Thursday, April 28, 2016

Springtime means new life! Baby Goat!

Our bigger mama goat gave birth on April 26, 2016! She had a buckling, and I was hoping for a doeling, but you take what you get.

It happened around midnight, or close to it. I heard a high pitched noise coming from that direction and really thought it sounded like a rabbit getting caught by a fox or something. A rabbit will squeal loudly when caught by a predator, and that's what it sounded like. It was pretty loud and even made Molly Dog bark. We went out with a light to see if we could figure out what was going on, followed the sound to the goat yard where the does are right now till we get them moved to the new homestead, and found a pure white baby goat, already cleaned up by mama.

The doe was up and doing fine but not interested in the baby. She did the same thing last year and we didn't act soon enough to save the baby. We assume last year, it didn't get the colostrum it needed. This year, we were ready. We had a kid nipple and a water bottle for bottle feeding. We did put mama in the stanchion and feed her while holding the buckling up on the stanchion so he could drink some colostrum. When we knew he had gotten a few ounces, we milked the doe out and brought the milk and the baby inside with us.

That first night I was up about every 2 hours to feed the baby. He took only a couple of ounces at a time, and by morning I was exhausted. Still, since he was doing so well I upped what he was taking but stretched the time in between feedings for about the next 12 hours into 4 hours each. That gave me time in between to nap and try to make up for my sleepless night.

I've been milking the doe twice a day and her milk has just about gone to straight milk instead of colostrum now. I wound up needing to get a half gallon of goat milk out of the freezer to supplement his feedings with (it was also the same mama's milk from about 8 months ago) so I'll mix that with the newly milked portions until the previously frozen milk is used up. Then we'll use surplus milk for ourselves.

I follow the advice of a website called FiasCo Farm. They seem to have the best, most common sense goat rearing advice around.

Anyway, here's a picture of the little guy when we took him outside to play and we fed him out there.

Isn't he cute??

And, here's some video I took when we had him outside.

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