Well, almost. Orla May was born March 17, 2008 at Ghosttown Farm. I still haven’t sent in her registeration with the Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association, even though I have the paperwork filled out. Bad goat owner!
Here’s Orla at two hours old. So adorable. So perfect. So new.
This was why it nearly broke my heart when I had to take her to the vet in order to get her horn buds fried off. She and her sister both made sad bleating noises when the vet held the iron up to their tiny hornlets. Thank goodness she doesn’t have horns now that’s she’s a sassy one year old who definitely looks for trouble and is the most stubborn goat ever (next after her mom Bebe, that is). None of the neighborhood kids have gotten their eye gouged out by a toss of her head, for example. Looking back on it, I’m proud that I had them disbudded even though it was a tough decision and it wasn’t so attractive….
A year later, I find myself becoming more and more nervous because Orla is going to become a mother now. It does seem soon, doesn’t it? Only a year old and having babies? Goats are natural mothers, though, and this early pregnancy is normal. She doesn’t look worried.
I, on the other hand, am a nervous wreck. It’s two months before Orla and Bebe will give birth to their kids. Since the last 8 weeks are critical, there’s so much to do. Yet there is no book (yet) called: What to Expect When Your Goat is Expecting. To that end, I’ve been reading all these websites about goat pregnancy and kidding. But I hate the internet. There’s too much information! All those injections seem wrong and freak me out. I’m frantically looking up selenium deficiencies and contemplating a copper bolus injection. I just read that I need to start giving the goats more grain, probably twice a day, with more alfalfa hay to increase their calcium and phosphorous levels. I’ll have to decide whether I’m going to bottle-feed or go natural. I’m leaning toward bottle feeding them myself. But I need to get Bill used to the idea of three plus goatlings in our apartment.
Aside from the dizzying information glut and my nervous nightmares, goat babies might be just like human babies. Because the amazing thing is: the stress is all worth it when they join us here on this Earth.