My sweet girl Buttercup, had her baby this last Sunday around noon.
She started her labor late in the afternoon on Saturday, but went most of the night and into the morning before we got our little bundle of joy born… a swet little tri-colored buckling that we have named Blackjack. It’s our goat theme for this year… candy and gum names! Jelly Bean and Blackjack are our two little goaties born this year.
I so wish it was a girl but we struck out twice this year, just boys! But that’s okay. Jelly Bean is doing fine and should be going to his new home sometime next week.
He’s a beautiful little boy, his daddy is a full Angora goat and his mom, Buttercup, she is a La Mancha mix with some nubian in her past. You can really see some of that in his coloring… he reminds me so much of the nubians I have seen! But he has super super soft curly hair, so I am hoping he will grow some lovely fiber and be able to stay here with us as a whethered buckling. Time will tell!
The biggest issue that we had was that the birth was a bit difficult. He had his one leg turned backwards, along his chest instead of pointing outwards like the other. The most perfect birth position is two legs and head forward, almost like a little diver. He was 2/3rds of the way there! But that bent back leg means trouble and hard labor for a first timer. I had to glove up and assist, which is hard, but you do what you have to do. You just don’t have a lot of time to get a big pregnant, laboring goat to the vet! We got him out and laid him next to her and she totally refused to even hardly look at him. She was in shock, and just not interested.
We’ve had now about 20+ births here at our little farm, mostly lambs and piglets, but never have we had a mom refuse a baby. It was so hard to take. Buttercup is such a loving and sweet doe, I would have never imagined her to refuse such a little sweet thing. But she did. She hates him. She won’t lick him, or touch him or even just smell him. Nothing. We tried and tried, all the textbook and movie moves. Wiping the afterbirth on him, leaving him a little icky, leaving them together in a small stall. Nothing. We even brought in a dog, because often that will scare a new mom into protecting her baby. She could care less. We brought in another goat… again, can cause protectiveness and a connection… nothing. She seemed happy to let Daisy take over. We worked for 24 hours, trying everything and nothing. Once when we had her cornered, and we tried to get her to at least nurse him for the first colostrum, it was like trying to hold down a Brahma bulll! She kicked, she fought, she reached around and grabbed him by the butt to try and throw him away! Oh my gosh. We had to stop because she was getting more and more aggressive towards him and we worried for his safety.
So, now we have a sweet little bottle baby to raise. Which in the end, is really not too bad. It was going to happen at some time, since Buttercup is a milking goat and that is why we bought her and Daisy. Daisy turned out to be a sort of dud… her udder and teats are so small, she is difficult to milk! We might try her again, if she does conceive, but we’re not going to actively try for that. Since Buttercup kidded so late in the year, she won’t be bred this year and we will just milk her until early next summer and see if we want to try again for another baby and milking season from her. Just not sure. She’s from an amazing line of milking goats and she’s already giving up almost a half gallon of milk a day happily. She loves to be milked. I think she mostly just loves the snacks but still, she’s a great milker. She’s just not a very good mom! I guess we just need to accept that and move on. She has!
I’m just glad that both are happy and healthy and we have a sweet little goofy boy to spoil for a few weeks. He’s already making himself at home! Funny little boy. Jumping around and happy as could be. Many people hand raise their goats so that they are friendly and good natured… also as a preventative from spreading CAE, a very common goat disease. And if you want milk from your goat, you need to remove the baby eventually, so we just weaned him much more quickly! Like oh, at birth?
The first week of milk from a goat doe should go to the baby if at all possible. It contains all the good colostrum to help build a good healthy baby. I figure that come Monday, we’ll be ale to start taking a share from her milk for our own needs. We are not huge milk drinkers but I do love to make cheese and bake with it as well. We shall see how this next step in our dairy plans goes! I’m so excited. I tasted a wee bit yesterday and it’s good. Nice and creamy, very much like regular whole milk. We chose a LaMancha goat doe for that very reason. They have the highest butterfat of most goats and thus will make a great cheese and also taste very much like what we are all used to. We can share with Junior easily, and soon, we should be swimming in milk, since a doe will increase her production as the kid grows or as you milk her more and more. Her mother could easily do a gallon to a gallon and a half a day, so we hear! That’s plenty for us all to share. And she doesn’t mind… she loves the snack treat of milking and trots right up to the screen porch and hops right up on her stand, ready to go!
Win win situation!!!