Kids, No Matter What Kind, are Fun

105182105411181CDPby Neva Bodin

My first introduction to goats came in the book “Heidi.” I was fascinated with the job Peter had of taking the goats to pasture, and how Heidi’s health improved drinking goat milk and eating homemade bread and goat cheese. The Billy Goats Gruff, guarding their bridge from the trolls, ( and Bill Grogan’s goat eating three red shirts, coughing them up to flag a train and save himself, ( completed my education on goats. Oh, yes, and I heard they ate anything, including tin cans.billy goats gruff

Then I heard tales from my parents of the goats they’d owned prior to my birth, and how they would jump on top their old car and onto the roof of their two-room house. It seemed they were playful, enterprising, and pesky animals.

As a young mom, I had a friend whose child was allergic to all milk but goat’s milk. And goat butter smelled like a goat. I wondered how Heidi and Peter thrived on it. Did they hold their noses? I tried goat cheese pizza. Once.

DSCN2378Now I am acquainted with goats in the flesh—my grandchildren raise them and show them at fair. They ARE playful, enterprising, and pesky animals. They are also intelligent, stubborn, and great pets.

Next week, I will be at the fair with my grandchildren and their sheep and goats. And I’m sure the goats will exhibit all their known qualities, even though we will hope for the intelligent, compliant, and “great pet” qualities being the only ones exhibited.

Last year, one young goat got tired of waiting for her turn to be judged, and sat down. My granddaughter got help from a friend to make her stand up again.DSCN0690

So far, I have heard tales of the stubbornness, (laying down and refusing to move when being walked for exercise—hmm, might try that), not standing just right (feet even, poised just right for the judge), and refusing to stay inside the fence. The grandchildren have been working with them all summer, since their exciting births early last spring—twins and triplets born the same morning!DSCN2400

But like with all kids, frustration at their stubbornness and ingenuity in getting into trouble, are offset by the soft little faces, heartbreaking cries for love, (especially when they were being weaned) and playful antics. They are entertaining and character building for the owners.

“Four” grandkids being judged.

I won’t ask for the opinion of my son-in-law who has to build and fix the fences and pens, buy the food, etc. Both he and my daughter are super busy at fair, washing, trimming, hauling and supervising goats and their handlers. Then standing by nervously as a judge questions the human kids, pinches the goat kids, and passes judgment on both types of kids whom the parents love, (as do us grandparents).

My granddaughters winning ribbons for sheep and goats.

But when it’s done, it’s all worth it—and I’m not kidding!


17 thoughts on “Kids, No Matter What Kind, are Fun

  1. I love this post. It so reminds me of my childhood. I didn’t raise goats or other farm animals, but wa aroung them and their owners a lot.
    I wish your grandchildren the best. Doris


  2. I grew up on a farm and though we didn’t raise 4-H animals, we did a ton of stuff in 4-H. Our youth fair is the largest in the mid-west and my mother was in charge of the craft building. My 4-H group was the local one to the county fair and so it was our job to clean up before and after. Loved 4-H and the fair. Loved seeing all the animals. Thanks for the memories!


    1. You’re welcome. They are exciting memories, I still remember my 4-H projects and demonstrations at the fair also. What a feeling of accomplishment when it’s over.
      Thanks for comments.


  3. So funny, and entertaining. If I was home enough, I’d have Pigmy goats. Had to have Goat’s milk as a baby. Had a pet black sheep. Had twin goats on bottles at the same time my daughter was on a bottle. Congratulations to your grandkids & the rest of the family. Cher’ley


    1. THanks cherley. Sounds like you have great pet memories too. I also raised orphan lambs, as did my kids. Such great ways to learn a lot of life lessons. And some great memories. Thanks for the congrats, and hopefully they will do well.


  4. We never had goats when I was a kid, but I heard stories about one my family had before I was born. It apparently ate everything and was smart enough to open the screen door and get in to the porch. My father decided he didn’t want to ever have another one. I do like seeing them–and touching them–at the fair though. The pygmy goats are especially cute. Fun post, Neva.


