Sunday, April 3, 2011

Shirley and the Great Escape

Last month friends from our church ask if we wanted a fainting goat.  They knew a lady near us who was trying to find a home for one of her baby goats.  Although I have always wanted a fainting goat, my initial thought was can we take on another animal?  Hubby and I had been talking about making goat's milk soap and knew we were going to have to try our hand at goat farming. 

After a few introduction phone calls, we were set to pick up the baby in about four weeks.  Several weeks late, my husband returned from a business trip with an idea for the goat pen/shelter.  I took several days off and we went to work constructing the pen.  After we finished, we felt so proud at our shelter and it was an wonderful opportunity for us to reconnect from his 2 weeks on the road.

We picked up the little black and white fainting goat and named him Sherman.  Upon putting Sherman in his newly constructed home, he was so little he jumped right through the holes in the pen.  We never imagined he'd fit through a 4 inch hole, but he did.  We put Sherman in our dog kennel in the kitchen and hubby went to work adding chicken wire to the outside of all the fenced area.  The extra wire worked and Sherman was happy in his new home.

Worried that Sherman would be lonely, we decided to go to the Saturday goat auction in Carthage.  We purchased a nanny and headed home.  We named the nanny "Shirley" and introduced her to Sherman.  After we felt comfortable that all was well, we headed into town for dinner.  As we sat at the long community table in the center of the restaurant, we told our goat adventures of the day. Including tales of me getting stuck in the dog kennel with Shirley after trying to get her out of the truck.  Hubby has pictures to prove it!

As we arrived home, my hubby went to close the chicken coop and check on the goats only to find Shirley was gone.  We think she jumped up on a hay bale and right over the fence.  Hubby searched for her by spotlight and four wheeler but she was no where to be found.  Our biggest concern was that she would end up being coyote food. 

We woke up the next morning had our coffee and decided we would take a ride around the farm.  We were not hopeful that we would find Shirley, but had to try.  We spent about an hour riding, visiting neighbors to see if anyone had seen a "rogue" goat, but no luck.  We gave up and headed home to get some projects done on the farm.

We had only been home about 10 minutes when we heard Sherman sound off and another goat calling in response.  IT WAS SHIRLEY!!!!  She made it through the night and was trying to find her way home.  It was obvious that she wanted to get back to Sherman.  We led her into the yard and cornered her near a tree.  My husband picked her up and we put her back in her pen. 

It was such an awesome miracle that she survived the night.  We said a few prayers for the divine help we received this morning.  We picked some dandelions and hand fed them to Shirley.  It was an even more beautiful morning than it had originally started.  The sun was shining and we spent the rest of the day working on the farm we love.


  1. What a great story! A fainting goat! My girls always wanting one, obviously only to watch it 'faint' so they could laugh. I so long for a farm of my own again. In the meantime, I will continue to dream while enjoying your tails of farm life.

  2. Julia, I think we'll just make you an honory farmgirl at Red Gate Farms!!! There's a rocking chair on the front porch with you name on it!