When I greet the baby goats, they skip across their pen and push their fury heads through the fence to nuzzle me with affection. After a moment, I realise their affection is for eating. They are trying to eat me. Not in a malicious or evil way. It’s more like they’re saying “hey, you’re a thing, would you mind terribly if I nibbled you?” I like to think of it as the goat equivalent of Namaste: My tongue and teeth greet your skin and bones.
I stare at their faces bobbing in and out of the fence as they push each other to get a better chance at biting me. Am I horrified? Or do I want to cuddle them all at once? Yes.
With a little sadness, I realise they are noticeably larger than when I arrived a week ago. Soon they won’t be babies and their eager curiosity will dissipate. The good news is they’ll be making milk.
You may have heard my thoughts on the miracle of chickens. Seriously, chickens are miracle workers. They turn bugs, grass and some feed into the perfect protein and supply us with more eggs than we can eat. The pile of eggs in our kitchen won’t stop growing.
I feel the same way about goats. These gals turn water and animal feed (and table scraps, wood, plastic broom bristles, my clothes…) into creamy, nutritious milk.
And the miracle continues. Many argue goat milk is more nutritious than cow milk and easier to digest. They are relatively inexpensive to keep, adaptable to almost any environment and altogether a good option for income generation.
Tomorrow we’ll be travelling an hour to Trapiche district for the tenth annual Chillon River Valley Goat Show. It’s a day to celebrate these fantastic creatures and the farmers who tend them. There will be competitions, prizes, food and lots of Inca Cola, the drink of choice for Peruvians (it’s electric yellow, carbonated and tastes like bubble gum).
Even with just one week behind me, I can tell goat farming can be a lonely profession. Farmers are tied to their goats, they must feed and water them three times a day and they never leave the farm for long. A social life is last on the priority list.
The fair will be a chance for the farmers share goat knowledge, brag and exaggerate about their goats, tell goat jokes, make goat business deals, eat food prepared by someone else (possibly goat?) and have some fun.
I’ll let you know how it goes! I’m planning on interviewing a few people and documenting the event so make sure you ch-ch-check it out.
Now, I must get back to loving/fearing cute baby goats. Please enjoy these videos and photos of cuteness I have put together for you!!
In the baby goat pen:
This baby goat is following me!