One if by land, two if by sea …
One if by car, two if by hoof …
The goats are coming! The goats are coming!
That was our rallying cry around here last week. Monycka, of “No Goats, No Glory” fame, brought two Nigerian Dwarf goats to visit. Their official mission was to eat the pesky weeds that grow in my driveway. I cannot understand why absolutely nothing grows in the backyard where the soil is unencumbered, but weeds sprout up through the landscaping fabric and gravel of the driveway, as if on a dare. Since I can’t mow through the gravel and I won’t poison us with pesticides, hungry goats seemed like a great option for weed removal.
Unfortunately, just like the lawn mower, the goats come with their own sensitivities. Two barking neighbor dogs made our new friends nervous and they wouldn’t eat. Clementine did play “Mountain Goat” on the xeriscaping, but goats fear being eaten by animals with sharp teeth and they were too busy being vigilant to notice the weeds.
We retired to the backyard where the goats sat in Monycka’s daughters’ laps in between romps around the yard. Eventually, they settled into tasting the rosebushes, playing with the chickens and conversing with us.
Actually, the chickens did a whole lot more conversing than the goats. I’ve written elsewhere of the talkativeness of chickens and we know they live to chat. Monycka says the goats bleat sometimes, but like the chickens, they sleep when it’s dark and won’t be waking the neighbors at 4AM.
When we say we’d like goats to be legal in the city, as it is in Denver, people sometimes think of full sized goats and wonder if they’ll be big and smelly. The dwarf goats are about the size of a standard poodle. I can’t speak for all small goats, but Clementine and Penelope smelled good enough to invite to tea. Only females would be legal and they aren’t driven to coat themselves in unpleasant things, the way male goats are.
Personally, I believe it’s important that we, as Americans, have the ability to raise some of our own food, even if we live in cities. Small goats will give about a quart of milk a day without the hassle, smell and cleaning duties of larger goats. I’m not saying everyone should get goats and start milking, but given the low impact of a couple of small goats to neighborhood peace, it doesn’t seem reasonable to outlaw them.
If you agree, let your City Council representative know. They are busy folks and can only devote time to an issue when they know their constituents have interest.
Write today! The goats are counting on you!