Category Archives: goats

Goodbye Georgina, hello bunnies

Took my goat to work yesterday. Georgina melted everyone’s heart and a few people offered to buy her. This bodes well for my future in Nigerian Dwarf goat trading.

I held her on my lap for most of the day, where she slept curled up in a cuddly ball. Then her new owner met me at the station and took her away, back to Lake County, where she had been conceived. She’ll get to be around her half-sisters and brothers, and I’m sure she’ll have a great life. I can’t wait to see photos of her in 4-H competitions, where I’m sure she’ll win all kinds of prizes.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Bebe doesn’t seem to miss her baby, though her sister seems a bit lonely. I plan on holding her a lot, and milking Bebe more often, to take the place of Georgina.

In other baby animal news, here are the newest batch of bunnies! Six of them.

Which goat?

I’ve been staring at the goatlings’ backsides lately. They have little tiny udders. I simply can’t believe it! They’re only two months old, but they’re becoming little ladies.

which goat has better milking potential?

Anyway, I had a bit of a Rumpelstiltskin moment when Bebe’s former owner emailed me, asking for photos of the doelings–front, side, and back. They were taking their doe from the buy-back agreement we had made when I bought Bebe, all preggers. I thought the family only wanted a doeling who was polled (without horns) but it turned out they wanted to take Orla or Georgina, dependent on their backsides, because the family wants to show the goats in 4H and other Nigerian Dwarf shows.

When I look at Orla and Georgina, I guess I know that Georgina is a better looking goat–she’s got a straight back and long legs. So it wasn’t a surprise when the family decided they wanted Georgina. The mom explained:

“She is a lot more level across her topline, her rump is less steep, she has more width accross her chest, and she has a wider escutchen.” The escutcheon is an index for milking–the wider the better milk production.

But Orla is (truth be told) my favorite because she’s so docile and sweet. So we are all happy! The mom said it was a hard choice because both of the girls turned out really nice. And she predicted that next year, after I breed Orla, I’ll have more milk that I can handle. She said Bebe’s offspring often milk out 3.5 pound of milk! That’s almost a gallon! And, Orla’s got a suitor with blue eyes just waiting for her.

Goat update

For those of you who can’t snuggle up to the little goaty ones, here’s a photo that attempts to get close enough that you can. almost smell their heads (grassy with a touch of milk).

The whole family loves our back stairs. I realized we have a pretty good set-up because the goats get their exercise running up and down the stairs all day. And lately the little ones set up camp in a secret spot between the roof and the back porch. It’s the perfect nook that probably appeals to their cave-dwelling instincts.

A goatlings day involves drinking from Bebe, playing, eating a little bit of grass, taking a nap, peeing, eating, then making tiny yellowish orange turds, then more napping. At night they sleep in a straw-lined caged run with Bebe and Bilbo.

This chicken wants to know why she isn’t getting as much attention. So many reasons.

Birth story

I woke up at dawn to the turkey gobbling. This is fairly normal. He gobbles like a rooster crows—in the morning and throughout the day. It’s driving us crazy. But he was gobbling over and over again, a danger gobble! So I ran downstairs and Bebe came running up to me, bleating and looking at me with distress. Tail up. That’s always a sign of pending birth. But I thought it wouldn’t be for another two weeks! Luckily, I’m obsessive, so I had all the supplies—the iodine, the petroleum jelly, gloves, towels, bottles, colostrum, beet pulp and oats—ready to go.

I gave Bebe her favorite snacks of jade plant, Heart to Heart flakes, and apple, then went back to bed. I had a dream that she had four tiny babies and one of them was a cow.
A few hours later not much had happened—I went to a meeting–but Bebe was still bleating every five minutes or so. I didn’t see her dialated or anything. So I went out to do some errands. Got a new tire for the truck, bought some plants and seeds. When I arrived home I went directly to the backyard, and saw a streak of gold and white.

Two adorable babies! Still wet, and covered with goo. Bebe had the afterbirth hanging out her backside. She was patiently licking her kids clean, and making wonderful deep bleating noises, which they would answer with high-pitched calls.
After a bit of staring and feeling tremendously good, I crawled into the pen and helped Bebe out a bit—washing off their faces, and dipped their umbilical cords with 7% iodine solution (to prevent infection). When I picked them up, they cried like babies!

Bebe gave me some licks, then she ate the placentas. How funny it is to observe an herbivore eating something so bloody. It seemed like a chore. I gave her some beet pulp and oats warmed up with water, and she drank a ton of water. She’s had several other kids, so this just seemed like another day in Bebe’s life.
The goatlings are adorable, playing with each other, sleeping, and when you lie on the ground near them they come running toward you. So cute!
For those of you wondering, Bilbo seems bored by it, and a little left out, like Eoyore.