Wednesday, 15 August 2007

The Swiss Farm - Part III - Goats

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The Man in the goat stable

How do your find a goat stable - just sniff and follow your nose. I do not want to be disrespectful towards goats, but they do have a sort of goat aroma about theirselves. On my friend's farm they have quite a comfortable stable. I remember a couple of years ago when the farmer's oldest son decided to start with goats. He bought a couple and soon there were babies in a stable that they shared with the cows. At the beginning there were a few difficulties with the kid goats but after a while practice made perfect and the goat family started growing quite quickly. For this reason the goats eventually got their own home. Nice and spacious with the kids and grown-ups being kept apart. Here are a few photos.

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When I entered the stable I felt like the stranger in the Wild West Saloon. About 10 goat heads moved sychron in my direction. After they realised I was just another 2-legged goat they carried on with their goat habits. As you can see one of the goats is a different colour to the rest. This seems to be a whim of nature and I can assure that this makes absolutely no difference. This goat is not left out of the goat club and is accepted completely after all they all smell the same.

You may be thinking what the idea is of having goats. If anyone has read the book "Heidi" by Johanna Spyri you may remember Peter the goat boy (Heidi's boyfriend). As Heidi and her grandfather lived on the Alp there were no cows for milking or making cheese, but there were goats. Not that my friend's family live on goat milk, but they bring the milk to the local cheese makers, where it is made into goat cheese which is a further source of income. So once again the goats are not served once a year as a meal at Easter, but live their lives happily as long as they are able to produce milk.

I also noticed in the stable that they have music to accompany them through the day from a radio. Not that goats are particularly musical animals, but at this time of the year the fox likes to pay a visit in the night. As it would be difficult for the farmer to keep watch through the night in the stable, music gives the fox a feeling that someone is there, although my friend told me that only last week a couple of kids were killed by the fox. I really enjoyed my visit to the goat stable and they all turned their heads together and watched me leave.

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A View from the farm towards the Swiss Jura - Hasenmatt

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