May 4, 2011

The Goat Department: Baby Goat Update

So how are our newest homestead babies doing? Come see for yourself.

I reckon the biggest goat news that I sold CryBaby and her kid. It may seem rather sudden, but she didn't factor in to our breeding goals, and I figured it would be easier to sell her with her kid still very young and very cute. Our plan is to breed our own herd of Kinder Goats, which requires registered Nubian does and registered Pygmy bucks. (Why didn't we start working on our goal this year? The answer to that is in this post.)

CryBaby's double teat
CryBaby, being a Nubian/Boer cross, wasn't eligible for that. She had a good personality so I might have kept her for a milk goat, except for one flaw; she was double teated on both sides. This is probably from her Boer heritage, where double teats don't disqualify from the breed standard. For a dairy doe however, they are undesirable, though all four teats were connected to milk glands.

Napping in their hidey spot
One thing that has been interesting to me has been the difference in mothering styles between CryBaby and Surprise. CryBaby didn't like being separated from her kid, so consequently he followed her everywhere.

Surprise, on the other hand, tends to "hide" her kids behind the hay feeder in the goat shed. She then comes back periodically to feed them. At first I thought she was "forgetting" about them (bad mommy?), but when I coaxed them out to her in the pasture, she ran over very concerned (good mommy), nursed them, put them back in the shed, and went out on her own again. After a couple of unsuccessful tries to get them out, I realized that she was not comfortable with them out there.

One week old: first nibble of grass

We're guessing this probably has to do with the children and dogs next door. There are two elementary school age children there, plus three small dogs. We've seen the boy and girl poking leaves through the fence to the goats, and have also found rocks and trash on our side of the fence that didn't used to be there. On top of that, one of their dogs has gotten off it's leash twice. It immediately high tails it down the street to our yard (both times), and makes a beeline to the chicken yard to bark at the chickens. (For which Lord B, our rooster, challenged it to a duel. Fortunately for the dog, His Lordship was on the inside of the fence.)

Investigating the rooster (who is a very good sport, BTW)

When they were about a week old, Surprise started bringing her babies out, as long as the next door neighbors weren't outside with their dogs.

B however, can only take so much.

When children and dogs come out, baby goats would go in. Soon however, they were following her around all over the pasture, and she was finally comfortable with that.

Even though baby goats are still interested!

Other than that, the only other item of possible interest is that the twins tend to want to nurse only on one side. This leaves Surprise with an uncomfortable, milk swollen teat on the other side. She's a first freshener, so she's not used to being milked, nor has she quite figured out that nursing/milking relieves the pressure and discomfort.

Investigating Jasmine

I've been milking it to help with this, and the kids are starting to nurse some on that side. It's given us a taste of Surprise's milk, which is sweet and creamy. When the kids are two weeks old and able to eat a little on their own, I'll start separating them from Surprise at night, and milk her in the morning.

And off again

Jasmine is quite tolerant of them and patient, as are the chickens. CryBaby wasn't, but of course she had her own kid to be concerned about.

The kids are very friendly. In fact, I'm puzzled by the claim that only bottle raised kids are friendly. It's just been a matter of spending time with them every day. They are naturally curious, and want to come see who you are and what you're about.

Curious about the photographer

I'm still uncertain about Jasmine's condition. Sometimes I'm positive she's pregnant, at other times, I'm convinced she's not. We'll just have to wait and see.

I seem to say it a lot, "wait and see." Yet that's how it is with the "slow life" as some like to call it. Even though we wanted and chose this kind of life, human nature is still impatient. I admit to being impatient about a lot of things as well. Still, it isn't difficult to remind myself to take my time and enjoy each moment, each event.

I plan to sell these two, along with Jasmine's if she is indeed expecting. All proceeds will go to my Pygmy buck fund. Ideally I'd like to get two from completely different blood lines. That would give us a good start for our own line of Kinders.


DebbieB said...

So a Kinder is a Nubian/Pygmy cross? They sound perfect - compact and companionable, milk and meat givers. Great that you're able to sell your additional goats to fund the flock/herd that you really want.

Lord B just cracks me up. Like a little emperor, with fear of none.

Seeking Serenity said...

SO funny to see them jumping about nd chasing the rooster! Great photos :D

Susan said...

They are so much fun to watch - I love those ears streaming behind! It's interesting to hear about the different mothering styles, too. I have sheep and each ewe has her own style (or lack thereof). I have a neighbor with a pug that she lets "run free" - until I caught him trying to squeeze under my fence. Luckily, I got to him before the llama. Great pictures!

Ken and Mary of Fancy Fibers Farm said...

Lovely goat kiddies. They're fortunate to have such a caring Nanny. We raise Angora and Cashgoras and have 11 lovely little kids running amuck. Kids are such a hoot to sit and watch, as they bounce and run around. We built them a few little "playground" items, which they love to climb. Anyway, neighboring dogs make me leery. You need an LGD. They are quite protective of the little ones. My DW always knew a doe had given birth from the barking of the dogs. Some folks came out to look at some newborns and one of the LGDs moved so as to always keep himself between the kid and the visitors. Amazing. Anyway, look forward to reading more of your goat plans coming to fruition. Good luck.

