neighborhoods May 21, 2020

The Woodstock Neighborhood Goats

I love seeing goats in Portland.  Here we are, walking down a typical Woodstock neighborhood street, when there, in front of us is a man walking his two goats.  One of them stops short and refuses to go any further—stubborn animals—because that is not the way she is used to.  Further north, on one of the sweet unmaintained roads that that I have mentioned before, a little urban farmyard is set up, replete with goats.

I have a love/hate relationship with goats.  I love the idea of them.  They are cute (though their eyes are a little devilish); they reproduce; they eat weeds including blackberry (thorns and all) and young poison oak and they give milk.  What a perfect domesticated animal.  Except they are not.

I lived with and sometimes helped milk goats for 11 years.  Once, when I was pregnant, our pregnant goat came up to me and butted me in the stomach—hard.  And for no apparent reason.  I had the distinct feeling that she knew what she was doing!  Goats also tear the bark off fruit trees.  They attract flies.  And they are extremely stubborn.

Still, I love to see goats living in the city.  There are three people raising goats in Woodstock that I know of, and that is on the south side alone.  Some are so hidden you would never know they were there (until someone brings them out on a leash).  Others are out there for kids to come watch.  And though goats are really happy out in large meadows on a farm in the country, the city goats that I have seen are happy to climb on the roofs of their barns.  After all, goats are mountain animals by nature.