Jasper, Escape Artist Goat

| 2/11/2014 8:59:00 AM

Nancy AddieOur first free goat, Billy Butt, was short-lived on our farm due to his need to constantly ‘play,’ but that experience was not enough to settle my desire for cuteness. Since I’ve been writing about goats of late, I will tell about our 2nd FREE goat. Jasper!  

You would think that after Billy, red flags would be easy to recognize. Well they’re not!  Jasper came to us approximately three months after Billy went to live at his new playground. Jasper had been raised by an elderly lady who kept him in the house for the first year of his life. He was treated like a child, and he expected nothing less from Addie Acres when he joined our family.

Jasper took over Billy’s old pen, the perfect goat area! It had a cozy two-room shelter with a thick straw bed, a special wood ‘goat pole’ that we put up so he could scratch his horns and take care of any itch he may have. The large private pasture for running, playing and sun lounging even came with a small dirt hole for an occasional body dust bath. Jasper had a couple of good points from the start. He was already fixed and even though he liked to play, he wasn’t a ‘butting’ goat (big plus following Billy Butt!). He gleefully would push around colorful beach balls, muzzle our hand for a massage and show unusual affection toward us, the now ‘head goats.’ 

In fact, he was so human-like, we quickly found he had an unusual talent. Regardless of the type of pen, he was able to escape. It didn’t matter how high, strong or creative, he would watch and simply do as the humans did and find a way out. Unlike Billy Butt and his pushy play, Jasper the goat would escape so he could trot up to the house looking for his human family. He would spend hours, unnoticed, wandering the farm and occasionally nibble on my tasty forbidden prized bush. We reinforced the fence, replacing most of it with horse fencing, pounded in a few heavy duty posts to prevent him from pushing a wall down and used a variety of netting to discourage the unwanted forays. 

We followed the advice of friends and goat blogs as we discovered goats are famous for finding a weak spot in the fence or locating a hole as small as a guinea pig that they can hook their horns into until it is big enough to squeeze through. If he could work his head through an opening, his whole body would follow without effort! Jasper would work on his pen every day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! More often than not, I would go to sit on the porch for morning coffee only to find him standing on the porch next to my white wicker furniture staring with dancing eyes, tail wagging and a what’s-for-breakfast look. He was patiently waiting for me to come out to share food, the beginning of a new day and, of course, to play. So many “family adventures, so little time” seemed to be Jasper’s mantra. 

Jasper the escaping goat! 

2/16/2014 2:07:55 PM

Nancy, Ha, you are too funny. Well, have you learned your lesson about free goats yet? Where do all the ornery Billy goats finally end up? I hope their next homes after yours are behavior modification experts. The male goats are the epitome of annoying. I hope that your next goat experience is a good one. Just stay away from the free goats. :-) ***** Have a great escape artist goat day.

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