Goats Grazing

Some of you have been concerned  that the goats don’t have hay in their hay rack. Poor starving goaties.

Right. Not exactly.

If I kept hay in front of them all the time, they’d never step outside of the stall. As it is, fed just one nice big, leafy, second-cutting hay flake a day, there’s a lot of resting and cud chewing going on.

Pip and Caper don’t get any grain at all. They are wethers – neutered males – and are very prone to dangerous bloat and urinary tract issues if they eat too much rich food. They complain. I ignore them. But, I am happy to take them out to the margins of the meadow, where their most favorite foods grow. Fortunately, what they want, I don’t. They eat brambles and white pine saplings.

Today, while the goats grazed, I let the Gems out. They, too, love the food in the woods, and all of the hens were busy, heads down and bottoms up.

That is, all but Agatha. She, of course was following me and looking at the camera.

Go eat, Agatha!

Speaking of eating – I’ll be making 14 butter pie crusts this weekend. By Monday I’ll have a pie crust-making tutorial up on this blog. I’ll also be posting a Luscious Chocolate Pie recipe. Stay tuned!


  1. Thanks for the information Terry. Goats digestive system can really screw them up. Do you ever offer them baking soda to munch on to reduce the chance of bloat ? Or is that too much of a preventive ?

    • I give them goat minerals which have the equivalent of baking soda, but also minerals specifically balanced for goats. Very important!

  2. There’s a little bird house in the corner of the picture with Agatha. What kind of birds are you trying to attract? We’ve been trying to attract owls to keep our rodent population down…I don’t think we’re having any luck. I did see a kestrel out hunting early this morning though :)

    • We put bluebird houses up and have several nesting pairs. Very pretty birds, but aggressive as can be to other bluebirds and if you get near their nests!

      • that is SO cool! do they stay the winter? i just went and googled bluebirds and apparently they eat all kinds of crop destroying bugs. what a boon to have nesting pairs on your property!

  3. Yikes Terry! What I don’t know about goats is huge! Is Benjamin (the 4H Club neutered male) in trouble with all the apple pieces, cheerios, and knackebrod (that round, hard, cracker-like bread from Sweden? We train for about 15 minutes, and he does eat a lot -however I keep the pieces very small (cheerio size). I’ve also begun adding sugar snap peas (sliced in small pieces) because he’ll work so well for those! I hope I haven’t saved him just to have him get bloat because of all this food ?!!

    • Carol, all of those veggies are just fine and he can have as much as he wants. The crackers should be fine, too (you’re not feeding him sugary things) but use them as treats for really good behavior. Bloat happens from too many grains, like corn, or when a goat gets into the chicken feed, etc.

  4. You did have to mention Chocolate Pie!! Haven’t had that for a zillion years. I’ve been trying out cranberry chutneys this year. Also did a batch of raspberry jelly. I’ve been invited to my niece’s so all I have to do is pack up a variety of jars of chutney and go. Well, maybe there’ll be some chocolate pie too. :)

    • We have the dog ticks and the deer ticks – which are the tiny ones that spread Lyme disease. They do get on the goats, and they hate being itchy and rub themselves raw. It’s awful. However, I’ve talked to a couple of vets and goat people and no one has ever heard of a goat getting a tick-born illness!

  5. Speaking of pie crusts, I wonder what you think of this: in “Eat It” by Dana Crumb, she has a recipe for pie crust than includes eggs.

    (By the way, I am not much of a pie baker, but I’ve seen the pie episode of good eats and read a few pie crust recipes- they never call for eggs!)

    • I’m not familiar with the recipe. Eggs would totally change the texture. It’s the rubbing of fat (like butter) with flour that creates flaky, yet soft texture unique to pies. Add anything else and that changes. I’ve made crusts with a bit of milk (softens things), and vinegar (increases the flake). I’ve also made less traditional crusts with cheese, nuts, etc. I’d think that eggs would give you more of a cookie consistency.

  6. Poor starving Caper. Look at him, he’s wasting away to a mere wisp of his former self. [tsk tsk, mailing him some gummi goat treats as we speak]

    • The pasture is actually in poor shape – not much growing – and it iced over every morning. Soon there will be snow. I feed them hay, but never goat chow, which is too rich for their boy systems.