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Welcome to HighTail Farms, LLC! We're a small farm located in Hammond, Louisiana. We are dedicated to providing people with ethically raised and humanely processed pastured poultry and sheep, fresh eggs, and raw meat for pet food.

Please follow the links in the top bar for more information on our products and their availability. Continue reading below for our blog where we detail the adventures of raisin' animals and whatnot.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Getting our Goats!



I was browsing my way thru the farm & garden section of Craigslist when I came across an add for a LaMancha dairy goat for sale, ready for milking. The ad had just a picture of her udder (goat porn!). 

Apparently, this gentleman was getting rid of all his goats: a long haired male of some kind, the lamancha female, a couple pygmies, and a bunch of just barley weaned kids.  

The Big Onion made the trek all the out to the Westbank to check out the lamancha, and I think it was love at first site. So we did a lot if fast learning on goat care and milking and made plans to pick up the girl in just a couple days. 

After a little research, we learned that goats are like potato chips - you can't have just one. A solo goat is a sad goat. Unfortunately when we arrived to pick up our girl, all the just weaned kids had been sold the day before. Fortunately, there was one pygmy female left so we bought her too. While there, we learned that both of these girls had JUST weaned their kids, were FULL of milk, and had never been milked. That's two full days of full udders and no milking. Poor things were walking bow-legged. We also learned that they had already been re-bred to the male and were due midsummer.

We don't have a livestock trailer, but we do have my trusted Honda Element. We helped the owner chase down, wrangle, and drag the protesting goats out to our car where he tied the larger of the two to a hand rail. 


 The larger gal was already being called Josie, and on the way home we decided to call the little gal Jenni. We also discovered that Jenni was more likely a mini-lamancha than a pygmy- no ears!

The drive home went fine. My Element held up well to hooves and horns and even a little goat pee toward the end. The fun began once we got parked in the driveway....

While the Big Onion went to get some goat food and things ready to milk these gals before their udders just exploded, I stupidly thought I could handle unload two freaked out goats from my car on my own. 

I looped a leash around the Jenni's and lifted her out of the car and onto the driveway. I was just going to stop there and wait for the Big Onion to help unload Josie. Well, I guess she decided she was not going to stay in that car alone one minute longer and hopped right out the back of the Element

No problem. Josie was wearing a snazzy new head halter I had bought from TSC for her, so I had a leash on each goat. I could handle just standing there with them on the driveway for a few minutes until the Big Onion came back to help. That's when things went bad. 

Jenni started freaking out, bleating, and pulling had hard as she could against the leash. I guess Josie took this as her cue and started pulling in the opposite direction and inexplicably backing her way out of the head halter. When I saw the halter was coming off, I dropped the leash on Jenni and made a desperate grab for Josie, but it was too late. She had freed herself completely from the halter, and she and Jenni hightailed it off across the front yard and into the darkness. 

Big Onion came back to find me standing there with a leash in my hand and no goats to be seen. I said, "I think we have a small problem." 

What came next was no less than an hour and a half of desperate goat chasing. I was cursing a blue street and Big Onion was shouting, "Damnit! We paid too much for these damn goats to lose um now!!" Those girls ran along the creek bed, we chased them thru brambles and thorn bushes. They ran across the street and back again and went round and round the neighbor's house at least 20 times. All we needed was the Benny Hill theme song playing in the background. 

We finally got them cornered between our property and the one next door, and our dogs started barking like crazy. Josie was too worried about where the hounds of hell were coming from to notice me sneaking up behind her and grabbing her by a back leg. 

Once we had her, we were sure Jenni would follow, so we started to push/drag/carry Josie back to the house. Jenny took one look at us, said "Every goat for herself!" and took off back across the street again. 

There was another half hour of ring around the neighbor's house before Big Onion finally got fed up and tackled the girl when she rounded a corner. 

When we finally got them inside, all four of us were bruised, bitten, scratched up, and exhausted, but those girls still needed milking....

(to be continued)

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