Monthly Archives: May 2018

Covered in Kidlets

I’m sitting in the office with Max on my lap as I type. He’s such a sweet, friendly, happy baby. He follows me like a shadow and loves to be picked up and held, but I’m afraid these days will be over very quickly. He weighed in at 18 lbs. on his 2-week birthday! He’s one of the fastest-growing kids we’ve had yet! I have a feeling this one is going to love going for hikes when he’s old enough. He’s an explorer, and he’s just as happy to be with people as with his mama. And what a cutie! He’s going to be a very handsome fella one day.

But enough about Max for the moment. I’ve barely shared any photos of our two new kiddos yet!

Honey Pie and Prudie are a little more skittish than Max and Sadie, but they’re coming round quickly. I was busy organizing a horse show the weekend after they were born so they didn’t get quite as much early attention as the other kids. But we’re making up for it this week!

Synchronized scratching!

I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get any photos of Pie when she was 2-5 days old. For those three days, her ears stuck straight up above her head and then flopped over the front like a Fox Terrier puppy. It was the cutest thing! I guess I thought they’d stay like that a while longer. But alas, they stiffened up and now they just stick out, which is still charming but not quite as unique.

I can’t get over Prudie’s coloring! Where did she get all that white? She looks like a little Boer cross. And no, my neighbor no longer raises Boer goats, so there was no mistake in the parentage. She’s just a fluke.

We’ve been bringing these two in for movies on the couch in the evenings now. Max and Sadie would like to keep being “house babies” a while longer, but we need to tame down these two new ones before they get big. I’d love to have all four in at once for a real baby goat party, but that might be pushing things. I’m sure if we give it a try there will be stories to tell.

Soft baby goatie kisses.

TinCup took her kids for their first walk with us on Tuesday. They had a great time!

Max and Sadie are two of the sweetest babies we’ve ever had. I just love these guys and I hope we can find amazing homes for them. They’re going to be awesome goats for someone. They’re bursting with playfulness and they can’t get enough of people.

Finn and Sputnik haven’t gotten much attention lately. We’ve been much too focused on the new little kidlets. But maybe this weekend we’ll be able to get them out for a hike and/or a drive. I’m curious to see how Finn’s harness fits. I feel like he had a pretty big growth spurt recently, but maybe I’m imagining it. The harness will tell us the truth!

Max is king of the rock!

“Run, babies, run!”

Phil loves his baby goaties.

There’s a reason we named this one “Sexy Sadie”. She’s a real looker!

TinCup to the rescue!

It’s easy to think, as we observe our goats bashing each other at the feeders, bumping one another out of the way, and smacking their heads bloody, that they are generally selfish and hostile creatures who lack compassion for other members of their own species. It’s also easy to underestimate their intelligence. Yesterday, our goat TinCup reminded us that goats are not only quite intelligent, but they are capable of a great deal of compassion despite their rough-and-tumble displays.

I was down at the saddle club when Phil decided to go for a hike. He was getting into the truck when our goat TinCup came running up the hill toward the house, hollering at top volume. TinCup had given birth the day before, and since it is not uncommon for our new mamas to hide their babies somewhere (often in one of the goat shelters) and then forget where they put them, Phil didn’t think much of it and continued to climb into the truck. But TinCup parked herself outside the driver door and kept bellowing.

Phil rolled down the window.
“TinCup! Go find your babies!” he said.

TinCup looked at him and hollered.

Phil started the engine, but TinCup persisted, gazing intently at Phil through the driver window as she yelled. She was clearly in distress and was determined to make Phil pay attention to her. Phil stopped the truck and looked out at TinCup. Animals aren’t stupid, and TinCup obviously had something important to tell him. He got out and looked at the other goats who were all gathered near the horse trough at the bottom of the hill. He heard a baby crying. This was unusual. Mama goats usually run toward the sound of a crying kid, but TinCup had run toward Phil. Now that she had Phil’s attention, TinCup ran down the driveway toward the herd, stopping periodically to check over her shoulder to make sure Phil was still following her.

When Phil got to the bottom of the hill, he could hear a distressed cry coming from the horse trough. A baby was in trouble! But it wasn’t one of TinCup’s kids. No, her kids were safely tucked away in their shed. The cry was coming from Sadie, a ten-day-old kid belonging to TinCup’s friend, Nauti. Sadie had jumped into the horse trough which I had filled the night before. It was too deep for her to stand and she couldn’t get out. She had jumped up, thinking it was a platform, and had plunged into deep water instead. Sadie’s mother was standing beside the trough, frantic but helpless.

