Tuesday, December 18, 2007

She'll Need to Buy Some Doats, Though

There's a kid in my town who wants a goat (Capra aegagrus hircus). (A kid who wants a goat -- you see how that works? Comedy, that's how. Anyway.) There's a prohibition on livestock in the village, but she's petitioned the board and they've patted her on the head and commended her enthusiasm and so far said no. But in their relative wisdom, they've asked her to return with more research on the impact of goats on neighbors (as she reported in her initial letter to the village board, a goat is fairly quiet, emitting only the occasional "maa") and have floated the idea of licensing goats in the village--which I for one think is a capital idea. Despite the possibility of attracting coyotes and bears and wolverines and chupacabras.

I've wanted a goat for centuries, of course, and planned to get one as soon as I could ditch the job and build a fence. (Oh, I've got the fence in mind, and it is a doozy, let me tell you. I would be proud of that fence. Not like the last one. Nosir.) And then, I guess, sell pictures of the goat on eBay for a living.

Goats eat poison ivy. That there is enough reason, I think, to have one.

Anyway, the family? Of the kid who wants the goat? We're the rubes who bought their scrappy little floodable house when we moved to town. Day One, I thought -- but didn't tell the openminded but practical woman who bought it with me -- oh, right by the shed is a perfect spot for a goat pen. A house like this attracts that kind, I guess. And that's all right with me.

All you goatherds--can you help this young girl get her goat? What can a goat's neighbors expect? Besides the dread undead vampiric beasts that will come to feed on its "maa"-emitting corpse? The comments await.


Mark said...

I can't believe you are soliciting goat advice. Well, actually I can. But what I can't believe is we got a Holiday Update Email (HUE) from a friend who...drum roll please...Raises goats! I have advised him of your situation, I hope you hear from him soon. From what I can tell, they are in fact decent neighbors.

wcs said...

I have a friend who had goats in her yard in Los Altos, California. Very upscale suburb of San Francisco.

I'm sure her neighbors were pleased. But the grass was always neat and tidy.

Have to written to Walter Taylor up at Bully Hill?

wcs said...

That's have you written... and so forth. My fingers are cold.

Magpie said...

I've always wanted goats too. They have such a lot of personality. And those wacky eyes.

Anonymous said...

I have 5 goats on my three acres in upstate New York. My neighboors are all with in 500 feet and have never complained. (The occasional fresh goat cheese may have helped.)

There are many varieties of goats -- in different sizes and temperments - and each breed is appropriate for different situations. The local county extension office or 4-H chapter should be helpful in getting this information.

Also, the Town of Hyde Park, in Dutchess County, NY has a very progressive zoning code when it comes to backyard livestock. The town might consider having a look to see how this community manages similar concerns. www.hydeparkny.us

-Friend of Map King

Suzanne said...

Start a petition to the city and tell me where to sign. I, myself, am trying for chickens. I love me a fresh brown egg.

Anonymous said...

did she ask people that live next to her. also thay have not that much land. mabye 40- 80.

Hayden said...

I hired goats to eat my Brisbane, CA yard last spring (it's a 22 degree slope and mostly weeds at the moment). They did an amazing job - ate all of the fennel, the ivy, knocked down the fencing around the roses and ate them, ditto fencing on some shrubs, then CLIMBED the fence and took off. So at 10:30 at night I'm chasing goats through the neighborhood, trying to keep them from eating anyone's landscaping or get hit by cars.

The first day was fun, the second - a disaster! I'm still known in town as "the goat lady." And I only had them for 2 days.

However: they are locally accepted (San Mateo, San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, Santa Clara Counties) as "landscaping crews." She might want to try that phrase on for size.

Hayden said...

another thought - maybe the city would accept miniature goats-

Bill Braine said...

Thanks AB and Hayden. I understand she's going to visit a goat farm north of here and return to the village board with her findings.