Clover the Self-Hobbling Goat


Goats are such a hoot. They make me laugh every day. Nigerian Dwarfs are amazingly pet-like, in a barn animal kind of way. I handle mine a lot and I talk to them all day long from the porch, so they are becoming more friendly all the time. I toss them cookies over the railing sometimes. They are always interested when they see me.

Nutmeg is the cuddliest. She wasn’t real excited about being touched at first, but I’m priming her for being a good little milker next year so I’ve really focused on handling her. I pick her up a lot and snuggle her. She puts her head on my shoulder. Either she likes being cuddled or she’s just resigned to her fate.

She is the loudest of them all when she cries. I can tell their voices apart now, and hers is the most plaintive when she’s upset. Whiny little thing. I love, love, love my wee little Nutmeg. The other day, I heard her crying. Oddly near. I went out onto the porch and found this:

She’d gotten out of the goat yard somehow and she came to get me.

See all that beautiful green off my porch. I’m soaking in green right now because already there are flecks of gold in it and soon it will be gone.

Not sure how Nutmeg got out this time. We’re still trying to figure that out. At least she comes to get me……… I don’t think she really wants to be out.

So next thing I hear is Clover. Crying. I looked over the porch railing and see her hanging out in the night pen under the porch and I see the babies are in there with her. Okay. Nothing unusual. But she keeps crying. So finally I go down to see her, thinking maybe she just needs a scratch behind her ears or, you know, a cookie, and this is what I find:

She has, no kidding, somehow managed to tie herself up to the milkstand with the goat hobble. She’s self-hobbling!

Backing up a bit, this very morning, she had been extraordinarily difficult. For the first time since I got her properly hobbled and started reliably achieving a pint a day of milk from her, I had to walk away without a drop of milk. The slip knots in the hobble had come untied and I hadn’t been able to retie them correctly. She kicked out of them repeatedly and, near tears, I finally walked away, let the babies out, and let them milk her that morning.

Theory #1: She felt horribly guilty for being so mean to me that morning so she tied herself up.

Okay, okay, probably not. But she did, somehow, manage to tie herself up.

There was no one home but me.

She somehow accomplished this feat on her own. And she really wanted out of it. “Please?”

Okay. But–wait.

Did you see that?

I hope that wasn’t too scary. I told you there is something wrong with her tongue!!!

Meanwhile, the babies were totally ignoring their mama’s dilemma as they cavorted on the milkstand.

Once free, she couldn’t get the milkstand to herself. Kinda like how when a toddler goes to the bathroom with their mom.

Clover: “Calgon, take me away.”

Not to worry. Coco ran the babies out. By trying to lick their butts.

Then she insisted on drinking out of the same bucket as Clover at the same time.

And chasing Nutmeg around the yard.

She’s very popular. Which explains why she only ever sees the goats this way, in butt view, as they are running away from her.

I’m deeply afraid that…..

….nothing explains that!!!!


  1. Connie says:

    Wow, your little Coco sure is getting BIG! :heart:

  2. wammy says:

    I can’t believe how cute they are…and still so small. I need a goat really bad! Maybe Clover’smiddle name should be Houdini.

  3. MMHONEY says:


  4. anne says:

    Love the pics today ! What a hoot!


  5. wkf says:

    I think Nutmeg was elected spokes goat for the Itty Bitty Goat Commitee. She was asking you “to set her peoples free!!! oh and bring the cookies.”


  6. Shelley says:

    Maybe its just your goats – but their faces just look so friendly and they seem to smile a lot!

  7. Lisa L says:

    The are so cute! They each have their own little personality and I can imagine the fun you have watching them.

  8. Angie says:

    I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but I have heard of others who weren’t as lucky because their animals got their head (rather than their leg) caught the ropes and hung. Ropes in animal pens are just like tempting toys – especially for playful animals like goats and cats. :catmeow:

  9. jane says:


    Good word of caution here – never occurred to me either but good thing to note for sure. what is up with that tongue???

  10. jane says:

    Hey Suzanne

    I love going back and looking at the old farm house posts – is anyone seeing after the old farm house now?

  11. Beckynsc says:

    Great pictures, Suzanne! Such curiosity on Clover’s face.
    I believe the yellow flowers, in your “Daily Farm Photo”, are called Goldenrod.