No sooner had Phil fished the soggy baby out than her brother jumped into the trough to see what he’d been missing. Phil fished the second kid out, then immediately dumped the horse trough over to prevent any further accidents. We’re so thankful that TinCup had the wits to seek help from the only creature who could do anything about the drowning baby. We’re also thankful that she cared about another doe’s offspring. Finally, we’re thankful that someone was home or we’d have come back to a tragedy.

I feel like the guilty party here. I know the danger of horse troughs and have warned other goat breeders about them. Normally during kidding season, the horses have a pond to drink from so I stow the trough away. But this year the pond dried up in a drought so I went into auto-pilot and continued to fill the trough without thinking about the fact that we had new kids on the ground. Phil and I went to the feed store the very next day and picked out a trough low enough for kids to see over the top. I even plunked a cinder block into the bottom so that if one did happen to jump in, they’d have an easy time climbing back out.

This could have been a tragic event with a hard lesson, but thanks to TinCup, the lesson was learned without the accompanying disaster. Three cheers for TinCup!

And here are TinCup’s new babies!

Sticking with the Beatles theme, we’re thinking about “Wild Honey Pie” for this one. Her eyes were very blue when she was born, but they’re already turning brown. She looked like a little Nigie baby with her flashy markings and the eyes! Also, we’ve had a wonderful variety of ears this season. This little gal has Fox Terrier ears like Finn.

And our “Boer” baby. I’m calling her “Dear Prudence”. With all that white, this one’s going to be hard to keep clean.

And because she’s still the most adorable goat in our herd, here’s one of Coral. She has the most innocent, disarming smile I’ve ever seen. It makes her absolutely irresistible. I can’t wait to see what her and Sox’s babies look like! She’s due in about two weeks.

Trot out the ladies!

We had a couple of new arrivals today, and I’ve gotta say–we’re really having a bumper crop of girls this year! Two more doelings popped into the world around noon right on their due date. Tinny pushed the first kid out without trouble. Then she decided she was done and wouldn’t push out the second, so I reached in and found a nose in the passage. I reached a bit further, found a foot, and gave a little tug, at which point TinCup decided she should help and pushed kid #2 right out. I kind of think if we’d left her alone for a while she would have delivered just fine on her own. The kid was in the right position, just with the front feet pulled back a bit behind the nose. I think she’d have sorted herself out on her own if I’d been a little more patient.

Doeling #1 is a beautiful reddish bay with gorgeous markings. She gets the red from her dad, Rocky, and the striking black legs and dorsal stripe from her mom.

Look at that sweet smile!

And doeling #2 is colored like a Boer! Her mother is purebred Alpine and her dad is a registered Nubian, so she hasn’t got a drop of Boer blood in her, but that didn’t stop this little cutie from sporting a white body and red head!

Phil brought the new babies into the office this afternoon to show them off to his co-workers over video conference.

Nauti Karate, or Poor Little Pink Belt

We had rather an exciting day. I was outside at around 11:00 a.m. when three Air Force fighter jets flew right over my head, so low I was almost afraid they’d clip the top of my hat! And boy were they LOUD!!! A short while later I had Nauti up on the stanchion to be milked. She’s producing far more than her two kids can drink yet so I’m milking out the excess for now. Phil came out to pet her and the new babies and he was alarmed to see a huge tear on her right flank. I had only seen Nauti’s left side and didn’t realize she was hurt. It was very fresh, so I’m pretty sure she panicked when the jets flew over and caught her side on something. It was pretty nasty but it looked like it could be stitched if I could keep it clean and moist until we got her to a vet. I slapped on some gauze soaked in Vetricin as well as lubricant jelly while Phil wound a whole roll of VetWrap around her middle to hold it in place. She looked very comical. Early this afternoon I was able to get it stitched up and hopefully it will heal without incident. Luckily it doesn’t seem too painful for her. I’m just glad she didn’t do this while she was pregnant. The vet would never have been able to stretch her hide back over that hole! As it is, having recently given birth, the skin over her flank is pretty loose right now and it stitched together easily.

And here are some of today’s photos of the new babies, who we’re calling Sadie and Max (for the Beatles songs “Sexy Sadie” and “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”).

Why do babies love to curl up inside feeder tubs and tires? I don’t know, but it sure is adorable!

Unfortunately, they’re already too big to both fit. Looks like Big Brother got kicked out!

