a visit with the goats!

today, i get to share a funny holiday story that i have been dying to write about since there is really no need for a recipe for the grilled salmon salads on our menu tonight.  for our salads, we simply grilled a large piece of salmon, cut it into 3 pieces, and placed it then on a bed of spinach leaves with a handful of grape tomatoes.  i quickly whipped up a mustard vinaigrette to drizzle on top.  it was fast and scrumptious.  a perfectly light and healthy supper amongst the heavy winter comfort foods we have been feasting on!

okay...onto my story!  my sweet mom read an article in early december in their very local newspaper announcing the birth of a trip of  goats and inviting people to come and meet them!  mom knew that i would be beyond excited to make the trek out into the sticks to see these wonderful babies, so my sister, mom, dad, jack, and i all piled into the car two days before christmas to go see these new goats.

we travelled deep into the country, going down a long paved road that then turned into a dirt path, my suspicions growing by the foot.  as we neared the end of the dirt path, we spotted them!  in the side yard of someone's home was a huge pen, surrounded by an electric fence, filled with a trip of goats and 5 enormous hogs!  i pulled the car over, climbed out, and started walking toward the pen when i heard several dogs start barking and a southern male voice from down the field yell "hold on a second.  i will be right there" as he jumped onto his tractor to come our way, his 3 dogs following close behind.  mom and dad hurried back into the car, which was okay since jack was sleeping in his carseat (he had no idea that there were goats to see!), while my sister and i stood still, frightened that we might be shot down for trespassing but not wanting to hop back into the car without seeing the goats!

as the man approached on his tractor, he asked, "can i help y'all with something?" seeming to have no idea that his goats were something worth seeing nor having any knowledge that a newspaper article was written inviting people to come out to his property!  after explaining that we were there to see the baby goats, he gave us a puzzled look, but led us over to the animal pen, warning us about the electric fence and the hog smell (it was such a strong odor of ammonia...yucky!).  when we asked if we could go inside, he questioned our sanity saying "you can go in, if you want, but i don't know why you'd want to with those shoes on!"

jessica and i couldn't be stopped, into the pen we went.  it turns out that the man was as nice as he could be telling us all about the goat families and warning us not to get too close to the males.  i think i sort of impressed him when i told him i knew the males sprayed themselves with urine to attract the females...gross, but part of goat life, i guess.  here is some of what we saw: 

one of the mama goats feeding her babies.

this is betsy wearing the green collar and the bell.  she was the very first goat this family purchased.  she is the "mother" of the trip and so sweet.

the man (whom we found out is the son of the animal owners) was so generous with his time.  he fed the goats while we were there so that we could see feeding time.  it was amazing.  as soon as he dumped the feed into that bin, all of the adults goats ran in that direction knocking into and climbing over each other to get to the food and all of the babies ran in the opposite direction to stay out of the way!

it was a fun goat outing for jessica and i!  thank you, mom, for finding it for me!