All posts by Nan Hassey

Visitors!

My mom was determined to see Ziggy’s babies as soon as possible after they were born, and to bring her grandkids (my nephews and niece) with her as well. Robert, Sam and Lily all fell in love with Ziggy when she was a youngster and they’re always very excited when Ziggy has babies of her own.

Sam couldn’t be happier than when he’s snuggling with McGonagall.

My mom cradles little Tonks in her arms.

Lily takes a turn with McGonagall.

And finally Robert cuddles Tonks, who appears very content in his arms.

Moony pays a visit to the newcomers

Moony is always extremely curious about everyone and everything that goes on at Goat-O-Rama, and he’s determined to be involved. Ziggy was NOT pleased with this intruder coming over to meet her new babies, but eventually she went out to graze and Moony moved in to investigate.
I was impressed by how gentle he was when checking out the new arrivals. Many kids his age would be rough and try to knock the babies down, but Moony only wanted to sniff them curiously.

I love the bewildered look on his face after he checked out the new kids. “Why won’t they play with me, and why are they so tiny?”

Phil Hassey: Goat Midwife Extraordinaire!

Ziggy was the last doe to kid in 2024, and she produced two gorgeous little doelings. She kept us guessing as to who would be here to deliver them. Phil was on a business trip in California until a couple of days after Ziggy’s due date so we thought he would miss the blessed event. But she held out until he returned and instead decided to deliver when I was gone on an all-day trip to the Sand Dunes. It was Phil’s first time delivering kids without me around, and he did a great job! He was happy that it all went smoothly and Ziggy didn’t need any help except for a dose of calcium to encourage stronger contractions. When I got home these two were clean and dry and cozily bedded down for the night. 
The first to be born was “McGonagall”, named for the professor in the Harry Potter books. I’ve never seen a kid this color before. She’s a dusky rose hue which I suppose we’d call red roan with blue roan accents. She’s stunning!

The second one took a little longer to name, but we eventually settled on “Tonks”, also from the Harry Potter books. She’s a classic chamoisee color with no white markings, which is unusual in our herd, but this year we have two of them! Tonks could be Esmeralda’s identical twin!

McGonagall has my favorite type of ears: One up, one down. I suspect the “down” one will perk up and become erect like the other in a few days, but I always love the lopsided look for as long as it lasts. I’d be thrilled if we ever got one whose ears stayed like this.

“Congratulations, Phil, on delivering some very beautiful, healthy babies all by yourself!”

We’re all mooning over Moony

The kids this year are all healthy, beautiful and sweet. Every last one is a winning packgoat or dairy prospect and I suspect they’ll all make their future owners very, very happy. But for now I’ll just highlight a few of them.
Esmeralda is the oldest and she’s our “wild child.” She’s a complete party animals who hurls herself enthusiastically into every situation and into every person. She loves to jump into buckets, feeders, wheelbarrows, and onto anyone’s back if they sit down. She’s the first kid we’ve ever had that wants to ride in the wheelbarrow once I start moving it. Or she’ll ride in the feed tub after I pick it up. She loves movement and excitement and things happening. And if things aren’t happening, she’s the one who gets them going!

Moony is the sweetheart of our herd. He’s everyone’s favorite baby from the moment they meet him. To Moony, an open lap is an open invitation. He’s a sweet and undemanding little goat, but he’s always there like a shadow, and if anyone sits down he immediately climbs into their lap, curls up and falls asleep. I’ve never seen a baby so comfortable and happy around people. He’s gotten left behind by the herd on several occasions because he was too busy hanging out with people. He has his daddy’s wide, intelligent face and curious eyes, as well as his daddy’s love for all things human. 

Not only is Moony incredibly sweet, he’s also stunningly beautiful. He’s got lovely conformation with a strong, leggy build and a coat pattern to die for. He’s a full brother to Clyde, who is probably the nicest packgoat we’ve ever produced at Goat-O-Rama. 

Interestingly, Moony’s twin brother Padfoot is almost the total opposite of Moony. Padfoot is shy around people and would rather run to his mama than hang out in somebody’s lap. Padfoot is brawnier than Moony and is going to be a big bruiser of a goat, though less athletically built. Just lately he started coming out of his shell and hopefully by the time he’s weaned he’ll have figured out that people aren’t scary. Little Merlin in the background is a beautiful and sweet goat with an adventurous spirit and happy-go-lucky attitude. He won’t be as big or strong as Moony and Padfoot, but I think he’ll shape up nicely into a good and sensible packgoat when he’s grown. 

Spring is in the air!

