My Spring Miniature Dairy Goat Babies
Baby Number 1: Angel
Angel is the first baby of our 2015 season. She was born April 13, 2015 (6 days early). Her mother Snowball is Miniature Nubian. Her father Nikki is Nigerian Dwarf/Pygmy.
I keep a list of names that come to me from various places, books, movies, etc. When a baby is born I spend some time with them, look at my list of names and pick one. The name Angel was not on that list.
I came home from work and called to the goats as I do every day. All but Snowball came. Now she was not the first one due to have her baby so the last thing I thought was that she had a baby. I walked up to the barn and there she was with a perfect little baby that looked just like her. I bent down and looked at her and said you are a perfect little angel. And that is how she got her name.
Most babies are a little skittish around people at first. Then some will tame very easily, some take some time and some never seem to completely tame. Angel was born tame. She came right up to me and snuggled. Beautiful and tame just like her momma.
Pugsly & Cupcake
Babies Number 2 & 3: Pugsly and Cupcake
Pugsly and Cupcake were born April 16, 2015. Their mother is Little Miss. Their father is Inky. They are Nigerian Dwarf/Angora/Pygmy/Boer.
I was present for their birth. Cupcake was born first. She took a little while to be born. One leg was stuck so I had to help a little. Pugsly popped right out a few seconds after Cupcake. He was just waiting for her to get out of the way.
Pugsly looks like his momma and Cupcake has the wavy hair from her Angora roots. Pugsly just looked like a Pugsly and Cupcake got her name because of her one white leg. It reminded me of the Swirlie cupcakes.
They tamed very quickly and made a game of trying to jump on my back and shoulders when I sat with them. Cupcake looked like a parrot sitting on my shoulder.
Because them and Angel were born so close together they bonded and were always together. The 2 moms stayed together because the babies were always together. Pugsly even nursed off Angels momma Snowball a few times.
Baby Number 4: Chi-Chi
Chi-Chi was born May 4, 2015. Her mother is Almond Joy, her father is Rambo. She is pure Nigerian Dwarf.
I came home from work and it was a repeat of when Angel was born. Almond Joy did not come with the herd when called and I found her in the barn with her new baby. Chi-Chi was probably a few hours old because she was already fluffy and dry and nursing well off momma.
I was initially going to name her Echo because she is the spitting image of her sister Summer. She was very noisy and my daughter said Chi-Chi means noisy in Japanese. I liked the name and it stuck.
The second day of her life I noticed her mommas udder was over full. This is very normal. Snowball and Little MIss had the same problem and we had to milk them a few times to release the pressure. Almond Joy is different though. When she first gives birth she gets very nervous and does not like to be handled or messed with. She would not let us milk her.
By day 3 Chi-Chi could not latch on to nurse because Almond Joys udder was too full. I had no choice but to try a bottle. I always let babies nurse from their mommas. We do not purposely bottle feed. I always keep powdered goat milk on hand just in case I have a goat who will not feed their baby (had 2 last year). I brought her 2 ounces and she drank it in under 5 seconds. I had a bottle baby. So we started 2 hour feedings.
Day 5 right after drinking her bottle Chi-Chi went over to her momma and started butting her mothers udder like kids will do to get the milk flowing. Then she tried to nurse. She got her mommas milk flowing again, but has stayed on the bottle. I got her down to 2 bottles a day and she is the first goat I have ever heard of that nurses off her momma and drinks a bottle. I continued with the bottle feedings because I am not sure just how much milk Almond is producing and I want Chi-Chi to stay healthy.
When she drinks her bottle Almond comes over and licks my arm while Chi-Chi drinks. I like to think Almond knows I helped Chi-Chi when she needed it. Now when I get home I call Chi-Chi and she comes running from wherever she is to drink her bottle. She is one of the sweetest babies we have ever had.
Mystique & Jubilee
Babies Number 5 & 6: Mystique and Jubilee
Mystique and Jubilee were born on May 12, 2015. Their mother is Mona Lisa a purebred Oberhausli and their father is Rambo a purebred Nigerian Dwarf. That makes the girls first generation Mini Oberhauslis.
Mona does not like to socialize her babies. She keeps them away from people and other goats for several weeks. Because of this her babies tend to be harder to tame. Mystique and Jubilee are no exception.
I was present for their birth but this did not help to bond with them. As soon as they were steady on their feet Mona took them away from me and the herd.
I have read that Oberhausli goats are very mild tempered and easy to handle. This has not been my experience with this breed. I believe Mona will be our last pure Oberhausli. She is my daughters pet so will never be sold. She is easy to handle but very standoffish when it comes to her babies.
When Mystique and Jubilee turn 8 weeks old they will be put in a pen away from Mona so I can work with them and tame them up. Mystique will be staying with us and Jubilee has been sold as a pet. I do not normally separate female babies from their mothers until it gets closer to breeding time unless they are being sold or not taming up sufficiently.