Babies find the funniest secret places to hide.

Max.

Sadie.

Catching up

Penny loves to be picked up and held. Rita loves to tease and play but doesn’t usually want to be held. She’ll sneak up behind you and grab your hair or poke you with her hoof and then race away in glee–mischievous little stinker!

But once in a while Rita sees Penny sitting cozily in someone’s lap and she has to climb up too so it’s fair. At a month old, sharing a single lap at the same time is getting pretty crowded!

I can’t get enough of Rita’s EARS!

When she’s not imitating a Texas longhorn…

…she looks perpetually surprised or alarmed.

And little Penny is just sweet and friendly. She looks like a little deer fawn, and her soft, sleek brown coat almost invites you to stroke her.

Baby goats love this big rock that we pass on our daily walks. We call it the “baby goat rock” because from age two weeks to about two months, baby goats can’t pass by without leaping up and treating it like it’s their “fort”.

Challenge all comers!

This downed tree is also fun to explore!

Sometimes I love to sit on a rock or stump and wait to see who comes over to investigate. “Hi Rita!”

Phil has decided we’re keeping Skeeter. She’s too pretty to sell. She looks like Finn AND Sputnik, and her conformation is turning out very nice.

She just recently discovered the joy of cookies!

Sputnik doesn’t miss a trick. “Did someone say ‘cookies’?”

Look how similar these two faces are!

“Sorry guys… all out of cookies!”

Chaos Reigns

Skeeter and Blackbird are maturing into beautiful, sleek young does. They are over three months old now and way too big to be sitting in laps any more, but it’s hard to say “no” to critters this cute!

“Hey, wait a minute!”

The situation rapidly deteriorated. Finn showed up and demanded attention by grabbing Skeeter’s ear while Blackbird distracted Phil. Phil had little hoof-shaped bruises on his back that night!

Alright, back under control… more or less.

Blackbird had to have a turn on Phil’s lap too.

What a pretty girl she’s becoming! I shouldn’t have trouble finding this lovely doeling a home eventually.

Now it’s my turn to play with the goatlings!

“Gah! I’m under attack!”

“Not the hat!”

“Ah, sanity returns.”

Here Comes the Son… and the Daughter

Yesterday was a gorgeous day for a kidding. The air was balmy and there was a gentle breeze. When I went to let the pregnant girls out of their pen, I could see that Nauti had dug herself a sunny little hollow in the dirt and was laying in it with her belly spread out wide on either side of her. She looked at me over her shoulder and baa-ed softly when I let the other girls out, but she refused to move. I checked on her and she seemed very glad to see me and immediately began to push. But since nothing was peeking, I decided I had a little time so I fed the other girls their morning grain and I went across the pasture to let the other goats out of their pen.

When I came back to check on Nauti, things were definitely happening! Nothing was coming yet, but she was pushing in earnest and she seemed quite distressed when I left her to run down the hill and fetch the hot water and towels. I called Phil down while I filled the water buckets. He grabbed the kidding box. By the time we got up there, we had a kid on the ground and Nauti was already cleaning him off. Phil came up the hill with the towels just in time for the second kid to pop out. What a wonderful, quick, easy kidding it was!

I put down a couple of puppy pads and scattered clean straw over the top so the kids wouldn’t get covered in dirt. Then we helped Nauti clean them up. They dried very quickly in the warm sunshine.

The little buckling needed help getting started at first. Phil had the magic touch.

His sister was on her feet and eating faster than any kid I’ve seen. She barely even had to figure out her legs and only fell down a couple of times. But soon both of them were up and nursing on their own.

And mama was tired!

I love new baby cuddles!

A curious crowd gathered outside the pen during the proceedings. Once the kids were up and dry, I let them investigate.

We haven’t figured out names yet, but I’m sure we’ll have some in the next day or two. We’ll likely continue with the Beatles theme.

Naughty Nauti!

Phil and I got a load of pictures of the older babies yesterday and I had grand plans of bringing everyone up to speed. But Nauti threw a wrench in the works by going into labor around 9:45 this morning. By 10:00 she had two strong, wriggling little kids on the ground which she delivered unassisted. In fact, naughty Nauti delivered the first one so fast we missed it! I went to fetch a bucket of warm water and some clean towels and by the time I got back, Baby #1 was on the ground and getting cleaned off. Number two came about five minutes later. We’ve got a tan and white buckling and a black and white doeling! I only have time to post one photo today, but everyone is doing just grand. So really I should say, “Good Nauti!”