Things are beginning to turn green around here! Despite the lack of April snows, we’ve had a rather chilly spring with only one or two days warm enough to wear shorts and t-shirts. Thes are cool, delicious days with mountains shrouded in wispy clouds and goats frolicking and grazing in the meadows.   
With his colorful coat and his train of mesmerized babies, Finn looks like the Pied Piper!

Gandalf takes a flying leap off an overturned stump.

Skeeter takes on babysitting duties. I love watching kids play on our rock piles.

Dolly doesn’t get enough attention. She is one of the sweetest, prettiest little goats I’ve ever met. She lives in the shadow of her sister Molly, who is the clown of the herd and is bold, outgoing and adventuresome. Dolly is gentle and demure. Unlike Molly and the others who jostle forward to demand attention, Dolly stands patiently near the back of the crowd and waits for attention to come to her. It’s impossible not to give it. Dolly exudes “love me” vibes so powerful she doesn’t need to elbow for attention!

The Goat RV!

Well, we went and did it! We bought a new horse/goat trailer with a gooseneck hitch! The entire new rig is the exact same overall length as our old bumper-pull rig but it has a TON more space due to the gooseneck design. I can’t wait to use it for our next goat vacation!
This one has windows that close so the goats don’t have to get wet in a rainstorm. The bars pull down as well so we can reach in and pet them or feed them without opening the back doors.

Now we have two smaller doors instead of one huge one, so it will be much easier to load goats. These doors also fasten back so we don’t have to wrestle with them on a windy day.

The floor is rubberized, permeable, and permanent. Moisture wicks down through, goes through slits in the rhino-lined floorboards, and out onto the road instead of sitting underneath mats and rotting out the floor. I LOVE this feature! The center divider lifts off, and the walls are lined so the goats don’t end up with black aluminum stains on their coats like they did in my old trailer.

Here’s the gooseneck compartment. This will be very nice for the times when it’s raining or hailing or we pull into a camping area late at night. We can sleep up here instead of setting things up outside. There’s also a lot of storage in this area for sleeping bags, tents, and other camping equipment. It will be nice not to have to haul those things around in the back seat of the pickup!

And this is the best feature of all… the tack room! It is a HUGE, wide tack area with two rows of saddle racks, a center blanket bar, all the hooks I could want, a water tank in the left corner, and room to spare all over the place! I’ve already got twice as much stuff in here now as I had in my old trailer, and it’s still not full. The doors (not shown in the photo) have hooks and storage in them as well. It’s a fantastic tack room! And everything is only one layer deep so I don’t have to crawl past a bunch of stuff to go find something at the back. I can’t wait to try this out on a goat vacation!

Pongo is the Best

Pongo is the best, but first Snowball is the best. Snowball is the supreme matriarch of our herd.  She keeps all her kids close about her even after they are grown. Here she is, laying down with babies past and present. I missed Molly and Dolly. There were with the group moments earlier. At night Snowball usually shares a shed with Molly and Dolly and her new babies, and during the day when she lays down she welcomes little Pongo to come sit with them as well. She weans her kids well, but she never pushes them out of the nest. I love this about her, and it makes her offspring some of the sweetest and most generous in my herd. They learn to share from their unselfish mama.
Pongo is as sweet and gentle in life as he looks in this photo.

Look at that face! I can’t wait until this little guy is all grown up and packing with the big boys. I think he’s going to be the best buddy ever. That little tilt to his head! Talk about cuteness overload!

Playground Antics

Esmeralda was standing on the tire next to Finn. She kept glancing over at his back and then quickly glancing away again.
“Should I do it?” I could tell she wanted to jump up on his back. Perhaps Gandalf was daring her to do it! But Finn wasn’t looking away. Clearly he knew what Esmeralda was thinking and he had his eye on her!

“NOPE!” Finn gave a warning glance and that was the end of Esmeralda’s little scheme!

I love the terrified look in her eyes after her close brush with the big, scary old goat!

I’m not sure what Merlin thought he was doing.

This is the way you’re supposed to go through the tire, silly boy!

Clearly he didn’t figure it out because he had to turn around and try putting his head into the other side.

All the baby goats are playing and Finn is presiding from the teeter-totter. Finn loves that teeter-totter. He and Ziggy are the only two goats who aren’t a little bit afraid of it so they like to show off by standing on it for minutes on end. The babies don’t care. They have tires to play on and Finn is too big for the tires!

Finn feels like a king on his throne when he stand on his teeter-totter. Not even Pest will bother him up there!

Meet Moony and Padfoot!