    1. Thanks Stephanie. The pygmy goats really are cute. The kids have learned so much by raising these goats, and experienced so many emotions, I know they have helped them on the way to maturity. Plus they make college money by selling the market goats at the fair, and of course grand champions bring in great prices. Thanks for reading.


  5. I`ve never tried goats`milk or cheese, but I understand the smell is far from pleasant, but in the good old days when there was no pastirized milk, I`m sure it would have sufficed. This was an interesting post.

    Sent from my iPad



    1. I imagine one gets used to the smell. We drank cow’s milk that wasn’t pasturized, and I think that’s why we were pretty healthy and didn’t have food allergies. I bet we got a lot of organisms to help us digest it etc that we don’t get now. Thanks for reading Abbie.


  6. What a fun post, Neva. When I was a young reporter in Central Ohio, I loved covering the Fairfield County Fair, the oldest one in Ohio (1851 I believe). Cows, goats, sheep competition — and the baking contests as well. The fairgrounds had a separate barn used to hold all the cooking/baking entries. The fairgrounds also had a racetrack, and believe it or not the fair includes sulky racing. Back in the late 19th century the track was lit by natural gas (wild, isn’t it). Back to the goats… when my nieces were growing up (they’re all grown now and married, and the middle one has a toddler), the family was vacationing in Florida and visiting Silver Springs in Ocala near where I lived back in the 1980s. The oldest niece, Nicci, got a friend… a young goat who took a fancy to her — or perhaps I should say her dress. He decided it tasted pretty good.


    1. They are voracious nibblers for sure. When I visited the goat pen this spring, I had four little ones chewing on my clothes, all at the same time. Thanks for sharing your memory too. And county fairs were where neighbors met at the church food tent for good homemade cooking and convesation, and a break from work. We had horse racing at our county fair also. Quite exciting.


  7. What a fun post Neva! I was 4-H Programs Assistant for a five county area in our state and thus, in charge of all 4-hers at the county fair. I loved it and definitely had some interesting things happen. I always camped on the grounds so my trailer was the hub of activity for the kids (not goats). I still love the smell of the fair and the excitement. When Ralph and I were dating probably my favorite date was a trip to the goat farm. He got permission to bring me into a working goat farm because he was friends with the owner. The barn and milk house were spotless because goats can easily become ill. The owner has ten children who help out on the goat farm. But my favorite thing was the cute little goats all wanting your attention. They tried to out-baa each other, licked your fingers, took your sleeve if you got careless, and were just hilarious. I know this sounds like a funny date, but remember, my hubby was a farmer all his life and I grew up in rural country so it was natural and so much fun!


    1. Sounds like the perfect date to me! I loved living on the farm, and my husband and I farmed 18 of our 47 years of marriage, so I’m grateful my kids had some of that experience too. My granddaughter loves her goats and would live in the goat pen after the babies are born in the spring if she could I think. She and my grandson are very kind and tender with the goats and are learning much.


  8. Fabulous post, Neva. I’ve never heard of goats being on show like dogs etc. and it sounds like a fun event – possibly as unpredictable as it would be with donkeys? Your grandchildren have a big responsibility going on there, and it will be so character building for them- the raising and the showng will have lots of highs and lows, I think.


    1. The highs and lows are sure true. Some goats are more teachable than others, just like human “kids” and sometimes the kids get judges who are not so tuned into kids either. And chores need to happen even when you don’t feel like it. But it is fun seeing the kids at the fair leading all those goats into the show area. And watching which goats make a break for it! Thanks for commenting.


  9. Great post, Neva, entertaining and educational. I wanted to have goats at our mountain property — hubby said “no!” I have tried goat cheese and I do like it in alfredo sauce but can’t really get excited about it by itself. Hope the week at the fair has gone well! CUTE, CUTE photos!!


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