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Showing goats at Huron Co. Junior Fair takes patience

Cary Ashby • Aug 14, 2019 at 4:58 PM

Lydia Chaffee, at age 13, is a 4-H veteran at showing goats.

“I have two dairy goats and and a dairy market kid and I also did a goat poster,” said the daughter of Ben and Jody. 

The Greenwich girl has been in 4-H for nine years.

“So I started about four years ago showing goats,” Chaffee said.

She is showing two does (females) and selling the market goat. 

Her father, superintendent of the goat barn, sometimes milks the dairy goats. The Chaffee family bought the dairy market kid and its feed.

“We fed it in the morning, fed it at night and then we walked it — starting about in June or July— every day,” the 13-year-old girl said. “We feed our market goat some pellets and our two big does (get) mixed grain.”

Meanwhile, Kaitlynn Kanzig is in her first year with meat market goats in the Huron County Junior Fair.

“I started with chickens and rabbits and I wanted to have a different experience,” the 12-year-old Shiloh girl said. “I did chickens one year and I did rabbits one year. … It was kinda too easy for me and I wanted to do something (new).”

Kanzig has learned patience while working with goats.

“They’re very stubborn,” she said as one of the animals nestled into her arm in the pen. “You have to show them you’re the boss.

“They’re very interesting animals,” the girl added. “They have a lot of personality.” 

Chaffee has a slightly different perspective.

“They’re not that stubborn. Some times they can be, but once you work with them enough, they will listen to you,” said the soon-to-be freshman at South Central High School.

Housing different goats was the biggest challenge for the Chaffee family.

“You put different goats in different pens,” she said. “We just had to have the (correct) amount of space. … Our market goats, we like them to have room to run around outside, to get some energy and get their legs built up. The big does don’t need as much room, but they’re two big does, so they need a little extra room.”

In addition to her goat experiences, Chaffee made a poster about how rocks can go through each cycle, with examples of each. She said she learned “you can find rocks anywhere in any kind of soil.”

Finding some for her project didn’t take her far.

“We just looked around our property for some rocks; we found some in our creek and in the woods and by our garden,” the girl said.

The biggest lesson Chaffee has learned is “never let go of your goat.”

“The first year I got drug around the ring, but you don’t want to let go,” the teenager said.

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