Borrowing a solution

Now, this isn’t like borrowing the solution to Question #27 on a chemistry multiple choice. I promise it’s not.

We have been mulling over our blackberry problem for a while now, and proposing various herbivores as appropriate solutions. But the actuality of an actual real live sheep/goat/alpaca/elephant has been offputting – all of that fencing, tethering, defending from marauding dogs that are sure to sniff out that we have a new takeaway on legs for them captive at our place, the possibility of vegie patches devastated by a quadruped on a rampage. It all just seemed too hard.

But then a friend rang, needing a place for her goat to stay while they gave their garden a rest for a while and built a suitable goat shelter for the coming winter. I said yes before I’d even thought about it. I must say I worried a little when I hung up. (What would happen if somehow I didn’t do something necessary and the poor goat suffered a terrible fate?) But I needn’t have.

Meet Coco, the solution to our blackberry problem that we’ve borrowed from some friends:

She is the tamest, most compact goat I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. We walk her around from place to place on the dog lead, tethering her on a nice long rope near impenetrable blackberries, and she EATS THEM. I honestly thought that she wouldn’t. However, it seems that she actually prefers them to almost anything else. (I wouldn’t trust her with the vegie patch or the orchard though…) When she is finished with a patch, she bleats for a bit until we move her to the next tough, spiky, prickly patch which she then demolishes in her delicate, nibbling way.

I think I’m in love.

(For all the worriers out there, we also have a couple of disused chook runs that have secure fences and gates, and she gets time off her tether in there. Ok?)