How do you end a long period of silence on your farm blog?
Post a video of goat kids playing!!
So that’s what I’m doing here. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
We have nine healthy kids born so far since January 3 with at least one more doe still expecting (and potentially up to three expecting; it is not always easy to tell with goats). Things have not gone as smoothly as they did last February when the weather was mild and we had very few difficulties, except for one kid being rejected by her mother for a week or two before she was gradually accepted again. This year, we have had three kids not survive the first 24 hours due to some exceptional circumstances and another was stillborn after a very difficult delivery. The stillborn kid was the fourth (yes 4th!) in that mother’s litter. Unfortunately, only two of those quadruplets have survived but they are delightfully healthy and their mother is absolutely doting on them. Another kid was rejected by his mother right from the start. For a few days we frequently held the nanny to force her to allow the kid to nurse so that he could get the all important colostrum he needed but it became clear that she was not going to accept him. So he became a “bottle baby.” He is the mostly white kid in the video and he is thriving but his food source causes him to think that he belongs to human race, even though he does admit that other goat kids are fun to play and nice to snuggle with on a chilly night. He constantly wants to be with his “peeps” and calls and runs to us and jumps up on us whenever he sees us.
Another problem this time around is that the nannies did not read my calendar very well. It was clearly marked with my scheduled times to be away teaching in Ottawa. I have been gone twice for a total of six days over the past month and in those days seven (yes 7!) of the kids were born. Poor Sheila! Fortunately, Andrew and/or Colleen were willing and able to come quickly to help her as needed.
Back to the video. The patient old goat, called “Old One,” is the grandmother of the brown and white kid (named “Oreo” by the grandchildren). I described her in the long caption under the bottom picture in http://burkinshawfarm.com/winter-accomodation/ and am delighted to give an update on her. She did not give birth to a kid last year and she seemed to be very much in her declining years. Very faithful readers may recall that we were keeping her well fed and protected from the usual pushing, shoving and downright “mean” competitive spirit often displayed in the goat herd. This Fall we kept remarking that she seemed to be a little healthier and she even began pushing the others back a little sometimes. She put some flesh on her old bones and then kept getting rounder and rounder. This week she gave birth, in her old age, to a big, healthy buck and seems very happy with him and with herself. We are not sure how old she is but I am wondering if we shouldn’t call the little buckling “Isaac” and perhaps change Old One’s name to Sarah!