Mammal Mondays: Hungry Like the Goat?


The Electrician and I went on a wee road trip out of Salmon Arm today, largely because I wanted to visit the goats. Yes, as in Billy Goat’s Gruff. The kind of critter rumoured to eat tin cans and kill trolls.

There’s a tourist trap called The Log Barn just outside Armstrong, BC, which is about 45 minutes in good weather from my godparents’ house. I wanted to go to see the famous Goat Walk. I had no idea really how it worked until we arrived; my cousin tried to explain it to me, but my brain is in holiday mode and I needed to see it for myself to really wrap my head around it.

Next to the road is a log walkway that allows the goats to climb up to two platforms, which are connected by a cat (goat) walk. The aerial path is enclosed by a welded rail on either side, so the goats can’t fall without trying really diligently to take the plunge.

Going up for a little nibble.

Here’s the cool part: there are gumball-style machines that take quarters from tourists in exchange for handfuls of goat chow, which seems to consist largely of corn with a little wheat for seasoning. Folks pour their goat chow into a can attached to a pulley system, then pull on the rope until the can reaches the goats, a good twenty feet or more above. Some of the more eager, intelligent goats have learned to pull the cans up themselves; we saw one rolling the pulley with his hooves, and one yanking it along with his mouth.

My favorite part, though, was feeding the goats by hand. They were really friendly and obviously were well accustomed to eating corn from tourists’ palms. I generally root for the underdog, and did my best to favour the smaller goats, the ones I figured generally get pushed aside at feeding time while the bigger, stronger goats chow down.

They have such silky ears!

The best part was the wee baby goats. They melted me; there were three of them, and their impact on my soft heart was exponential. Three wee white goats, all so little that they could ride around in a purse like one of those chihuahua things I refuse to call a dog.

Behold:

I want to take him home, not in my good purse, though.

Living in the city is great in many ways, but there are definitely days when I miss rural life. We had pet sheep when I was a kid, which I’ll probably write about another day, and being nibbled by soft little goat lips reminded me of being a little kid feeding my lamb.

I told The Electrician I was going to buy a hobby farm one day when I’m rich and famous, and then I could have my own goat walk and feed baby goats every day. He told me he would not be signing up to shovel little round goat turds; sometimes he’s too practical for his own good.

copyright 2011:  http://bluespeckledpup.com

One Comment Add yours

  1. FL Liz says:

    Goats ARE cute indeed. My boys went on kindergarten field trips to a farm and I remember learning a neat way to tell sheep from goats: Goat tails go up/sheep tails hang down. Your vacation reads like a great trip. Glad you are having fun and getting to see all the cool stuff you are. :o)

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