Crofting – Goats Outside

The slat bonnet as worn

This is what I’ll be wearing this summer – my slat bonnet and work apron.

Goats like green grass

It is the first sunny, clear day in a week. I took the goats out for a few hours of grazing on the (dandelions) fresh grass. I attach lines to the fence rails with clove hitches, put the goats on leads, and clip the leads to the lines so they have some range but don’t get tangled together. The clip slides along the length of the line. I am always concerned about animals getting tangled in long picket lines, so this keeps the lead short but lets them move around, get to the water bucket and lie down.

Uncle Buck


The buck takes good care of his girls; I take him out first since the girls will always go to him. But he stands there, looking back at the barn, knickering and calling to them. The goats are much quieter than my sheep were. They sound more like lambs.


Vanilla is very friendly. She likes to have her nose scratched. She and the buck walk on leads like dogs.


Vanilla is very round in the belly. She hasn’t bagged up yet – that is, her udder isn’t full. That usually happens a couple of days before birth.

Tara is a little alpine, and she is seriously opposed to being on the lead. She made her escape from the stall as I took Vanilla out, but she didn’t go far. I caught her with a handful of grain, and got her out on the fenceline, too. She kidded a few months ago. The seller thought she might have been “caught” again, so we might see another kid in August or so.


She is small, lithe, agile – and a wee bit headstrong. She is Goat with the capital G.


13 thoughts on “Crofting – Goats Outside

  1. Your slat bonnet has more slats than mine has. It looks like the Nebraska Slat Bonnet of Joyce D’s of Gettysburg, OH pattern. It had many slats in it.

    Tired from sewing and can’t think at the moment. Near midnight. Gown making time again. Sewn a satin one. I hate sewing satin but I had it on hand from a year ago and didn’t want to buy more. Need to use that stash up!

    Check my etsy link. Mine is an old McCalls pattern from 1956 (as old as me!) that someone is WV had up for auction a few years ago, no one wanted it and I got it for 99 cents! Pattern is in excellent shape and the slat bonnet was uncut. The envelope and direction sheet have seen better days. I recall a vintage pattern site calling patterns that needed TLC as “wounded birds”.

    I have a cape dress pattern of hers but it doesn’t fit right around the neck and shoulders (sloped shoulders: from sitting in front of a sewing machine for most of my younger days) Just can’t remember the name of her site.

    The dress I wearing in the FB photo is a pattern from, you’ll never believe it, from FLDS Crafts. After the raid, they had a nice website with custom made dresses and PATTERNS! “Sew Jo” Patterns. No directions but that’s no problem for a seasoned seamstress like me. They had at least 6 or 7 styles and were $9 each. I bought one, planning to buy more in the future. Mine has princess seams that go into the shoulder and looks so much better on me and hides the sloped shoulders.

    And then one day, the site was gone. I wish I bought every single style of pattern they had because the patterns are NOWHERE to be found and I’ve really looked. I know a vintage pattern seller in Yuma, AZ and I called her and asked if she seen any. Nope. Gave me some search tips but so far, no such luck. Oh well…

    I do a lot of alterations with that pattern: pleats down the front bodice, center box pleated skirt and gathers, front and back and the same with the sleeves. Very versatile pattern.

    • I copied my pattern from a re-enactor’s site – it was just a diagram, but very easy to draft. I thought it had a lot of slats, but I like the way it fits. I am a muscular woman, though petite – I sometimes have to cut sleeves and shoulders broader than the pattern. Even when thin I couldn’t wear the small sizes – the sleeves and legs didn’t go over my biceps and calves.

      • With all patterns, I have a long torso and have to lengthen the bodices to fit at my natural waistline. Otherwise, the waistline would be up near my bust! Princess seams actually minimizes my bust. (unless it was a Regency style dress, and even there have to lengthen and widen to fit the 50″ bust)

        Also like the skirts longer.

  2. Love your goats and love that bonnet – you look so pretty in it and it should do the trick for keeping off the sun!
    Interested to hear about your billy taking care of his girls – I never had a billy, so never had the opportunity to watch those dynamics. x

    • He’s a good buck, quite friendly. The seller said that his little boy could walk into a pen and hug the buck without any fear. the buck likes to talk to me, too. He explains why he needs more hay and why he should have first go at the grain.

    • It should keep the biters off my neck and ears. I don’t picket out animals unless I am nearby and can rush to their rescue if they get tangled.

      • Oh my… Do I ever remember the black flies in Upstate New York. I was camping one time near Malone, NY (near the Canadian border) many years ago and I remember how dreadful they were. They’re worse than mosquitoes. Fortunately the dryness out here takes care of those critters. Instead we have centipedes and scorpions in the southern part of the state.

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