The Frightened Goat

Since adding Lee to the farm, we have been able to see some new and interesting behaviour in all of the animals.

For example, the chickens all scamper away as if their feet were on fire, no matter if Lee is coming for them or not. The ugly red Silkie sometimes hangs out with the ducks because Lee won’t bother them (thanks to Mama Duck’s viciousness) but inevitably she will gradually freak more and more out at Lee’s presence and start running away. Which of course only makes Lee want to chase her, so she runs faster and faster until she makes it to the pasture fence. You really come to appreciate sayings like “you’re a chicken” when you actually see the animal act like it!

However I wasn’t expecting the goats’ reaction.

Observing Goats

First, they all band up in a group. Strength in numbers after all. You can see exactly where Lee is in this shot based on where all the goats are looking. For the most part they won’t start any trouble with Lee, except of course old Ruby who loves nothing more than to use the chance to antagonize the dog.

But then they do this:

Scared Ruby

The hair on their spine stands straight up! I would bet it’s the same reaction we have when we get scared – our skin tightens, the pores with hair tighten, the hair stands up. It’s interesting that it doesn’t occur anywhere else on the body, just the spine, and just a fine line of hairs.

We had never seen this Scared Goat Frill before as the goats were never perturbed or on edge prior to Lee’s arrival. It is funny and harmless to the goats. they are well safe behind the fence, and I expect over time they’ll stop doing this as they get used to Lee’s presence.

Onyx Frill

But for now it’s quite funny. Even Onyx does it, and you can see a bit of Amber in the background doing it too.

As for what I think – I’m just happy the goats know their place now. The fence I have is not at all good for mini goat kids, and Ruby sort of leads rebellious escape attempts to cross the road, because of course the grass on the other side of the road is ever so green. But now with Lee here they don’t really give going across the road a chance, in fact they stay behind the fenceline consistently cause they know if they are out when Lee sees them he will chase them till they go back. So it’s a win win situation nowadays, less drama on the farm and boy do I appreciate it!