Goat got it goin' on at fair

Berkeley County youth enjoy raising goats, but some face the reality of where the relationship leads

Berkeley County youth enjoy raising goats, but some face the reality of where the relationship leads

August 07, 2002|by CANDICE BOSELY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The biggest eyes on display at the Berkeley County Youth Fairgrounds can be found in one place - the goat barn.

Not as smelly as the pig barn or as chaotic as the cow barn, the goat barn is the place to be.

Wide-eyed goats stand on their pen fencing, begging for attention. Or Doritos. Some emit small, sweet cries when they're petted. Other, more mischievous ones nibble at shirts or fingers or whatever else finds its way into the pen.


On Tuesday afternoon, 11-year-old Bobby Puffenburger played a card game as his market goat, Wiggles, lay in a pen a few feet away.

Wiggles is smart, Bobby said, and follows him around.

"It's like I'm his father or something," Bobby said.

Of course, Bobby is a realist and knows all good relationships must end. For Bobby and Wiggles, the end nears as each fair day closes.

"He'll be killed and eaten (after the fair)," Bobby said. "That's what I hate about it."

About 80 goats are on display in the barn. Some will be slaughtered. Others, pampered.

Tigger, a medium-sized brown goat, sucks on an empty plastic drink bottle that Melissa Curtis holds. A pet, Tigger was bottle-fed as a baby.

After last year's fair, Curtis' daughter, 10-year-old Rachel, talked of little else but getting a goat. They bought Tigger and soon afterward, Amber. It's their two other goats, however, that get the most attention from fairgoers.

Just 4-months old and the size of a small dog, pygmy goats Piglet and Wendy receive much of the "oohs" and "ahhs," Curtis said.

"They're curious. Very curious," Curtis said. "I would say they're smart."

Bobby and Rachel, like others who have goats on display, will spend most of their time this week at the fairgrounds, walking, feeding and watering their animals.

They're an interesting breed. Just like the goats they love.

"They're cool animals," said Curtis. "I don't know what we would've done without them."

Today's fair highlights include beef showmanship and judging at 9 a.m., a donut eating contest at 6 p.m. and mini tractor pull at 7 p.m.

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