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!

The Latest and Greatest

Well, Sadie finally got down to business yesterday afternoon and produced two of the brawniest babies we’ve had at Goat-O-Rama in years. We haven’t named these two big bruisers yet, but we’ll keep you posted! They weighed in at 10 and 11+ lbs. respectively, and they have legs a mile long so Sadie needed a little help bringing these two into the world! Both kids are the spit and image of their daddy, Pest. Tall, strong, big-boned, broad-shouldered and with massive foreheads.

When I pulled this guy out, I said, “Wow, what a massive kid!!” Sadie was having a hard time getting him out so I gave a few tugs on his front legs. I couldn’t find his head anywhere so at first I thought he had his head back, but no, his legs were just so long it took a while for his head to follow. He was also quite impatient. Sadie wasn’t pushing much, so this guy’s front legs were waving around like he was trying to claw his own way into the world whether Mama helped or not!

Look at these moonspots! This our first truly moon-spotted kid. Pest’s moonspots don’t present quite like this but he carries the genetics and now he’s finally passed this fun color pattern to one of his offspring!

This is baby #2. I thought the first one was big, but boy oh boy, this one was even bigger! He weighed in at over 11 lbs. he wasn’t so eager to come out. He only had one leg in the passage and he took a bit of pulling. Somewhere in the delivery process, Sadie sat down hard on my box of kidding supplies and smashed the lid. It was a soft landing for her. Among other things, the box was full of towels.

This guy is more of a dark blue roan. Pest doesn’t have a hint of blue roan in his coloring, but he’s now thrown several babies who have it so it must be somewhere in his ancestry. I can’t wait to see how big these guys get. I have a feeling they’re going to be huge, powerful goats by the time they’re grown!

Introducing Merlin and Morgana!

Skeeter was due Saturday, April 20th, and as usual she delivered bang on the dot! She didn’t waste any time but started into labor at around 7:30 a.m. It wasn’t long before we welcomed two beautiful new kids to the herd: Meet Merlin and Morgana!

First off the assembly line was this big fella who we named Merlin. He weighed 8.5 lbs. and was a little bit stuck. He only had one front leg presenting, but his head was in the right  spot.  Goat kids can be born with only one front leg in place, but they’re wider that way so it’s not as easy for mom. I could have pushed him back in and gone fishing for the other leg but Skeeter is a big, roomy doe so I decided to just pull on the one while easing his head through. He made it without much trouble, although mama wanted a rest afterwards!

Before her brother was even quite delivered, this little gal rushed onto the scene! She couldn’t wait to see the big, new world out there! We named her Morgana (a variant of Morgan le Fey from the King Arthur legend). She was 7.5 lbs. and was struggling to her feet before she even hit the ground!

Skeeter never fails to produce some beautifully-marked babies! We can’t wait to see what these two look like as they grow up!