Monday, August 3, 2020


 So it was a dark and stormy....oh wait.  Ok, it rained.  After the washout last weekend, most of the week was much better...until Thursday evening and Friday evening and Saturday morning...

...well this was the radar when I decided to go ahead and head to the farm.  The farm is the pinned dot in the radar image above.  But they were moving East and away from the farm so I figured I could beat it before the next round.  Of course I knew I couldn't mow because we had gotten fairly heavy rain Friday night and then again Saturday morning.

When I got there, it was moving out but more coming later in the day.  Sure enough, a lot of standing water.  As you can see the grass is green now and needed mowing, I just have to hope that this coming weekend won't be too bad...

The reason I went was as usual, just to check on things, make sure all was OK.  90% of the time, everything is good.  But this time...

(Please ignore the out of control grass in and around the beds in the following pictures, had it been dry, the pictures would have been taken AFTER mowing and edging, ha)

...I rounded the corner of the house and saw this branch from one of the pear trees in the yard.  WHAT???

Then this on one of the apple trees!

And this on the OTHER apple tree!

And finally, one of the plum trees...sigh. 

Near as we can tell, something got into the fenced area.  There have been deer but they are larger and wouldn't be able to get into the fenced area without ripping down all the fishing line and probably pulling over a pole or two.  The mystery deepened.

We only have one trail cam right now and it's focused on the front yard.  But I decided to swap out the memory cards anyway and see what's on there that might give us a clue.  


They have to be the culprits.  These belong to the neighbors on the side of us.  I didn't know about this until I got home and checked the photos, it's from the 20th, last time there was the 19th.  I called 2nd Family and "R" is going to go check the fence line and see where they got in.  I was going to have a post coming up about all the leaves being eaten off the lemon tree a couple of weeks back.  We figured a caterpillar.  In retrospect it was probably these mischief makers.  

Notice the apple trees above, there are not many leaves on them.  I didn't even think about that until I examined the pictures again.  There was one section of fishing line on the bottom row that was missing for the last few weeks.  I noticed it the last time I was out there there but the fishing line I had brought back into town and forgot to bring it with me.  I wasn't worried because it was the lowest part and about knee high for a deer.  I didn't foresee goats.

The thinking is one or more got in and ate what they could reach and then probably pulled on higher up branches and broke them since they were pulled downward.  There was one additional fishing line snapped and that probably happened as they left.

Ugh.  We hope the fence gets patched up.  I am going to add a few extra rows of fishing line this weekend when I mow. And edge. And clean out the beds.  A full weekend for sure, weather permitting. 

Now I'm tired thinking about it...and it's only Monday...


  1. What a shame. So sorry on what happened to your fruit trees.
    Yes, goats will eat anything and everything if they want it bad enough & if they can get to it and also will do much damage. They will even roses bushes right down to the ground. They will also eat birdseed and break the feeders to pieces; knowing from experience.
    I would talk to the people who own the goats and maybe they will replace the trees for you or at least pay for the damage that was done. After all, it never hurts to ask. You do have photo that the goats where on your property.

  2. If you lived around here I'd say that looks like bear damage. But the goats do look guilty.

  3. Good thing you caught the culprits on camera. Otherwise it would still be a mystery.

  4. I understand goats are escape artists so your fencing will have to be exceptionally tight and hard to get through. Good Luck.

  5. If goats can, they will be on top of your house. They are very destructive! Are they afraid of snakes? If so, plastic $1 ones from WM places around and moved every week might scare them. Or, they will eat them.

  6. Those goats were really destructive. They could have easily crawled under the fence where the line was missing. Or even jumped over it. They will eat just about anything.

  7. I don't think the goats were the only problem. We have been here for 20+ yrs now and have seen what most critters can do to our gardens. We have also (unfortunately) seen the damage a good storm can do. The tornado of 2018 took not just our greenhouse (32'x86' and 3'underground) cover off (pretty sure it landed in Kansas-LOL) but between the high winds, hail and debris it completely ruined our fruit orchard. Many broken limbs like you show here and the hail/debris damage was only visible on the north side but it completely stripped off most of the bark on all the trees. Trashed anything under 2 years old (boo hoo). We had goats for over 15 years and have seen the damage they do when then go on a romp. Usually it is just leaves. Very seldom did they break off branches. I know that they can, and if desperate enough, will demolish bushes and trees. But you also have tons of other good grasses around - so I wonder how much what their fault. They are NOT innocent by any means and your neighbor must be contacted about their escape. Just be careful on the blame game. We strive to keep our rural neighbors together. We had a time (in our early years here) where a neighbors dogs got loose and ran with a pack of 4 others. They attacked our Cashmere goats (yep - they were not cheap) and ripped open our prize male inside back leg. He survived, we reported it, then our neighbor apologized and paid the vet bill. We are all still very good friends & neighbors and do try to watch out for each other. They built a large pen for their dogs to stop the pack-running. I heard gun shots from farther down the road a few weeks after the incident. The animal farmers around here do not take kindly to animal attacks and word spread quickly of the pack of dogs going after our goats. Never saw the dogs again.
    SO, just a little friendly rural advise - YES, show the proof to your neighbor of the goats getting loose and share the pics of the tree damage but be courtesy on how you approach compensation for damage. Since you are not at your farm full-time, can you really be sure of the real culprit - AND - is it worth losing a neighbor?

  8. Ooh, what naughty goats...
    Sadly they are not that picky, and will nibble or eat anything in reach as you already know.
    I hope your fruit trees recover, you have worked so hard on building a nice orchard,

  9. I'm sad this happened. Hopefully the trees can recover in time. I admire all your hard work and commitment to your home.

  10. I honestly don't see how fishing line will stop anything, not a goat & not a deer for sure. If you are serious about protecting those trees with nothing but a string, make it a few rows of electric string and keep it hot. Just my opinion from living out on the farm amongst the wildlife fulltime for a lifetime.


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