Tip #1 – You can’t have just one goat. Or one pig. Or really one chicken. These animals are social beings, like us. They do better with companionship. So when you ‘win’ a baby goat in a raffle at a 4H clinic, they require that you immediately begin the search for a second goat. This will keep your baby goat from screaming her head off like in those fun YouTube videos.
Top #2 – When you find a great companion goat, be sure that the stall in your barn is overly strengthened and capable of keeping said goat inside. Or when you bring the goat to your farm it will get out!
Tip #3 – Move the goat to your farm during the day when there is plenty of light for both of you to see by. That way the goat won’t scare you to death when it saddles up behind you in the garage after escaping your less than secure pen. (See Tip #2)
Tip #4 – ALWAYS have fresh batteries in a handy flashlight. Once the goat is securely fastened in his dark pen and you hear ‘something’ rooting through your chicken coop, you will really wish the flashlight worked. So will the kids cowering behind you chanting “Get mom first, Mr. Coyote.”
Tip #5 – When you come upon three escaped pigs in your driveway, in the dark, don’t panic. They are just exploring for food, after all, and trying to find their three other buddies (which are currently rooking through your chicken coop).
Tip #6 – You can’t catch a 75 lb. pig who doesn’t want to be caught. And no 75 lb. pig wants to be caught. You also can’t lasso them (Makenna tried.) Or push them (Jack tried.) In fact, the best way to get 6 escaped pigs back to their pen in the dark is to A.) find a new flashlight, B.) gather up a bucket of food, and C.) show them the way back across the yard and into their pen like a pig pied piper.
Tip #7 – See Tip #4 so you won’t be frustrated when your second flashlight runs out of batteries.
Tip #8 – Always keep your cell phone charged and have a heavy duty signal home phone. Because when you are chasing escaped pigs and goats and trying to calm down a coop of chickens while your husband is away, you really want to be able to call someone else for help.
Tip #9 – Always be prepared. When you realize that the pigs have escaped not through a left open gate but by rooting under fence panels, you will need to have on hand t-posts, a post driver and a f*%@ing flashlight that works. Then you won’t have to drive in multiple fence posts in the dark with three freaked out kids as an audience and no one to help.
Tip #10 – Even if you rarely drink, keep rum on hand for nights like this. You will be glad you did.