Step 2: While I was working training clients, I had put the teen boys on the project of cleaning out our old shed. They where instructed to lay down the straw as bedding for our soon to be new goat family members. Now, all we needed was the electric fence and solar powered battery source.
The road trip totalled almost 6 hours of driving time, but we successfully got the small animal electric fence and solar battery charge. I had hoped we could get the fence closer to home, but everything was out of stock. With Because there is no guarantee, due to the quarantine, that shipping it in would make it to us to Ontario on time, a road trip from Woodview, to Cooktown Ontario was the option that seemed the most feasibly safest at this time. It was also a test run for this Mom and two teen boys to be stuck in a truck for a longer period of time. In less than two weeks, it will be a 4 day road trip from Woodview Ontario to New Clesea, Newfoundland.
Fortunately this Mom survived the short road to get the goats, aka Holly and Ivys’, electric fence. Yet, not without a little bit of drama, that often accompanies my son. Lets just say that drama had to do with finding an urgent place to pee, pulling off to the side of a farm road, and inappropriate jokes about not wanting to shame grown men with parts of my sons anatomy.
We finally got the fence and set it up! However, not without some moaning and groaning on the part of the teenage boys. Then attaching the solar powered battery to power the fence. I finally figured out how to connect the charge to the fence, and ground it.
Apparently the grounding rod is very important so the current only goes into the fence and no where else. Ha. Important to know. Now, testing the current. I figured the only way to really know if it works, is to touch it.
However, because I have done a few Tough Mudders and experienced first hand (wet and muddy I might add) what the electric obstacle is like, I still have shocking memories from it. Yet, because this my project and I have to take full responsibility for what is happening. I worked up the courage to see if the fence worked.
But alas, the build up was futile. No charge! I read through the instruction booklet a little more thoroughly. The battery needs 3 full days of sun to charge or a 6 V battery charger. We only have a 12 volt (too strong, which would equal frying out my precious battery) so 3 days of naturally energy charging it will have to be.
Step 3. The Holly and Ivy. I am always a big fan of bringing friends a long for an adventure. Especially if they are into the same kind of things you are. Enter my high school girlfriend, Sarah. Some of my most fondest memories in high school, have to do with Sarah. See this farming thing is not a new concept for me. I grew up on a 310 acre farm next to the 10 acres that my parents currently have (which is now sold).
The farm included horses, cows, donkeys, turkeys, chickens, dogs, cats, pigs and of course a very large garden. At chore time, I used to cringe at having to weed that huge garden!
Sarah, however was always one of those egger friends to just get right in there, and do the work that needed to be done. When you’re a teen living on a farm, even with friends over, chores still have to be done. Sarah’s eagerness to help out, always made chore time a lot more bearable. We had many laughs over getting the water pump going in the winter. You always had to prime the pump, to get the water going. Priming in the winter was always extra work, you had to juggle getting the water down the pipe while at the same time pumping really hard to get it going in the cold. Sarah’s enthusiasm with getting the pump going and feeding the animals was always a hoot to witness. Now fast forward 25 plus years later, and many miles of life experience in between our lives. I could not think of anyone more awesome to share this new evolution of adulthood with. (With Sarah’s permission, I hope to write about her most recent experience she has gone through) She had just recently purchased some black and white chicks. I believe they are called Leghorns. They should be old enough to have eggs by the fall. So I invited Sarah to come over and pick up the goats with us. 1. Large dog cage ready. 2. Lola and Sarah loaded into the truck. 3. Goat neighbors, here we come!
Now remember the whole scenario on touching the electric fence to see if it’s working. Well turns out there is a less shocking way to do it! Ha. Good thing I did not learn that lesson the hard way. Our neighbors Chris and Racheal, helped us load Holy and Ivy into their cage. Of course a little bit of bribing occurred as well.
Step 4: Getting Holly and Ivy home. We got them home safely and introduced them to the family.
Check out that first video introduction here. The first couple of days, Holy and Ivy bleated a lot, calling out for their Mom and herd. Then they finally settled in. We have them on a temporary routine of being out in the pasture during the day, which is complete with fresh water and the occasional treat. Then the evening we bring them in, I brush them down to get used to being handled. Remember, the goal by June 2021, is that Holly and Ivy have cute little babies of their own. With babies comes goats milk, and regular daily milking. That is when all the REAL FUN begins.