Thursday, December 18, 2008

should I get up and pee, or just pee in the bed?

The crookedness of the picture is thanks to my begloved hands.

If you're a goat, the answer is: Either!

It's supposed to get into the single digits tonight, like, if I wanted single digits I'd move to Minnesota, where winter is the most beautiful ten months of the year. (People in Minnesota: "Shut up, lightweight. We get single digits in June.")

Our goats are Nubians, which are technically a desert goat, so they are well-suited for our dry, sweltering summers. However, they are not as happy in the bitter cold as Saanens or Alpines. And since Catwoman doesn't have anyone to cuddle up with, I was concerned that she might have a rough time, so I tricked the children into helping me prepare for the night. I shouted excitedly, "Okay, everybody get your snow clothes on!" And they came running up the stairs, and then they found out that we were just going outside to pitch hay into the goat pen. To their credit, there was minimal murmuring. We're out of straw right now, so we got some of the "licorice" hay (this is hay that has gone black and moldy from being wet--oh, those hilarious farmers) and tore it all up to make a thick, softish layer of bedding. In case you're thinking about doing the next run of PBS's Colonial House or something, you're going to want to use straw, not hay, for your louse- and bedbug-ridden mattress. Hay is super scratchy and pokey. I don't know why it's ever been called "a roll in the hay," because the bruises and scratches you'd get from that would be grievous and apparent. I'm just saying.

The reason you want thick bedding on the floor is so the animal can nestle down inside, as well as pee and poo and do other hideous things in it. The decaying waste matter puts off heat (like a compost pile), and it keeps the animal warm. Then in the spring you muck it all out and put it on your garden, or weed patch, as the case may be. It's pretty much exactly like indoor plumbing.


Jenny said...

Hey, I'm just commenting about the Saturday idea. I told Heidi I'm in, but would most likely bring Kate. She doesn't like Richards "feed and floss" program. I also have plenty of things I ought to do on Saturday, none of which are fun or exciting. Let me know if you find out anything.