Sherri B. said...

I love that some of the kids look like they have socks cute.

trump said...

I really get a big kick out of watching goats run around. Ive never had any goat milk, and i think i never will , im old school so its milk for me. Richard

Country Jane said...

Nice looking goats! I just wrote about ours a little bit today too. I totaly agree with you about the kids being friendly. We have to visit them every day, they are so much fun to play with, my children adore them!

I'm sending in a blood sample here soon to see if my other goat is finally pregnant, it took her for ever but we think she is now. She wouldn't take last year unless she was down to one milking per we'll see if that helped.

Jane in Alaska

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

You dont realize how small the babies are until you see how a rooster is the same size. Very cute.

Woolly Bits said...

I love the pix of the rooster and the goats - or the cat and goats nose to nose:)) I was once attacked by an angry rooster and fully believe that he could have done serious damage to a curious dog! I never thought that a fairly small animal like a rooster could become so angry and attack grown humans violently.... taught me a lesson:))

Nina said...

That Surprise is one smart mama! Lord B sounds like a really good roo.. I've a friend who had to get rid of 2 roos because they were just plain mean. Too bad about the wandering dog and neighbours kids. Dogs can do such damage and well, so can unattended kids. Have you thought about adding an Angora goat or two to your flock. Breeding them with the Pygmys would get you Pygoras and that is pretty yummy fibre.

bspinner said...

I have yet to read your blog without learning something new. Thanks so much for taking the time to do it. The pictures of the twins are so cute!!!

Leigh said...

Debbie, yes, Kinders are based on the Nubian and Pygmy breeds. It takes several generations to get a "true" Kinder, so it will take a few years before we have a pure Kinder herd. It will be fun to work on.

"Little Emperor" Very fitting!

Peaceful, that rooster is such a good sport too. He lets them sniff and investigate. Unlike the dog! LOL

Susan, I never realized mothering could differ among animals so. I'm wondering if Surprise was one who was separated from her own mother at birth and bottle fed. CryBaby wasn't, so she mothered just like her own mom.

Ken and Mary, what a great idea a playground is! We need to do that. Yes, we've debated the LGD issue and haven't taken that step. We live just outside of town, so are less likely to have problems with some of the wild animals others do. Dogs though, is a problem. Originally we got our llama as a guardian, but of course, we lost him.

Sherri, I hadn't thought of that but you're right! They do!

Richard, it's tough because not all goat milk tastes the same. Some tastes just like cows milk, some doesn't. You should at least try a sample some time. :)

Jane, wow, a blood sample! I didn't consider that with Jasmine. I have wondered if a human pee stick would work though, LOL. I hope your doe is settled and look forward to the test results.

Jane, they were a little smaller because they were twins. Funny to see them next to that rooster though, isn't it?

Bettina, oh my. That would have been a horrible experience. Some roosters are really aggressive and territorial. We were careful in choosing which rooster to keep and have been fortunate to have a good one.

I didn't mention it, but the day after the dog incident, my son and DIL came to visit and show her younger brother and sister the kids. I asked DS to help me with them, and that rooster came running right up to him and seriously examined his shoes. He took a peck at the shoe lace, but that was about it.

Nina, I hadn't thought about Pygoras. Hmmm. Something to consider. I only wish we had more acreage for more goats!

Barb, I'm so glad you enjoy it!

Tania said...

Thanks for the update on these little cuties. I love the way they frolic around without a care in the world, they are so much fun to watch...


Window On The Prairie said...

One week old and eating grass already? I've never had goats and didn't realize how fast they start grazing. We have cattle, and the calves start grazing at about a month old. Interesting. Do goats have a rumen?

Leigh said...

Tania, that frolicking is one of the best parts of raising goats. :)

Window On The Prairie, good question. Yes goats are ruminants. I think at this age they are mostly nibbling and tasting. Milk is their sustenance, but by two weeks they can be separated from their mother for about 12 hours so that she can be milked. The youngest kids are weaned is at 2 months, though many advocate dam weaning whenever she's ready. They really do digest her milk best, even after 2 months. The only problem with dam weaning, is that bucklings are fertile as young as 2 months(!)

Madness, Trouble, Squish and Milkbone said...

But Crybaby's boy was so cute!

Razzberry Corner said...

This post is so very interesting and informative, Leigh! It's really awesome to understand the different mothering styles. I bet Surprise was separated from her mother. Wow, that's amazing to find that out now by the way she mothers her own babies. I love Lord B. I know roosters are very protective - that's their job, to take care of the hens. Good rooster!

Leigh said...

BMT, he was indeed. The folks who bought them fell in love with him. It's nice knowing he and his mom went to a good home.

Lynn, roosters are interesting, aren't they? We feel fortunate to have a protective one who doesn't see Dan and I as a threat!