Monday, April 12, 2021

In Answer to A Question

There's been a question that, over nine years, has increasingly troubled me. What would we do if one of our goats dies before the other, and the one left behind had no companion? It's a rather inevitable thing, sadly. One day, we will find ourselves with a single, lonely goat, and lately this question felt too urgent to ignore, so Geoff and I did some research, and I even consulted Teresa Kasner, blogging friend and former dairy goat farmer. The consensus... add young goats to the herd. And we could see that this would be an ideal year to do just that, since even in early February it was obvious the Stay Home Season would be going on for at least another six months. From the time we determined to get at least one bottle baby, small breed girl goat, I began making regular calls to the feed store... Hello, it's me again, have any bottle babies come in?
Finally, we heard a promising reply, We have a mini-Toggenburg. She's a bottle baby. William joined me for an early drive to the feedstore, to meet this baby. She is a Nigerian dwarf and Toggenburg mix, born February 20th. The hope is she will be a similiar height to Ada and Tasha, and that they will be the best of friends, a goat trio! And yes, I was probably overly, naively, optimistic about goat relations! And if you are thinking... won't they have a similar issue in a few years, when possibly two goats have passed on, and they still get stuck with one lonely goat? Answer: I will think about that tomorrow. Now, can we talk about how cute she is??
She is very cute, we all think so. Unfortunately, her intended roommates do not agree, and have literally no interest, nor mild curiosity, in this usurper! The looks, the body language, the expressions of almost revulsion, from both of our ladies has been tragic, and hilarious. I made a Reel, to announce our new kid on the farm, and the real story is the clear disappointment on Ada and Tasha's faces. In the meantime, and I mean for two days, and this morning, we have been loving this new baby. And doing our level best to give Tasha and Ada all the time and space they need to adjust themselves and come around!
She falls asleep in our arms! It's the sweetest thing! I laugh imagining the habits I am forming, and what this will mean when she weighs 70 pounds! Her crate is all set up in the goat pen. I wish she weren't alone, but the nights are not cold, and I like to think the time near the other animals will help with everyone getting comfortable around each other. She's very easy going about her time in there, even overnight. And she was very excited about her 6:30 am bottle the next day.
When I shared the pictures of Ada and Tasha, someone had a perfect caption, "Can you believe this... ?" Which is exactly the question Ada must be asking Tasha, as they following the new kid's every move. And the new kid? She seems mostly oblivious to the stir she is causing. Even the chickens are a bit flummoxed.
Seeing her alongside the hens gives us a better idea of her size, which obviously is small.
Introducing the new kid, Grace Hopper. Aka Grasshopper.
She's already had visitors... happily, it's not hard to host an outdoor, socially distant, goat visit! Paul was living with us when the first kids arrived, 9 years ago, and Janece and Amira only got to enjoy it over Skype. This is way more fun to share with everyone. I was looking through some old posts... so much has changed since we first brought home goats! One thing I do remember, it goes fast, and all of this baby goat fun is fleeting. I am going to enjoy this time for all it's worth!
The routine is bottle, nap, frolic, repeat. It's a good life, and last night, to my astonishment and relief, we had a tiny breakthrough... tiny, and promising. While Maria fed Grace, Tasha made her first approach and came closer than ever before, even looking kindly on the new kid.


gretchenjoanna said...

Wow - so much fun at your house! I haven't seen a goat close up for *ages,* since our daughter was in charge of feeding all the kids at the farm at UCDavis and I watched her manage the loading of the trough while dozens of kids climbed all over her and tried to eat her hair. She always has wanted to have her own goats since then, but she lives where they would be hard to keep safe from mountain lions.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

A lot of fun, and a lot of work! Day 4, and I am feeling both invigorated and ready for more naps!
UCDavis is such an awesome school... at least what I know from friends who attended. I kind of think I could have had a good time there. Even in our suburban neighborhood, we have had to carefully construct our shelter against bobcats, weasels, hawks, coyotes, skunks, and raccoons. I would think mountain lions would definitely be a *next level* concern! I hope she can manage a way to enjoy goats and other farm fun in the future.