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Meet Kashi, the Houdini Goat of Stepladder Creamery

The Goats   |   JULY 9, 2021

Kashi is one of our most beloved and simultaneously vexatious does we have in our milking herd. She is extremely friendly and intelligent and has a very inquisitive nature that inspires her to come and check out what her human caretakers are up to whenever they are out in the pasture.

She is a relatively young doe, having been born on the ranch on March 5, 2019. She was born to our doe Grapenut, so is one of our “Cereal Girls!” She currently lives in the herd with her mother, her sisters Cheerio and Pebbles, and her daughter Reese’s Puff!

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Right to left: Kashi in the pasture with her mom Grapenut and sisters Pebbles and Cheerio.

Her intelligence and inquisitive nature make her as exasperating as she is adorable, as she is the only goat to have figured out how to escape the headgate on the milking stand!

This headgate is designed to keep the does facing forward on the milking stand while they are being milked. It locks when the does first walk up onto the milking stand and put their heads through the headgate to get to the grain on the other side, which triggers a metal latch that locks the headgate in place until the end of their milking shift (this usually takes just 5-10 minutes).

Learn more about the headgate and milking process in this video.

Below is a photo of Kashi grubbing down on her grain on the milk stand. The headgate latch is circled to help illustrate the mechanics of the contraption.

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Most of our does spend their time on the milking stand happily eating their delicious grain (a nutritious blend of barley, oats and molasses), but Kashi has discovered a way to be an exception to this rule; as soon as she is done eating her grain, she immediately gets bored and decides she wants to explore the milk stand.

This year, she discovered how to use her mouth to release the latch that keeps her headgate closed and now she manages to escape every time she is milked! Once Kashi has released herself from the headgate, she finds some very humorous, yet annoying ways of entertaining herself as she waits for the milker to finish milking the other five does on the stand.

She usually splits her time between watching the milker work, messing with the milking equipment, or harassing her pasture mates as they are milked. In this video, you can see Kashi escaping the headgate and some of her other outrageous antics as she finds the best ways to occupy her time.

Although Kashi’s ridiculous behavior keeps us on our toes and provides us with constant hilarity, it isn’t necessarily the most helpful addition to the milker’s already busy schedule. Therefore we are always trying to find new ways of keeping Kashi entertained during milking and contained by the headgate.

Recently we have started experimenting with clips that keep the headgate closed and even Tabasco sauce on the latch to keep her from releasing herself from the headgate! While we figure out how to keep this little lady from causing a ruckus during milking, keep your eyes on our social media feed to see more of her ridiculous escapades.

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