Our land has some gorse, not huge amounts but you know the way gorse works, one moment you think it is under control, next moment you own a gorse farm. I can't spray for health reasons and we only use sprays as a last resort, so it became evident that we would have to spray or get goats. As usual I researched the crap out of different breeds before settling on Boer goats as we are not interested in milking goats and would like something that is less of an escapologist than your usual caprine.
Boer goats are bred for meat, they are short and stocky and seem to cope with life pretty well. We don't really want them for meat, more as lawnmowers.
Having decided that this was the breed for us and out land we then set about finding some. Luckily we found a small herd for sale 1.5 hrs drive from us, and travelled there on a beautiful sunny morning towing a covered cage trailer.
The farm where the goats were bred had suffered a drenching in the latest round of floods and everyone was a bit miserable. They handled the trip well and we turfed them out into our cattle yard so they could settle down without having to cope with the paddock just yet.
The small ones (doe kids - 6 months of age) jumped and frolicked, the older one has scald on a back leg from the flooding and was suffering a bit, after a couple of hours we moved them into the smaller pen next door with lots of food and water and a big shelter full of straw, the bedded down and settled in really well.
This morning I let them out into the first paddock, the little ones were full of joy, kicking up and running. I gave the older one a wash down as she had scoured, then washed and dried her feet and applied copper sulphate. I drenched her with apple cider vinegar, garlic and molasses to give her a bit of energy and try to settle her tummy. Over the next few hours she perked up a lot, and I washed her feet down with iodine. They are on dry ground here, so hopefully with daily treatment it should settle down.
This afternoon they were in full exploration mode and have been enjoying the browse in the paddock, particularly the gorse - which is great to see, thats why they are here after all!
I was very apprehensive on the way up, and on the way home, but as soon as they were unloaded the apprehension lifted and I felt so happy seeing them wandering around getting to know their new home.
Gigi (doe kid) in the foreground
Ava (4 year old doe) looking a bit better after some TLC
Zsa Zsa (doe kid) having a bad hair day
Zsa Zsa still isn't sure of me!
Ava showing us "this is how a goat eats gorse...very carefully)