Sunday, April 29, 2007

Viewing from different points

Many, many years ago, I responded somewhat flippantly to a woman who asked me how to keep her goats from jumping on her car.
"Don't park the car in the goat pen," was my dismissive reply.

I'm paying for it now! The picture is of Constance dancing on the windshield of Midas.
The goats are an important part of our land clearing effort at Foxbriar. Cat briar (part of the origin of the name), bull briar and wild rose make most of the mountain an impassable mess. We've had sheep get so tangled their feet were off the ground and we had to use a saw on the vines to get them loose. The black berries thickets promise delicious delights - but about 4 acres are so thick with them that only moles can get through. The goats eat all these thorny invaders and are thriving on them.

But that means the goats are running loose on the farm. Anything we don't want them climbing on, eating or strewing about as they curiously try to figure out what it is, has to be fenced off. Well fenced off! But I figure it is good training, they are teaching us how to keep gardens and orchards safe from the deer, rabbits and coons.
Now, about that question - How do you keep goats from jumping on your car? Well, if you look at it from a different view point - build a car corral that is goat tight. Hmm, if that exists - see picture above!

Today the internet and e-mail groups are great places to go to find information and ask for advice. Many people are willing to share what they know and most do it in a manner that shows they are just offering to help from their point of view. IMHO (in my humble opinion) is used and implied in many posts. Other people are adamant that you should do it their way or you are wrong.

We just moved from a place where there were lots of veterinarians. Most of them didn't like working with sheep and goats, but I had a few that were wonderful with all my animals. I had moved there from a place where you could not get a vet to come to the farm, period, and it was almost 200 miles to take your animals to a vet. We've been calling the vets in and around Mountain View since before we decided to move here, and we've found a few that will work with us - but it was apparent before we made the move that we would have to go back to being responsible for the majority of our animal's health care.

So we've asked for advice on the groups and internet boards. I've never raised sheep in this climate. Parasites and imbalances are very different. Southeastern Colorado is an area where Selenium is present in toxic levels, animals become very ill from the amounts that are present in the hay and in the ground. Here in the Ozarks, you have to supplement selenium in the animals feed. This difference I know about and understand. But what else is there out there that I need to learn?

So, I ask questions and research. The people that we have met up here on the mountain are friendly and have been more than willing to answer my somewhat silly sounding questions. And many wonderful people have had great advice in internet groups. But there are a few who insist their way is the only way - so you smile, nod, say thank you and realize the point from which they are viewing is not the same as yours.

This was obvious last week, when talking with Mona, who moved up here a few years ago from Florida. "It's so arid here and the soil has so much clay," she said while walking through her verdant pasture.
Shawn and I looked at each other. We had just been talking about how delightfully lush and wet it is here, and the soil was so nice and sandy that it drains well, unlike the slick clay of Colorado!
Viewing the world from different points.

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