I woke up Monday to the sound of a distressed goat, only to then recognize the sound as that of a baby goat calling for it's mom. Happy to think that a baby goat was born, I nudged dh about it, rolled over and went back to sleep. When at last I woke up it was kinda late. I took a shower and before long, made my way outside where dh was tending to the goat baby we had earlier that day expected to find. Surprise, surprise, there were two, only... sad news.... one had died. The other one, alive, was in my husbands arms and he told me that the mom goat didn't seem to be tending to this little one,and he suspected neglect was was happened to the other one that he had found frozen in the snow. He had found the one, now in his arms, under the heat lamp in the goat shed.
We brought the baby inside to warm it and clean it off a bit more than he had out in the goat pen. Wondering what to feed it, I began looking to see what kind of supplies I had, like baby bottles that would be good for a little goat- kid.
I found nothing... except for a cat bottle. (Drats! ) We had only some "old" milk-replacer powder, so I located a can of condensed milk from my cupboard, just in case, thinking that might do the trick in a pinch. After debating our next course of action, we decided to give mom goat another try feeding the baby, and took the baby back ooutside.
We were sad when the baby just cried and cried, and was ignored by mom and the rest of the heard. Mom seemed completely disinterested, as were the rest. Off to the store I went to get some supplies.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, mom got another try...even a close encounter, when dh put the baby on the moms teat to nurse. It was quite a process.... and the idea that mom would not let the baby die was short lived. When I got home, plans were in progress for bedding and bottle raising a little baby goat.
I must say, baby goats are both amazing and adorable. The notion of having a pet goat or sheep that is so very cute and follows you around like a dog is appealing to a part of me, but I know goats get lonely and I know what trouble Mary's little lamb got her into when he followed her places that goats were not supposed to go. I was not feeling very thrilled about the prospect of raising a goat this week and in the weeks to come, but here were were.... baby goat in the kitchen....feeding supplies.... and the baby needed to eat. Someone had to feed the "little guy." (Which actually was a little girl.)
We soon made the decision that raising a bummer goat, no matter how cute, was not really what we wanted to be doing... so we began calling around to people we knew to see if anyone was in the mode, or in the mood, for mothering a little newborn goat. Fortunately, it wasn't long before we receieved a call from someone we did not even know, saying she would be happy to rear the little dear.
Our new little friend was soon delivered to it's new home, where it will be raised by a caprine expert.... a woman who raises baby goats by hand a lot of the time. She has a plethora of animals; she has dogs, cats, chickens, pigs, horses and get this... "nineteen" goats. The best part is that she has two human kids of her own to help her feed and care for them all, including the newest addition that we delivered to her today.
When we arrived she told us the sad story of how just yesterday she had one of her female goats die. The goat, who had a particularly large set of horns, had a strange accident with her own horn and had to be euthanized. The doe was pregnant, and they had tried to save the babies, (of which there was five) but unfortunately, they died along with mom. I suspect, she welcomed the new life we brought to her door. All I know is that I felt like she was definitely more prepared than we were, to take on the responsibility of being a goat's mom.