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Little Kids April 25, 2008

Posted by Laura in Farm.

The goat kids are growing quickly and rapidly becoming a nuisance to their mothers. They are nearly as tall as their mamas yet still want to nurse. And if you’ve never seen a kid request a meal, you’ve missed out. No polite hanging back, waiting to be invited. To stimulate milk flow, goat kids ram the does udders with their horned heads. It’s enough to knock the mama’s back legs out from under them as the kids get bigger. (I’m just grateful human children don’t have the same instinct- I’d give up nursing a lot sooner if they did!). Poor Crackle has two of them hammering on her at once. All the does are still allowing about 3 sips before they starting walking away, ending the meal, but it’s funny to see these tall babies get down on their knees and try to crawl underneath their mamas to nurse. Here are some recent pictures of them.

(Pop is infamous around here for getting her head stuck in the woven/barbed wire fence. We save ourselves a lot of hassle and and bloody fingers by keeping a big stick taped to her head so she can’t get it through. She doesn’t actually mind because it means that she can scratch her own back better since her horns can only reach back so far).

(Snap’s baby Snowball- are we original with names or what?- was born several weeks later than the others so he’s still almost small enough to nurse without looking silly).

(Betsy looks exactly like her mother, only with slightly longer ears).

(Here you can see they have been training under Pop’s leadership. That’s Lightning in front, followed by Cookie, and then Betsy. Yep, the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side).

(Okay, we confess that Snowball is our favorite. But with that cute little face, who wouldn’t want to scoop him up and love on him, which he still lets us do. He’ll sit in our laps for 10 minutes if we’re scratching his back).

We learned the hard way with ‘Mator last year that bucks are really stinky creatures with gross habits. We determined not to go through that again any time soon. That means that the bucklings have to be without certain testosterone-producing parts. We bought an Elastrator to take care of the job. Essentially, its a pair of pliers with 4 prongs onto which you place a special thick rubber band. You stretch it open, navigate it onto the necessary parts, and release the rubber band.

The goats are all fond of me, so I didn’t really want to be the face that they associated with this deed. But Joe is a bit more experienced in this area, so I held and petted them while Joe took care of business. Fortunately for me, the reaction is a bit delayed. It was a good 45 seconds after we left the goats that the discomfort set in. The boys were walking along and then their knees buckled and they sank to the ground. They had a hard time finding a comfortable position for a while until numbness took over, but they are none the worse for the wear now. (Between ourselves, Joe and I now secretly move the “S” in “Snowball” to the end of his name instead. Okay, it’s crude, but you’ve got to admit, funny).



1. Marci - April 26, 2008

I still love that stick taped to the head idea. Ya’ll are very creative. I think that last little bit is funny, but I can see where others would not be so humored. =)

2. Marci - April 26, 2008

By they way, since ya’ll are so good with names, you will have to come on over and take part in the name the lambs contest.

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