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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices / The Teen Scene named 2024 Non-Profit of the Year by North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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Musings of a Retired Hobby Farmer-Goats

Musings of a Retired Hobby Farmer-Goats
Dan Dodge

It takes a while to get used to goats.  At first glance, they look funny.  Their eyes do not have round pupils.  They are rectangular.  Once you get beyond that very first glance, they are great creatures that do their very best to outsmart you.

We started off with three goats, Alice, Billy, and Cookie.  And I have to say that Billy was very, very good at his job.  During the dozen years that we homed goats, Billy fathered 30 kids with Alice and Cookie.  We named them alphabetically.

Delta was his first-born and after about 6 months, we re-homed him to Blue Bird Gap Farm in Hampton VA.  The staff there promptly re-named him “Donny” because they kept singing “Delta Dawn’ all day long!  Donny lives with the sheep and twice a year, he vacations with the all-female goat herd.  He is also very good at his job!

We created a small birthing nursery in the barn where Alice and/or Cookie could bond with their kids before introducing them to the other goats and Luke & Lillie, the two donkeys.  Goats usually birth twins and one December 24th, Joey and Mary were born.

Donkeys provide protection for the herd and were very gentile with the goats.   They are not afraid of dogs or wild creatures that decide to enter the pasture.  Just ask my son’s dog who, after an encounter with Luke, would not leave the front porch the entire time my son was visiting.  Neighbors were warned not to allow their dogs to come near the pastures.  We trained our dogs to stay a safe distance from the donkeys.

Nancy, a neighbor, had a flock of guinea hens.  Guineas roam fields and treed areas eating bugs and insects, particularly ticks.  So, they are quite beneficial.  They would visit my pastures and one goat, Ivy, paid particular attention to the way the guineas entered and left the pastures.  Seems the guineas circumvented the ‘live’ electric wire that was strung along the bottom of the fence boards.  Somehow the guineas found a depression in the ground under the fence which allowed them to come and go without getting ‘zapped.’  Ivy found that depression and one day, all 20 goats were on the other side of the fenced pasture; the escape was watched by Luke and Lillie.  Neighbors were concerned and did not know how to get them back into the pasture.  We were in town at the time, and when we returned, we calmly walked into the barn, put some feed in metal coffee cans, shook the cans, and all the goats came running back into the barn and the pasture for the feed.  We then scoured [with the help of the donkeys of course] the pasture perimeter for any depressions and filled them with cinder blocks and an extra ‘wire’ to deter further ‘escapes.’

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