Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

Add to My MSN

Raining (Goat) Kids

4/2/2014 4:32:00 PM

Tags: goats, kidding, Montana, Maggie Bonham

“Goat Baby Alert! Goat Baby Alert!” I woke up to my husband’s shouts.

Lulu's Kids

“Which one?” I asked, but he disappeared and hurried back down to the barn. Just as I barely finished dressing, he had brought two very wet, shivering kids with their umbilical cords still dragging into the house.

“It’s Lulu,” my husband said.

“Lulu?” My pregnant Sable doe hadn’t looked that pregnant. In fact, I wouldn’t have guessed that she was pregnant except her udder had filled a few days before. Two kids – two big, healthy, heavy kids – wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. Where in the heck did she hide them?

We brought the kids into another room away from the dogs, grabbed the towels, a ceramic space heater, and we both set to work on the two. The big brown kid proved to be a doeling; the white one that looked like Lulu was actually a buckling.

“Uh, I better call the buyer and warn him there’s two on the ground.”

Lisa and Lulu

I had bought Lulu and her sister, Lisa, from a rancher whom I had met through the Farmer’s Market. We both loved goats and he had two doelings a couple of years ago that he had no room for. I sold him Lisa’s daughter last year. This year, he contacted me with the story of the misfortune of his daughters’ 4-H project. Their prize Saanen had caught herself in a fence and strangled herself. I agreed to bring both Lisa and Lulu so he and his family could see them and decide if they wanted to buy them back. I had warned him both does were pregnant and due any time.

So, on the day he and his family were seeing the does, Lulu kidded. Typical.

With the kids dry, we brought them back to Lulu who took them immediately and let them nurse. We moved them all to the kid pen. A little later, I went down to the barn to get the girls ready to meet the potential buyer. As I was going to get Lulu’s kids, I heard a small “maaaaa!” in the main goat pen.

Another one?

Welcome, Kid

Belle's Kid

I closed the kid pen and went outside to the main goat pen. I was met by a small LaMancha newborn with a number of very concerned does looking at it. Obviously, this was Belle’s kid, but Belle didn’t look all that concerned about it. The kid was fairly dry. I moved Lulu and her kids out of the kid pen, and moved Belle and her kid into the pen.

Lisa and Lulu and her kids charmed the rancher and his family, so I had four goats leave. I knew I’d miss them, but I also knew they were going to a terrific home. I then focused on Belle and her buckling (as I found out) kid. Belle kept moving away from the buckling and refused to stand still for him to nurse.

So, I put her in the milking stand, called a stanchion, in the hopes that the little guy would give her the right idea and nurse on her. I did that twice and kept Belle and the buckling separated from the herd inside the barn in the hopes she would take care of him. At night, I saw the buckling lay down and Belle laid down as well. I figured he’d cuddle up to her in the night.

Bottle Baby

The next day, my husband told me that the little buckling was cold. “She won’t keep him warm.”

I sighed. We had a bottle baby again. Not my choice, but then it never is. Despite being a lousy mama, Belle was my best milker now that Lisa and Lulu were gone. Of all my milk goats, Belle, Annie, and Lisa were my best producers. So now I had to keep the baby inside until he was tough enough to handle the cold weather without having someone to keep him warm. Either that or hope for warmer weather. In March, that’s hit or miss in Montana.

Next Up

I was wrong when I thought Annie would kid next. Sigh. But I do have three very pregnant does still ready to give birth. They’re huge and their udders are filling. Should be any time now.

Related Content

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

The summer days are getting longer, and so is the list of barn chores! Goats are kidding, cows are a...

No Rest in the Winter!

Traveling with Goat School on the Road, and learning all about newborn kid hoofs.

Be Careful With Red Kidney Beans in The Slow Cooker

Use care when cooking red kidney beans in the crockpot. The beans contain a toxin that can be activa...

Available: Experienced Baby-Goat-Sitters

Cam babysits a baby goat for the weekend.

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.