The Barn’s herd keeps growing bigger and bigger, as we are thrilled to announce that we recently brought in four baby Nigerian Dwarf goats! All four of them are boys, with their names being Buster, Billy, Lefty, and Poncho. Though we expect them to grow up to 60 pounds, currently they’re barely bigger than our resident Red Barn cat, Xena.
The goats are staying in a stall in the upper barn at night and in a dog pin between pasture A and the white house during the day. We have brought them down to the garden beside the bunny hutch for several groups. The journey down to the garden, which we have affectionately dubbed “The Running of the Goats”, has never failed to make me smile. The goats happily trail behind the staff leading them, a chorus of bleats accompanying our parade through the pasture. If we jog they’ll dash to catch up, and occasionally get so excited that they leap and kick the air. At times they might stumble upon an especially appetizing leaf and pause to munch on it, but they’re smart enough that if we pick them up and redirect them from the leaf that they’ll continue to march alongside us.
They’ve made fast friends with Xena, too. The first time they met, Xena was so spooked by these tiny, bleating creatures that her tail puffed out the size of a raccoon’s tail. But by round two she and Buster were nose to nose, sniffing each other as if they were old friends. We’re waiting for the goats to get a little bit bigger before introducing them to the horses, but with how friendly and intelligent the goats are, we have a feeling the horses will quickly warm up to our smaller furry friends.
Buster, Billy, Lefty, and Poncho are already a huge hit with staff and students alike. They love to play tag and are some of the most social animals we have ever had at the Barn. We’re very excited to see them grow and to incorporate them into more lessons in the future.