Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Our Goats- A story of Life, Death and Birth.

At about 11, I asked my parents if I could have some pet goats. Sure enough, Fluffy and Blackie arrived a few months later. A few weeks after they had arrived, we were surprised to discover they'd given birth during the night- Bobby and Buddy. Sadly, Blackie was mauled by our one of our dogs and a few months later Fluffy was mauled by the other one.

Gigi watching over the goats prior to the arrival of kids

In a short space of time, I went from two goats, to four goats and back to two goats. Sadly the dogs had to be put down. It was a hard lesson for me about life and death that comes with the responsibility of pets.
After the dog/goat episode my parents bought another 4 or 5 goats. When Bobby and Buddy were old enough, they started to breed.

Over the years a few more goats have been added to the herd- some bought, some born; and we've lost some in the herd- some have died from sickness, others from old age, others sold on.

Fast forward 15 years and as of last Friday, the goat herd numbered 19, some descended from the original two goats purchased back in 1999. Over the weekend we have had a baby goat explosion. 13 kids have been born and there is still one nanny yet to kid.


The first arrivals- Twins!


It hasn't been smooth sailing though. One of the nannies gave birth to a stillborn, which wasn't fully formed. I had the unpleasant job of having to bury the poor thing. One of the first time mums gave birth and just walked away, she obviously had no idea what to do. Her kid was found lying in the shelter almost dead. After a day of being wrapped up in blankets and being fed via a pipette the kid miraculously bounced back to life.  Another nanny had triplets and abandoned the runt. So now Gigi and I are bottle-feeding two little female kids.


The bottle fed babies- Dora and Josie

Gigi loves the goats. She loves going out into the paddock to visit them, she loves feeding them and she loves walking around the paddock looking for the baby goats. She especially loves the 'rejected' baby goats. Gigi always wants to help bottle feeding them and loves it when they follow her around.


 

Helping Nana to bottle feed Dora

Having goats during my childhood and into adulthood has been wonderful learning curve for me, one full of hard lessons and happy times. Over the years I have learned to love the funny little personalities each goat has. I'm grateful that my parents gave me the opportunity to have pets of my own and I'm proud to be able to offer the same opportunity to Gigi.

Saying hello to Black Betty