January 15, 2011

The Proper Care and Feeding of Kids...

...goats, that is!.

I'm not sure what most people think of goats.  As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure that most people don't think about goats on a very regular basis.  I certainly didn't used to.

Since we have a tad bit of acreage in these here parts (and I do mean a smidgen!) David decided it would serve us well to get a couple of goats to keep the weeds down on the back of our property. 

What could be easier than lawn mowers who take care of themselves, right?


David took the girls with him to the auction to pick up said lawn mowers.  He wanted me to go too, but I was so behind on so many things and it was exactly seven days before Christmas.  And staying home alone is one of my favorite things, mostly because it rarely ever happens.  (And I can only hide from them in the bathroom for so long each day!)  The first phone call I got from him was to see if I were willing to bottle-feed any baby goats, should the need arise.  I actually love to bottle-feed baby critters and had no problem agreeing to that....

...exactly one week before Christmas.

...when I still had a lot of shopping and all of my wrapping to do.

...when  I seem to never have the time to do the things I should be doing, much less anything extra.

Yes, I am truly brilliant sometimes!

They ended up coming home with three adult females, two with kids and one expectant mom. 



It doesn't help that we have had an unusual amount of rain for this normally desert-like place, which seems to have started right around the time David and the girls brought the goats home! 

What on earth were we thinking?  No clue.  I just know that I melted when I first laid eyes on the baby goats.  Yeah, I know they're kids...and the act of a goat giving birth is called 'kidding.'  And I'm not even kidding about that.

Okay, I need a minute to wipe the rotten tomatoes off my face and...

Where was I going with this again?

The 'kids' seemed fine.  They were different sizes, but from two different mothers.  Who knew what their ages were?  And Pregnant Momma?  Who knew how far along she was?  They don't exactly give you any of those fun facts when you buy your goats at auction.  We found this out the last time we bought goats from the auction.  We ended up getting a goat that had pink eye.  We figured it out, went to the feed store to get the proper meds, and came back home to find that she'd had a baby while we were gone.

Totally.  Not.  Kidding.

*dodges more rotten tomatoes*

So, the goat that come from who-knows-what-sort-of-place came with pink eye and a bun in the oven.  We had no idea what to do!  She was already blind from the pink eye and I'm pretty sure that wasn't the only thing wrong with her.  We realized she didn't look pregnant because she was so malnourished that you couldn't tell.  Yeah, she was one of our more expensive 'lawn mowers!'

The baby goat died three days later.  We had kept in close contact with a few from the feed store and even got some frozen goat colostrum to feed the baby in case its mom wouldn't be able to nurse.  We did all we could, but had no clue about what we had gotten ourselves into! 

That sucked.

But somehow, all of that seemed not so clear when coming face-to-face with this little guy:

Yeah, he's so cute it hurts! The other goat was equally adorable..but she died a week after we got her.  We don't know why, but we also don't know the situation that she came from either.  If you're doing the math, you'll see that she died on Christmas Day. 

Yeah, that sucked too. 

We are slowly feeling our way to becoming proper goat owners.  I just can't look at that sweet little Nubian Goat face and think of him as just a lawn mower!  He runs up to me when I go out to feed them and he tries to eat my pants.  He's really starting to warm up to people and loves a good scratch on the head.  It drives David crazy that we actually have to BUY FOOD for our 'lawn mowers' but that's what he gets for bring home goats  that were either pregnant or nursing.  They need more that just pasture grass.  (Yeah, we know that NOW!)

I've been doing a lot of Googling here lately, trying to learn all I can about these critters.  Google is an interesting thing, you know?  I was typing in random phrases and words that would be used when referring to goats.  Did you know that searching for pictures of 'goat colostrum' would produce a picture of a blonde bombshell with a tiny little nurse's costume on?  That's a question I could have gone my whole life without knowing its answer.  You have to scroll down a bit to find it, but you certainly won't miss it!  I don't even want to know what would possess someone to...NEVERMIND!

*shakes head*

I also learned that some body builders actually take goat colostrum as a supplement to help them bulk up.  Some guy was telling another guy where to get it in capsule-form but the other guy preferred it 'fresh.'

Sorry...I just threw up in my mouth a little!

I had to stop Googling then.  It was time.  I'd already learned quite a bit about goats and kidding and half-dressed nurses and muscley dudes with strange cravings and...

Next time, I think I'll just go to the library for my information!

So, if you happen to be reading this and you happen to know a thing or two about goats and have any websites or names of books you'd like to share (that DON'T have anything to do with trampy nurses or protein shakes that should never, ever, EVER exist) please feel free to share! 


Laura said...

Leann, once again you've got me laughing. Love ya, L

Anonymous said...

That picture is toooooo cute! I would be in love too!

Trisha R said...

Lost two right off the bat, eh? :-( Maybe you should have started with one or two goats... not a whole family! Hope the rest make it and your lawn looks as well manicured as those in Hollywood, baby!