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Thursday 27 February 2014

Photos: Goat Babies!

Good News: Three lovely babies were born last night!

All three kids are thriving and healthy.

This little girl is a beautiful LaMancha cross with alpine markings. She is the smaller of the twin girls that were born to my black LaMancha, Bessie Mae.

The Bad News: this goat is suck suck sucking on my finger because she isn't nursing on her mama.

This is Bessie Mae, turning away from the camera like a shamed movie star from the paparazzi. Bessie is not accepting her babies, maybe because of my interference. I wish I had known better. I thought I was helping her with her babies, they were born right into the snow and I toweled them off a bit right after they were born.

That was Bessie's job. Licking the babies clean is an important part of bonding. However, ALL THE BOOKS that I have on goat husbandry suggest getting in there to dry the babies off, assuring that it does not interfere with bonding between the mama and her babies.

Well, I beg to differ after last night. Bessie does not want these kids to nurse and she is not licking them because she doesn't recognize them. She is actually confused and looking for her babies, not realizing that they are right there in front of her face, needing her attention and milk.

So, I have been milking Bessie Mae and bottle feeding the little girls. This is a big job and they must be fed throughout the day every few hours. I was up throughout the night checking on them, trying to get the babies to nurse, bottle feeding, and scratching my head.

As if that was not enough excitement, when I went out again this morning I found another baby goat from a different mama! Ken aka Lena Horne (who kidded triplets last year) had one baby, a big healthy billy. She was already licking him and nursing and everything is fine. See? I wasn't even there.

Now I know. 

Stewie is very interested in the babies and was even licking them, but I'm afraid he is a poor substitute for a mama goat with an udder full of milk.

I'm focusing on the good news, three healthy babies and two beautiful does, and mamas with udders full of extra milk that we can use in the kitchen.

Also the chickens are growing like crazy and got to spend some party time in the greenhouse while the snow continues to melt.

I am exhausted. There are still two more pregnant goats due to kid at any time. I'm hoping for the best and forget what my books say, I'm leaving it all to mama next time.


  1. Wow! Just wow! So can you keep those baby girls alive by bottle feeding? How long? And will the mother ever let them nurse? I hope so, they are beautiful.

    1. I am forcing the mother to nurse, hoping she will accept them. They spent last night in the same stall and tonight they are penned up together as well. There is a chance that her udder is uncomfortably full and she won't let them nurse because she is in discomfort.

      That said, I can raise them on bottles just fine. They'll be eating grain and hay by about 8 weeks. Many people exclusively bottle feed their kids, it makes for a very social and friendly goat. Bessie Mae has the smallest teats, so she may have to go, especially because her maternal instincts are not strong. Those are two undesirable traits and no matter how loving she is to me, I need strong mamas and easy milkers!

      Just another day on the farm! I'm ready for a hot shower and a cup of tea!

    2. I am so glad you can help them thrive - like I said they are sooooo beautiful! Poor Bessie Mae!

  2. So cute and animal husbandry has a close connection with your herd, I'm sure it will all work out.

  3. Your baby goats are adorable! Makes this farm girl homesick!



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