  12. Suzette says:

    I always enjoy a goat update. And, there’s nothing wrong with Coco’s tongue. It’s just becoming apparent that she can’t hold her licker.

  13. Suzanne McMinn says:

    My cousins live on the farm where the old farmhouse is. They keep it in good condition! Georgia is the official caretaker. She goes in there about every day. It’s where she keeps her cellar goods.

  14. Cecelia says:

    I just adore your blog and I am wanting goats more and more everyday. LOL


  15. jeanne.macbean says:

    Great Blog entry, LOL. Never a dull moment, eh.Coco is A-dorable. “…can’t hold her likker” :clap:

  16. Nancy says:

    You get to cuddle a goat! Lucky you! I fed an infant Barbados lamb when I volunteered (several years ago) at the Catoctin zoo in MD, but altho I petted goats, didn’t get to hold one. Poor Clover – just too smart for her own good. At least she knew to cry for help! They all look adorable – even Coco of the foot-long tongue!

  17. Donna says:

    :mrgreen: Ohhh, they are sooo precious! Nutmeg on your porch and the baby under Clover on the Milkstand!!! How precious are they! And what can I say about my adorable lovable Coco???? That STINKIE!! LOL (that is the affectionate term I call my bird, among others and he loves it “Mamma’s STINKY”!! and then he laughs). Yes, Laughs!!! He has about 5 adorable laughs, ranging from wicked to mischevious!
    So, Coco is a Stinky!! LOL :mrgreen: :mrgreen: I would never get anything done, for wanting to play with them all day! :sheepjump:

  18. Annie says:

    Maybe Coco used that tongue to tie Clover up?

  19. Shari C says:

    They are a hoot! They certainly seem to make life interesting at your place…never know what to expect next.

  20. catslady says:

    The pictures are fantastic but it’s the story that makes it spectacular :yes:

  21. Ulli says:

    Great pics, Suzanne! I would love to have a couple of goats… can’t wait to hear how cheese making goes! Coco’s tongue–strange. Looks like splinters or something. My puppy can’t hold his licker either–and he eats anything he finds outside–sucks it up like a vacuum. Gross! :no:

  22. Debbie in Memphis says:

    They all look extremely cuddly and so much fun to spend time with. Thank you for sharing you country life with us city folks. My daughter (9) always loves reading your blog and seeing the pictures. Have a great day!!

  23. Gizmo says:

    Great pictures!!!
    Be careful how much Coco chases the goats around. You don’t want her to stress them.
    I left you an award over at my blog

  24. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Yes, that’s why Coco is only in there part-time right now. She’s still got too much puppy in her! She drives them nuts sometimes, so she spends quite a bit of time with us still.

  25. Annette says:

    Too Funny! Maybe Clover is trying to learn a magic trick, she just forgot the part on how to get out of the knot! I’m sure Coco will grow into her tongue!

  26. Susan says:

    Coco is such a big helper! :snoopy:

  27. Katharina says:

    I think Clover was feeling very repentant and just wanted to help. She was showing you how to do a proper know that she could not get out of as if to say, “See? This is how it’s done, if I can do, you can do it. I’m sorry I was so cranky this morning.” :rotfl:

  28. Estella says:

    Maybe it’s just that large dogs have large tongues.
    Love the goat update.

  29. Brandy says:

    Awww, Cocoa is too cute! As are your goats!

  30. Lisa in California says:

    You crack me up! I have no idea how Clover tied herself up, but that’s pretty amazing. Maybe you should install surveillence cameras over their pens.

  31. Margie says:

    :cattail: I think Goats are the best people. You are doing the right thing, handleing (sp) them now while they are small. Your goats are very cute. Keep letting us know how you are doing with the milking. Have you found a cream separater yet? I saw one in Jane Lew at an antiques store. If you want to make butter or cheese you will need one. Margie

  32. kacey says:

    A self hobbling goat. Who knew they made them? Of course you would find the one made that way :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  33. Pam says:

    I was just going to mention the fear of the neck and the rope thing…I think someone else covered it. Like having little kids (heehee) that do the impossible to get into danger.

  34. Jodie says:

    Awwww… I love the giant puppy!

  35. LatigoLiz says:

    OK, it’s partly your fault…we have 2 new additions to our menagerie here. No plans for milk, just invasive weed species control. Any tips are always welcome. Pepper and Ginger say hi to their distant cousins!

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