Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hits and Misses

It's been a long winter, hasn't it? For us in western Oregon, winter means that if it's not dark and raining, it's gloomy and pouring (except for the day or two where it's freezing and snowing). I find myself desperately trying to find things to keep our imaginations and spirits alive until spring, and hopefully drier weather, returns.

Therefore, I've recently started a project I call E.W.G. or Experimenting with Goats. Now, before anyone freaks out and thinks I'm doing evil medical experiments on my goat boys, let me just say this is not the case. Not yet anyway. (kidding!!)

Instead, I'm experimenting with food. You know, goat-y likes and dislikes. Rumor has it that goats will eat anything and *everything*...tin cans, paper, ivy, wood, garbage - but in my experience, this is not true. I have, however, found myself to be quite surprised by some of the things they will, and won't, eat.

And so, without further ado, here are...
Pete and Reggie's Food Hits and Misses of February 2011

FOOD ITEM: Asparagus
Hit or Miss?: A resolute MISS

While some attention was paid initially to the scent:

The majority of the action was around the dish rather than eating from the dish. They stood over it:

Head-butted next to it:

And turned their backs on it:

Pretty clear message there.

FOOD ITEM: Bananas
Hit or Miss?: A resounding HIT!

Well, at least for Pete. Reggie did the whole sniff and taste thing, but Pete ultimately was the one to gobble that whole blasted banana (including the peel) down:

Reggie: Sniff, sniff:

Pete: Nom, nom, nom:

Reggie: sniff, sniff, sniff:

Reggie: A dainty and noncommittal taste:

Pete: "!"
Reggie: "I wonder if I could scratch my head on this.":

The banana had a 50/50 rating with my taste testers. Half of them loved it, the other half wanted to just play with it.

FOOD ITEM: Cauliflower
Hit or Miss?: A crunchy HIT

Ever wondered what to do with the greenery and stalky ends of your cauliflower? Feed it to your goats!:

Despite this picture making it appear otherwise, both boys loved this tasty treat. Nice tongue, Pete:

It was good to see Reggie finally enjoying something as much as Pete:

FOOD ITEM: Douglas Fir Tree Branches
Hit or Miss?: A seasonal HIT

Since there are very few bushes or blackberries for them to chew on right now, and also since we just felled that 50' Douglas Fir tree a few weekends ago, fir branches have been big on the menu lately. Fortunately, they love it.
And it makes their breath smell "Piney Fresh"!:

FOOD ITEM: Leek tops
Hit or Miss: A definite MISS!

While Pete and Reggie both tried to be polite, and did significant and energetic amounts of sniffing and mouthing, very little of this made it down either of their throats:

Reggie did the whole "lipping" thing again:

...followed by more of his trademark "sniff, sniff":

And then the leeks went into the compost bucket.

FOOD ITEM: Raisins
Hit or Miss?: A HIT that made me laugh and laugh (Thanks for the idea, Chai Chai at Homestead from Scratch!)

Who knew raisins could be such fun?!:

Both boys wanted to eat them before I could even get them out of the box:

They sucked them out of my hand so fast:

I poured some out then onto the stump and Reggie took great care in closely examining each one:

...before inhaling them all:

Leaving Pete to wonder what they should do next:

So, they head-butted:

FOOD ITEM: Sunflower Seeds
Hit or Miss?: OHMYGOSH- CRAZY HIT!!!

The lure of black-oil sunflower seeds is almost impossible for anyone to resist, apparently. The wild birds love it, my chickens love it and now...:

I couldn't get a non-blurry photo of them eating because they were so frantic to slurp these babies out of my hand:

This treat had a 100% success rate, no question about it:

My husband thinks I spoil my animals. I tell him he's nuts.


  1. Ha! You do spoil your animals, but that's why you have them in the first place. To love them and spoil them. Maybe hubby wants you to hand feed him some snacks too? Cauliflower stems? Leek tops? Challah bread??

  2. I so so love your goats! Always gives me a wide smile to see them. So cute!!

  3. My Bo ate part of a paper towel yesterday right before my very eyes. He is the goat that gives the rest of them a bad name.

    Raisins, huh? I'm going to have to try that. Mine already try to jump the fence to get sunflower seeds.

  4. I loved this post! Fabulous photos and so cute. I just bought a bag of black oil sunflower seeds from Tractor Supply, to plant this summer!

    I found that a lot of things my goats stuck their noses up at last summer, have made their gourmet dining list this winter. I'm taking notes though, and will focus on a goat garden this year.

  5. That was great! It's funny what they will eat and what they won't. You definitely have "foodie" goats boys. Spoiled? Maybe!

  6. "Spoil" is relative isn't it? :)

  7. Love the experiment! Who knew goats could be so finicky? I would have to agree with your husband...your critters are definitely spoiled, as are mine! :)

  8. The goat boys are wonderful. I had no idea what they would go for. This was very interesting. I never, ever would have thought that raisins would be something a goat would really like. Good to know. We've been invited to an open house at a farm next weekend. There are alot of goat kids and lambs and also a baby donkey so I can hardly wait to get the grands down there to enjoy the new spring babies. Have a super week, The Olde Bagg Linda

  9. Your goat and donkey posts are my favorites. Tell the boys thank you for making me laugh when laughing isn't high on my list right now, and thank you too!

  10. Too cute! I love the one of Reggie with his legs on the stump snarfing up the raisins.

  11. You do spoil your animals, but they're so cute, how could you not?

    Last picture was my favorite.

