyone is where they should be. What a relief!