Her full, even horns extend gracefully back from her head. I can’t get her to stop using those horns to smack my other goats around. She terrorizes all the goats except the two large bucks, Cam and Petruchio, and the large, horned Angora wether, Dash. Cobweb is a large, gentle, half angora wether with a silky light gray cashmere growing over his black, white and tan body. Cobweb has no horns to speak of and won’t go into the barn when Gizelle is in there.
Goats, well my goats anyway, hate rain and snow. Cobweb will lay under the canopy near the door, tight against the side of the barn in cold, rain, snow and wind rather than go inside with Gizelle. She is brutal to him. Lowering her head and ramming him with the base of those beautiful horns.
It was already cold Monday evening as I was checking water and feed before closing up the barn for the night. Cobweb and a few other goats didn’t want to go into the barn. I could understand their dilemma; stay outside in the cold or get closed in with evil Gizelle. I took her collar in one hand and grabbed the unhooked end of a cattle panel in the other, swinging the cattle panel around to enclose her and clipping it to another stationary panel. Now she had her own ‘room’ in the barn. Cobweb wasn’t convinced it was safe and lingered outside the barn door. By the time I gave Gizelle her own bucket of water and some hay, and gave everyone goat chow treats, Cobweb had ventured into the barn and I close the door for the night.
Tuesday morning I let Gizelle out of her space to roam the barn and pasture freely. She immediately headed to the west pasture fence dividing the does and wethers from the bucks. Sauntering along the fence, she offered her rear end to the bucks for a sniff. Cam and Petruchio were on their way over or through the fence, whatever it would take, to join her. After distracting the boys with some goat chow, I clipped a leash on Gizelle’s collar and lead her back to the barn and into her own ‘room’. I had to go to work at the elementary school on Tuesday and could not have the bucks mingling freely with the eight does after being enticed to cross the fence by Gizelle. I only plan to breed two of the does this year, and none of them with those two bucks.
Tuesday night was very cold again. Gizelle remained in her space so, in theory, everyone else could have a peaceful night. But peaceful was not to be. Gizelle repeatedly butted the metal barn wall and called out. Petruchio, from the far west pasture wailed back. I went in the house for the night, hoping his only response would be vocal. At least the barn door was closed and the does were secure.
Gizelle remained in her room until the weather warmed up on Thursday. I hoped everyone’s ardor had subsided a bit, so let her out and went to work. Thankfully, all was well and everyone was in their proper pasture when I returned home in the evening.
I have put Gizelle in with the bucks in the past. That arrangement creates peace in the doe and wether herd, although Dash kind of misses her. And it placates Cam and Petruchio, so they aren’t focused on the does in the neighboring pasture (my set-up is NOT ideal, but it’s what I have right now.) However, when Gizelle goes into heat every 21 days or so, during the cooler weather, the boys battle each other bloody for the right to breed her. The third buck, a little yearling, heads for cover to stay out of the way.
Gizelle is very responsive and gentle with humans. She just hates being with a herd of goats. Sometimes she just seems depressed that she is stuck with a bunch of goats. I got her in a trade two years ago from her second owner, who kept her and a wether, Bucky, as pets for his four young kids - children. Both goats had full horns, which were at eye level for two of the children, and the parents were worried about a possible accident. I traded them four wethers without horns, one for each child, for Gizelle (aka Katie) and Bucky.
Gizelle’s original owner walked her on a leash and sang to her. This does not happen on my farm … I only sing in the car. She has a pretty cushy life here, for a goat, but she rarely gets much individual attention, and nobody sings to her. She’s smart. I already had a goat named Katie, when I got Gizelle. My friend Kit said she looked like a gazelle, so she became Gizelle. She learned her new name almost immediately, it seemed as soon as I knew it. If I yell at her across the yard for eating my cherry bushes, or across the pasture for beating up another goat, she stops and hangs her head.
I just don’t feel I can continue to pay to keep a goat who, to my dismay and frustration, disrupts the dynamics of my two goat groups. She’s just too cognitive for me to sell for meat. She apparently can’t be bred. But she would make a great pet. The best solution would be to find her a good home as a pet. Need a goat?