Sadie’s babies took a little while to name, but Phil took some inspiration from the Harry Potter books and named these two Moony and Padfoot from two of the mischievous characters in the series. Moony is, you guessed it, the one covered in moonspots, and Padfoot is the dark one.   
Meet Moony! He’s his daddy’s boy all over. This guy has Pest’s broad forehead and gentle, wide-set eyes. He has his daddy’s moonspots, and best of all he has his daddy’s innate love of people. I’ve never seen a kid so naturally drawn to humans. When he sees somebody he runs straight up to greet them, just like Pest did when I first visited the farm where he was born. Pest stamps all of his babies with his outgoing personality, but Moony has it in spades!

Padfoot is the larger of the twins but is more reserved than Moony. He is definitely a mama’s boy and he cried a lot when he was first born, but he settled down and got more curious and outgoing after his first week in the world. I think part of his problem was that he ate too much and was giving himself an upset tummy which made him cry more than usual. However, he’s over it now and this boy is going to a big, lanky bruiser when he grows up!

Sadie is not “Mom of the Year” material. She’s good but she definitely needs her “mama time”! For the first couple of weeks we had to watch these two and make sure Sadie didn’t leave them somewhere and forget where she put them. They were adorable snuggled up inside this crevice under a huge boulder.

It’s hard to go anywhere without Moony following along!

Yep, Padfoot’s a mama’s boy alright!

So many spots!

Skeeter and Sadie didn’t allow their kids to play together during the first week. But Merlin was determined to find out who this other kid was who looked his own size! It didn’t take long for both mamas to give up. Now the four youngest kids are inseparable. All six kids play together, but when it’s time for a nap the four little ones form an adorable huddle in the grass. I love baby goat piles! I hope I can get a photo of one soon. Usually they wake up and come running as soon as I approach them with a camera.

Late April Goat Fun!

It’s been a busy few weeks with all these kids running around! Gandalf and Esmeralda grew by leaps and bounds while Skeeter’s and Sadie’s kids were just starting to find their legs. Gandalf is quite the little chunklet! He’s going to be a big, strong boy when he grows up. He and his sister want to be involved in everything and they love nothing more than climbing on people.

Things started greening up a little toward the end of April. It seemed very green at the time, but now I’m looking at it from two weeks later and thinking, “Gee, it sure was brown back then!” We’ve had a lot of moisture and sunshine to turn the pastures emerald.

The boys are in fine fettle. Scout and Sonic are fat and happy and need to get out for some hikes so they can get in shape! The big boys have been a bit neglected lately with all the babies on the scene.

Baby goat season is Finn’s least favorite time of year. He’s been quite sulky lately and is acting like a crotchety old man. Not only do the baby goats get under his skin (mostly because they steal so much of me and Phil’s attention), but he’s also feeling old because he’s no longer King. Pest claimed the crown last fall and Finn hasn’t been happy about it. The funny thing is that Pest is not much of a fighter, so I think if Finn wanted to keep his position he could do it. But it turns out that Finn, for all his bluster, was just a big bully with no real fight in him. So now he’s relegated to second-tier boss and it’s not sitting well with him. “Too bad, Finn! If you hadn’t shown Pest all your dirty bossing tactics he would never have turned the tables on you!”

Merlin and Morgana are two of the flashiest babies we’ve had, with their striking black-and-white coats. Merlin reminds me of Finn when he was little. And Morgana is the spit-and-image of her grandma, Petunia. She has the biggest eyes I’ve ever seen, and she knows how to use them!
Skeeter always wins “Mom of the Year Award”. Ever since, as a first-timer, she almost lost little Butterfly to a horse in 2020, she has been extra diligent about her kids. Even if every other goat crosses through the horse pen, Skeeter takes her babies around the long way. She makes exactly the right amount of milk and keeps her kids fed but not overfed. She keeps them perfectly clean and she watches them carefully but she doesn’t smother them or spoil them. She’s a rare, special kind of mama goat!

Merlin wanted to meet Gandalf. Gandalf was excited to have someone smaller than himself to challenge. I’m not sure Merlin was interested.

“Hmm… who else can I fight?”

Maya is always up for a tussle! She was mean to Gandalf and Esmeralda for the first week or two, but then she realized that baby goats are a GOOD thing! She actually has little ones to play with now who can match her energy and athleticism. Pongo would sometimes play with Maya, but he is not as fast or agile or energetic as she is and is more interested in being a companion than a challenger. The older goats aren’t silly enough to play Maya’s games, so she lacked an outlet. Now that there are babies on the scene, Maya has lots of friend to be wild with! Gandalf especially loves to rise to the challenge!
“Push harder, Gandalf!”

Phil loves to sit and play with his baby goats. Esmeralda can’t resist an open lap! Merlin and Morgana are still only politely curious, but it won’t be long before they start fighting Esmeralda for that lap!