The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Naming the kids and protective mother goat

Frolicking goat kids

The problem with taking three posts to tell you about Friday is that I now have three days worth of goat excitement to share with you in one post. Let's see if I can be succinct....

Dwarf doeling

Goat eating clementine peelReader question 1: Do the kids look like you thought they would? The buckling (left) looks almost identical to his father and just like I expected. He does have a tiny bit of white frosting on his ears and maybe a couple of moon spots --- it's hard to tell because he's already so pale. The doeling (top) is a bit paler and has a hint of a dark line down the middle of her back.

Reader questions 2 and 3: What are you going to name them? Are you going to eat the buckling? The girl got the name Aurora when she was in the womb and it stuck. The boy might be dinner...or the farmer who sells us our straw might want the buckling to replace his current herd sire. Until we know for sure about the little boy's future, we're keeping him nameless.

Protective mother goat

Now moving on to my own observations....

Hidden baby goatsArtemesia is the world's most protective goat mother, and she actually takes it almost too far. Even though Lucy is extremely sweet, Artie is afraid to let the kids get close to our canine companion. Instead, she stashes the twins in a hidden spot like the one shown here (or, previously, on the milking stand) before she goes out to graze. I'm slowly working on making Artemesia feel more able to bring the little ones with her so she'll eat more non-hay.

Bringing a goat leafy branches

Mother goatIn the meantime, I'm stuck bringing the fresh portion of dinner to her. To that end, I'm spoiling Artemesia with her very favorite types of tree branches, which I attach to the side of an IBC tank for easy leaf picking, and with armloads of freshly cut rye stems. On that diet, she seems to be bouncing back from her pregnancy very fast.

Now for a pop quiz --- can you tell who's in the picture on the left? And which is the doeling in the photo at the top of this post?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Do goats show much tendency for freemartins if there are male and female?

In cows it's almost close to 100%.

Comment by Nita Tue Apr 26 08:44:29 2016

The kid at the left photo is Aurora ; and Aurora is the one on the right on the photo of the top post???

Comment by Jayne Wead Tue Apr 26 09:44:13 2016

Nita --- I hadn't actually heard of freemartins, so I went and looked them up. The internet seems to suggest that they're unlikely to occur in goats --- thank goodness! Since twins are the most likely result with goats, and since 50% of twins would be male/female pairings, that's a good thing. Otherwise, there would be an awful lot of sterile female goats out there! I'm guessing twins must be a lot less common in cows.

Jayne --- You know, after typing that, I started second-guessing my own IDs in the photo. I'd originally thought the one in the last photo was Aurora, but now I'm thinking it's the boy (and that the photo is just a bit washed out). You're definitely right about the top picture! :-

Comment by anna Tue Apr 26 10:27:46 2016
Will you be up to 100 cute goat pictures by the end of the month?
Comment by Gerry Tue Apr 26 20:20:42 2016
I thought Aurora was the one on the right, in the top picture too. The picture on the left however, I believe is the boy. More auburn on the top of his head and his hiny, than the paler ginger of his sister.
Comment by Chris Wed Apr 27 06:34:44 2016

Gerry --- If you count all the ones on my hard drive, it might be closer to a thousand. :-)

Chris --- I think you're right --- there's something about the boy's face that's pretty distinctive.

Comment by anna Sat Apr 30 15:09:38 2016

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