April 2, 2016

Jessie's April Fooled Me

Yesterday I had a lot of errands to do, so after chores I got ready and headed out. I got back around lunchtime and then checked on water buckets and hay feeders. I also collected eggs. I found one hen in the girls' hay feeder and a duck egg in the corner. I looked around on the goat shed floor, because chickens and ducks alike lay eggs in the straw. Jessie was standing in the stall next to me, and I could see something black on the floor behind her. That could either be a chicken or a duck, I thought, and I moved to where I could get a better view. This is what I saw.


Jessie wasn't due until April 6th! It was one wee little girl, solid black, completely dry, and with the placenta fully delivered right next to her. 



She was already fairly steady on her legs and finding milk.


Jessie wasn't too sure about this strange little goat that seemingly appeared from nowhere. But she's letting her nurse and doing a lot of sniffing, so no worries.


28 comments:

  1. Haha!! She fooled herself, too. That is so great, though, sweet little goatie. Congrats!
    -jaime

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  2. what a lovely surprise and beautiful little kid, well done Jessie :-)

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  3. What a lovely looking kid, glad mum and baby are doing well.

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  4. Gratz. Looks like ours is starting off here as well. We had two new babies last night at some point ourselves.

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  5. Sounds like a perfect birth all the way around. Congratulations to Jessie and your little homestead!

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  6. Just one little one? Will you call her April? Congratulations Mama and babe.

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  7. Thank you everyone!

    Val, that's exactly what I was thinking - "April." Have to wait and see if it sticks. Also have two more does due this month, so we'll have to see what we end up with. :)

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  8. Now that's an April Fools that I can live with. Welcome Joker.

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  9. Leigh,

    She fooled you!!! What a pretty little baby.

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  10. Oh that little goat is just too cute - what a lovely April Fool's Day surprise for you!

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  11. Look at those blue eyes!! What a great surprise, congrats!

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  12. Oh what a sweet surprise to come home to. She looks a lot like little Rosie did when I brought her home. She is adorable. Did you name her April?

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  13. I was *just* thinking, "I need some more goat photos from Leigh." Thanks for coming through before I even asked. :-)

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    1. And to think we were just talking about the chances of a goat making her due date. :)

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  14. Yeah, that first one is scary for all of us!

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  15. What a nice April Fool day present.

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  16. Too funny, but oh-so gorgeous at the same time. Well done to Mama, for her first kid - if I'm remembering correctly. :)

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  17. PS, forgot to ask, what are the pros and cons of having single kids to multiple? I would theorise single kids would be more sustainable, if the condition of the land wasn't so great and food was unreliable. But is the con, the doe produces like milk with a single kid?

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    1. Chris, good question. Of course, considering birth numbers are something over which we have no control over ;) I'd say that multiples are good if you're into selling goats or want to quickly increase your herd size, or need a lot of meat, or for bartering for other useful things (like hay). They can be sold as bottle babies, which would have zero impact on the land.

      Regarding land impact, my biggest concern is how many goats I have over winter, when the forage is much slimmer and I have to rely more on hay. I make sure I'm down to winter numbers every year for all critters.

      Personally, I think I prefer twins the best, mostly because they have an automatic playmate. Plus you have a sense of increase, which is a form of wealth in an agrarian sense. Compared to trips or quads, there is no fighting over the udder with twins and every kid gets enough to eat. With more than two there is a concern that they're all getting enough milk. The boys are usually strongest and can push their sisters out of the way, yet the girls are more valuable in that they produce milk and more kids.

      The smaller breeds seem to have multiples more commonly than the bigger breeds. But then they eat less than the bigger breeds. Maybe nature has a sense of humor. :)

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    2. Thanks for answering. Everyone would have a different answer for what works best, depending what their land has to offer, and their personal needs of the animals they keep.

      Twins are probably the best compromise all round. But like you say, we don't really get a say in what eventuates. Other than selectively breeding goats with a reputation for having twins, more often than not.

      I like the last comment about nature having a sense of humour. Perhaps it knows, the smaller the animal, the less likely it is to survive against predators. So it builds in the numbers advantage. ;)

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    3. One thing that we've discovered is a challenge is finding that balance between land and animals. It can't be summarized in an absolute formula, even on a given area of land. What seems to be balance one year isn't the next because the vegetation fluctuates depending, especially, on weather. A couple years ago we had a very dry summer, which gave ground ivy an advantage. Well, nobody eats ground ivy but our forage didn't have enough water to grow. Another summer it was constantly cloudy and rainy, which presented other growing problems. I believe the purpose of the human element is to steward the land to maintain the balance. It's a good use of our intelligence, really, to continually analyze the changes and adapt to them.

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    4. This is why God designed diversity into nature, I believe. And it helps us maintain the balance better, when we spread out and diversity our requirements too. It's true what you say, even on the same piece of land, it can change from year to year.

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  18. Nice April Fools Joke! That is a darling little goat. Have you named it yet? Nancy

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    1. In my mind I'm calling her April. :)

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  19. well that is definitely the best april fools i've seen this year!

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