Mac & Milkshake
Babies Number 7 & 8: Mac and Milkshake
Mac and Milkshake were born May 14, 2015. Their mother in Tiger Lilly a Pygmy/Boer mix. Their father is Rambo a pure Nigerian Dwarf. I arrived home just as Milkshake was being born. Mac had already arrived. They were perfect, healthy, active and started nursing almost instantly. Lilly is a very good mother, she has never had any problems. I did not name the babies right away. I think they were 2 days old when I came up with their names. Mac has already been sold as a breeder, so when he is 8 weeks old he will have his own herd. Milkshake will be staying with us
Tinkerbell & Pixie Dust
Babies Number 9 & 10 Tinkerbell and Pixie Dust
Tinkerbell and Pixie were born May 18, 2015. Their mother is Summer, their daddy is Rambo. They are pure Nigerian Dwarf. They have the most interesting story of all our 2015 babies. Summer did what Snowball and Almond Joy did. She did not come when called for dinner and I went up to the barn and there she was with Pixie Dust. Pixie was the tiniest baby we had ever had on the farm. She looked like Summers' twin sister that did not survive. She was beautiful. This was Summers first baby and she was a little confused but seemed to be getting the hang of it. She was washing Pixie and letting her nurse. All seemed fine. When I went to check on them later in the day I could not find Pixie. Summer had moved with the herd and left her behind. This kept happening. When a baby is born, I check on them and momma constantly the first 48 hours. I even check several times in the middle of the night. Almost every time I checked, Summer and Pixie were not together. I had to keep finding Pixie and bringing her to Summer. This can be very time consuming on 1.5 acres! On day 2 we could not find Pixie. My daughter finally found her under a dead tree covered in ants. I cleaned her up and brought her to Summer. She immediately started nursing. On day 3 I heard a baby crying when I was leaving for work at 5am. I run into the pen and there is Pixie all alone in the dark. I bring her up to the barn and there is Summer with Pixie! I was very confused. For 3 days there had been twins and I had never seen them together. I believe Tinkerbell had been born out in the field (she was the one we found under the tree) and Pixie Dust had been born in the barn. I was worried about Summer not keeping them together and not bonding well with them. She was a new, inexperienced mother. So I closed one of our gates and put Summer in the smaller pen so they could bond properly and not get lost. That worked miracles. They started bonding well and the twins were finally together. I have never had a momma give birth in 2 different places and not keep the babies together. It was such a shock. I was telling everyone Summer had twins and I didn't know it for 3 days. After seeing them together I saw the difference in their coloring, but not knowing there were twins, I did not notice that I had been dealing with 2 different babies.
Tinkerbell & Pixie Dust
Each year we have a new crop of beautiful babies. We also have first time mommas and experienced mommas. Each year we have different stories to tell. We never know how things will go with each momma and baby. We have lost a few babies over the years which is heartbreaking. We luckily had all healthy, happy babies this year. I have an estimated delivery date written down for each doe and get nervous every year as birthing time gets close. I love when I get to be there for the birth of a baby goat. We recently had our first set of triplets. Tiger Lilly gave us our first set, then Summer had triplets and Little Miss was the latest momma to bless us with triplets. We thought twins was exciting but triplets was wonderful. We have noticed that twins seem to be more common than a single birth with our goats.
Baby Number 11 Bruiser
Bruiser was born on May 21, 2015. His momma is Marceline and daddy is Inky. He is Mini Oberhausli, Nigerian Dwarf, Angora, Pygmy, Boer mix. He is the last baby of the season. His momma is not very tame. Her mother Flower was not very tame but I was working with her. She was getting tamer when tragedy struck. I found her collapsed in the barn covered in a yellow goop. She died within minutes. Someone must have sprayed her through the fence. Why I cannot fathom. Why hurt an innocent animal? This left Marceline an orphan. She became very skittish and afraid of people. She paired up with her grandmother Mona Lisa but would not come near anyone. I have been working with her and am making some progress. When I came home from work she was in labor and crying loudly. I found her and she was scared and confused since this was her first baby. Luckily she let me help her. I guess she was in too much pain to care that I was there. While she pushed I reached in and helped Bruiser come into this world. He was absolutely beautiful. He had big floppy ears that my daughter has wanted in a goat. He had 3 white legs and 1 black one. I found this funny since Cupcake, born earlier in the month had 3 black legs and 1 white one. Marceline was weak, but recovered quickly. She cleaned Bruiser and he was up nursing in record time. She watched while I gave him his colostrum gel and treated his umbilical cord. I was expecting him to be skittish since his momma is not very tame. Not the case. He was born lovable. Every time I go in the pen he climbs in my lap. We call him a puppy. He has such thick legs and body that he just looked like a Bruiser. Some people said he reminds them of a baby Clydesdale. He has the sweetest personality. I decided to put him and Marceline into the pen with Summer and Tinkerbell and Pixie Dust so Summer would have some company. Summer and Marceline were born close together and bonded as babies so I figured they would be good together. It worked out great. I initially told my daughter not to get attached to Bruiser because he was up for sale. But withing 3 days I was attached and decided to sell his daddy Inky and keep Bruiser for breeding. His temperament is so sweet and mellow, that is the temperament I want to breed. So Inky was sold to a woman who has 5 girls just waiting to meet Inky. He went to a great home.