  12. Your goats are SO CUTE! They seem like dogs [but smarter?] and their little faces are always smiling. You just brightened my day! Carrie

  13. Your husband must be confused. This is clearly a scientific endeavor, not spoiling!

  14. My thoughts:
    Asparagus makes your pee smell funny.
    Leeks make you have bad breath.
    Seems simple to me. :)

    I don't think it's possible to spoil goats. Especially cutie ones like yours.

  15. Very strange. We goats, here, LOVE asparagus AND leek tops. Sunflower seeds give that beautiful glossy coat (like mine). But I seriously can't believe you didn't offer them any Peanuts? Oy. What is the world coming to?

  16. Oh good grief, I just want to smooch those faces! Your goats are so stinking cute! I love trying new things with my dogs. They had kiwi on Saturday 66/33 sucess. :-)

  17. What about broccoli,sweet or reg. taters..and radish stems,omg..I think this sounds like so much fun!! Back here,you can ask the grocer to save this stuff for you when its getting to old to put out for human consumption.. zucchini or yellow squash,or cukes...Will Kai eat any of this stuff?? Do you have any outside entertainment..cause you surly don't need any much do you? hahaha

  18. Animals? Spoiled? Isn't that what you're suppose to do with them? Another great post, Danni. I can just picture you with your food item in one hand, the camera in the other . . . surrounded by your four-legged best friends! But this was a great lesson for me because I'm one of those folks who have always thought that goats will eat anything! One is just never too old to learn something new.

  19. My goat, Bill, loves sunflower seeds! I think I'll try raisins, too. Bananas aren't hit here, but carrots are!

  20. Thanks for the idea on bananas!! I treat them occassionally to the raisins at my house and a real hit is Alphabits!! You can get them to do anything for an Alphabit!
    Such a cute post! and you definitely do not spoil your animals....perhaps overly indulged but thats OK in my book!

  21. A cloven hoof! Now I know what one of those looks like :-)

  22. That was so cute. It just goes to show you that some goats don't eat everything. It appears they do like all of the good for you snack foods!

  23. Spoiled animals? Yes! That's what they're for! Maybe your husband is just jealous. Maybe he wants you to do the experiments with him, but maybe with other foods. Our neighbors' goats just ate the leftover citrus.

  24. Well, I knew Reggie and Pete have refined taste. The ugly rumor that goats will eat anything is not to be taken as truth.
    For example, Rodney, a goat my little girl Danni brought home one time, devoured only my roses. The huge blackberry vines continued to take over.
    However, Pete and Reggie are civilized and particular in their culinary choices.
    The most amazing experience, though, is going for a walk with those two. No leashes - just a leisurely stroll.
    It's worth seeing!

  25. Well, these two would fit in well at my house. Clearly, they prefer the sweet, snack food over the healthy vegetables. Although, I do like asparagus. This may be a tad indelicate, but I was wondering if they'stomach upset' after eating the cauliflower?

  26. I Love This Post! We may need to reproduce this experiment here, just to be sure.

  27. See goats don't anything and everything :D Such an awful myth. I remember we brought a Saanen doe years ago, and she had been fed a lot of banana peels during a bad drought, and because of this she always ate by taking a mouthful of grain and then holding her head in the air as if she was swallowing the peel. Such a funny girl. The boys are looking good and I am sure they are looking forward to spring.
    LiBBiE in Oz

  28. Your a riot. All those goat pictures kinda made me miss ours. Ours loved to eat pine bows. Great post, love your spirit!

  29. Pete and Reggie are darling. I share quite a few of their likes. I love asparagus but I like it cooked on the grill with a little olive oil and a teeny bit of butter and salt. Maybe they would like it cooked Danni. COOKED Danni on your NEW Grill Pan!!!!!!!!!!
    Great pictures!

  30. Hahaha! I love these pictures and reading your documented findings on this highly scientific research. Bananas are a huge hit with our goats, too! And mine totally love sunflower seeds, as well. Each Day they get 1/2 cup each into their little feed bowls, just to show them I love them :) BTW, too much fruit will cause diarrhea in a goat. Don't ask me how I know.

    She Who Once Spent Two Days Feeding Her Goats Like They Are Primates Because They Love Fruit :)

  31. this is soooo funny!!! raisins? who knew. they are poisonous to dogs. i am always thinking that i wish i lived near someone who owns goats. i throw a lot of good goat food out around here!

  32. How much fun is that! I'm wishing so bad I'd been there to play and experiment with you! Isn't it interesting what's unresistable and what's not a temptation at all?
    Raisons are highly toxic for dogs, so make sure Roxie doesn't share in that snacking. But I think its really interesting what's good for some animals, and dangerous for others. Didn't God make things interesting?

  33. I agree, your hubby is nuts :-) My animals are part of our family, according to me. I can't wait to get moved and hopefully will get a couple of goats for my barn warming (and birthday which is 2 weeks after we move in).

  34. Love this post!! My girls love banana peels and orange peels! A couple of them will eat grapefruit peels, but they aren't as sweet. They also love cabbage leaves and cores. :) What a fun experiment!!

  35. I will have to try the Raisins and Bananas LOL. I think there is a real chance our crew would like both.

    They like sweet things!

  36. Such cute photos, cute goats. I'm surprised, because I thought goats would eat anything. They are more discerning than I thought! :)

    My dogs are birdseed junkies... they stand under me when I'm filling the feeders, waiting for the inevitable spill. Which is only relevant because your goats apparently like birdseed too!


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