Hiding Out in the Hills During the Pandemic

Catch up on what one homesteader has been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic, inducing purchasing a goat and repairing a fence.

My son’s pet goat, Colin, who arrived in February. As a castrated male goat, Colin has no particular role on the smallholding except that of providing entertainment, which he does by the bucket load.

Well, it isn’t over yet, but 2020 has been a strange old year. What with political tension and the coronavirus, there has never been a better time for hiding in the hills and escaping the modern world. Being told to stay home was quite a blessing for me. I’ve long since decided I prefer the company of animals to that of most people, so avoiding social situations hasn’t been in the least bit difficult.

Isolation is easier for those of us who have plenty to occupy ourselves with, things like gardening, restoring old machinery, or even, perhaps, goat training. Just before lockdown, it was my son Tegid’s birthday and I decided to buy him a pet goat.

I have always avoided goats like the plague, as they have the reputation of being extremely annoying. They eat your roses and your underwear off the washing line, and have scant regard for boundaries of any kind. But Tegid has long since asked for a goat, and a big part of me was pleased that he didn’t want an iPhone, a computer game or a stupidly expensive pair of trainers, so I gave in, secretly, and began looking through local adverts.

The birthday goat

I decided that pygmy goats were far too expensive, and that a milking goat was more daily commitment than what I wanted. I found a castrated male goat that had been in a petting zoo and was looking for a new home. Colin, as he is called, had been reared with a llama and a donkey. He seemed to think he was more human than goat and was very friendly.

When it came to collecting him, I told Tegid we were going to buy some hay, and that we would have to take the horse trailer with us. We arrived at the petting zoo with my son still believing that we were only going to buy hay. When the manager asked if we would like to see the goat, Tegid jumped at the chance.


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