Anyone who’s ever worked out, or watched Biggest Loser, knows that it’s important to incorporate two things into one’s exercise plan – resistance training and aerobics to get your heart beat elevated. You could join a gym and hire a personal trainer. Or, you could get goats.
Yesterday I mucked out the goats’ stall. Shoveling and carrying a muck bucket (use your calves, not your back!) are tailor-made to build muscles. For a middle-aged woman like me, I’m sure it also helps to keep my bones dense.
After cleaning out the boys’ quarters I decided to tidy up the HenCam coop. I kicked out broody Coco and latched the pop door. Then, for a treat, I let the hens into the goats’ paddock. That meant that Pip and Caper could come into the chicken run. They like looking about where they’re not normally allowed. I went into the coop and did some more weight training and squats. As I carried a full muck bucket to the door (use those abdominals!) I almost tripped over two goats, who were eating flowers in the pots outside of the pens. I did a double-take. All gates were latched.
Lily Dog was about ten feet away, deciding what to do. She chases coyotes and turkeys that are bigger than these goats. But, the goats are her friends. They might be up for play. Rough housing dog play. Lily does have a “leave it” command. But she’s never been asked to “leave it” for big, live, moving goats. I tried it anyway, louder and more dramatically than ever before. Yelling showed that I was as excited as Lily! She went into play-bow pounce position.
And then I got to the stretching part of my exercise routine. Pip and Caper were still near the door to the chicken pen. But, they’d eaten all the flowers and were about to move on. I had to move quickly. I tried to block the goats from Lily, while opening the door, and shooing chickens away from the door, and keeping both goats within arms’ reach.
Then, I went back to resistance training. I shoved a goat butt towards the open door. If you push a goat, the goat pushes back. The goat never, ever goes in the direction of the push. All gyms should be outfitted with goats. I did a little weight lifting, too. A goat on two legs, theoretically, should be easier to shove than a goat on all fours. Right?
Meanwhile, my heart rate was well elevated. Who needs step training when one is trying to juggle chickens, goats and a dog?
The new trend in workouts it to do short, intense twenty-minute sessions. Accomplished!
Once the goats were put back in their paddock, the chickens shooed back into their run, and Lily rewarded for not turning goats or chickens into shredded toys, I took another look at the fencing. It appears that the goats figured out how to pull the tab that unlatches the chicken run’s door. It’s still a mystery why they closed it after they left.
In any event, I’m sure that my goat trainers are thinking up new exercise routines. They wouldn’t want me to get bored with my workouts.