our first kid


12 Years
Mar 15, 2007
Washington State
Yesterday was an odd one at Greyfields. I have to does who are heavily pregnant. They have been bagged-up for weeks. I could feel the milk in there, but simply no signs of anything imminent. I felt they were playing a cruel trick on me, enjoying having me visit ever couple hours and taking a look at their backsides.

Well finally yesterday, around 2:30, I found Vera with some discharge coming out of her. I separated her from the other goats and llamas, then sat myself down expecting a long wait. It can be anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours after the first discharge. I've learned if you're entirely prepared for the birth, it takes forever. If you're busy with work, scrambling, then the kid comes too quickly. Goats are funny like that.

So, I was out there for probably a half hour. She was continuing to pass 'mucus' but really wasn't squatting or laying down to push. Then, I heard a funny noise in one of the pens which sounded like a goose having a sneezing fit or something. I peered in but didn't see anything unusual. Just the random free ranging chickens making nests. Maybe 20 minutes later, I heard the noise again. So, I went and took a closer look. In the 3rd pen, underneath a hen, was a baby goat. The hen was laying on him like a big egg spread across, I hardly saw him at first. I can just imagine what she was saying to the other girls.... "HEY, look what I laid!!"

So I quickly picked him up (buckling) and found him to be completely dry, clean and warm. So, he had been born and cleaned up by Vera. But here our problems began. I set him down next to her, and she proceeded to head-butt and smash him into the corners. She wouldn't let him anywhere near her. She looked terrified and had her ears pinned down trying to do anything in her power to get away from the little guy. Geesh! Teen-age mothers! So, we smeared the baby in the afterbirth and tried that. But, still she rejected him.

Now, this may or may not be a bad thing. Our plan was to milk, pasteurize and bottle feed the babies to prevent CAE, which our herd may or may not have. We have no idea. So, we at some point decided we would only do it for the does, since an adult buck or wether could not transmit CAE to anything. It only passes from mother to offspring. But, after waiting several hours, I went up in her and verified no more were on the way. So, we decided we would let the little guy nurse naturally and then slowly teach Vera how to be milked on the stand. In the long run, we would like to milk for cheese and to help feed pigs. But, first time mothers aren't going to produce vast quantities like a 1st freshener would.

So, when my wife finally got him, I got Vera in the corner and hobbled her front two legs. My wife got hold of one of the back lets, and we held her there while the little guy (aka Little Arlo, becuase he is the spitting image of his father, Arlo, a jet black buck) find him way to the teats. He got the hang of it, and Vera did drop milk for him... just as long as she can't see him. We have to keep her face distracted, because as soon as she sees him down there she starts kicking him. As of this morning, we're able to just hold her collar and he comes up to nurse without too much fuss. A bowl of alfalfa pellets keeps Vera quite occuppied.

So tonight, a neighbor is coming over and we deicded to stanchion her in the jug and see if we can 'graft' the two together. If they don't take within 72 hours or so, we'll probably milk her to bottle feed.

Wow! Amazing story! And the kid is adorable! Now I wanna get goats...
He's really silky smooth. Lambs, of course, are coarse and wooly. It's totally different! We've just been restraining momma again today to let the little guy eat. He has his own jug with a heat lamp and is very content to sleep under it. Momma is still confused. But, she's in her own jug, getting all the alfalfa pellets she can eat. At some level, I know she's enjoying that aspect of it.

Here is his daddy, proudly rubbing his face on the fence showing us who it belongs to. He is black, except for a little tuft of white hair up between where his horns were.


Vera is the one on the left.
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Congrats on the new kid! We used to have goats-I miss them terribly. This is the best time of year waiting and watching the does kid!
Good luck on bonding, you never know she may come around. First time moms can be a bit on the dumb side. But she must have been somewhat attentive to him since he was clean and dry when you found him. You would have thought she would have been calling for him! Out of sight out of mind?!
Have fun!
A little better today. She's licking him a bit and sniffing at his rear. But still she is trying to display dominant behavior, kicking him over, head-butting him and even trying to mount him. I think she's just confused. But, little Arlo has a full belly, which is the most important thing at the moment.

Oh, and his shot of BO/SE. I'd better get on that.

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