Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New Additions

  A week ago, Wednesday morning, I walked out the door at 4 am and heard the familiar, weak cry of a newborn baby goat.  I had been anticipating one of our Nigerian Pygmy goats to kid for the past two weeks so it was not unexpected. In the dark, in the light of my headlamp as I walked past the pens, I was somewhat surprised to see twins sitting up, dry and alert. This was Oreo's first kidding, and a Pygmy goat is quite small - comparable to the size of a Border Collie, so I wasn't expecting two babies.

This is Oreo. Full grown

 Because they seemed healthy and weren't crying, I continued with my chores, knowing that when I was finished I would have to somehow milk this new mama and teach the kids to bottle feed.
  On my way past again, in my headlight beam, some distance from the twins, I noticed a dark shape on the ground and stopped to think what it might be. Another baby?!  It took a moment to register (it was 4 o'clock in the morning after all) so I walked in,  almost certain that this was a stillborn baby.  As I touched the small shape to gather it up, it moved and cried out - I could not have been more surprised!  A quick look revealed that it was a boy, as were the other two, unfortunately, the less desirable of the genders.  I placed the tiny buckling next to his brothers hoping he would gain warmth from them while I finished  farm chores, again quite certain that this baby would not survive.
  After feeding and milking the goats I headed into the house to strain and chill the milk and I passed Bob on his way out the door to help. He said he'd feed the chicks and let the horses off - we have to separate the horses and clip them while they eat becasue Dixie will gobble down her feed and hay and then chase the other two away and eat their breakfast as well.  I mentioned to him that the goat had kidded and went inside.
  A short time later Bob was back and I told him about the baby goats. I said that I had checked and that all three were boys and that I was pretty sure the little one wouldn't make it.
  "You mean this one?" he said, and he unzipped his coat to reveal the pitiful little black goat tucked away against the warmth of his body.
  I fell in love with my husband all over again.

    Let me tell you about the Grace of God. This little black goat is half the size of his brothers. Typically, the runt of the litter is highly disadvantaged because he is pushed away from nursing by his older, stronger siblings. Because this particular goat had two bigger brothers who learned to nurse on thier mother just after birth he had not yet learned to suckle - a big advantage when bottle feeding a newborn goat. The sucking technique is different nursing from a baby bottle compared to  nursing on a mother's teat, and this little goat caught on to the bottle right away.  We decided to hand feed his brothers as well, but they did not learn as quickly.  I believe this stunted little buckiling will grow strong and healthy in no time!

Since Wednesday he has had quite an exciting life: He drove with me to Pensacola to pick up Samantha from the airport,

and went to work with us where he visited with the MOPS children and was named BUDDY!

Saturday and Sunday Buddy and his brothers brought delight to adults and children alike at the Survival Skills and Homesteading Expo at the Possum Palace in Wasau

In a week or two our new additions will have to be disbudded and castrated, and when they're weaned at 12-16 weeks all three boys will need good, forever homes.
Maybe yours?

1 comment:

  1. I would love to take Buddy. Have you found him a home yet??