We are getting closer to meeting all of the girls. I told you there were a bunch!
Lucy has got to be one of the most difficult goats we've ever owned. We bought her and her mother from a friend when she needed to get rid of her goats. Her mother was apparently used as a roping goat. Roping goats are used to train kids how to eventually rope calves. Her mother had a huge distrust for humans, which I totally understand, and passed that down to Lucy. She does not like human contact. She will not let you pet her and will stay at the back of the herd. Funny thing is, I was able to milk stand train her this year. She had her first kid in February while we were away on vacation. After letting her baby feed for 8 weeks, I decided to try to catch her and start milking her. It was a constant struggle for the first few weeks. We would have to chase her to catch her, pick her up to put her on the stand, and hobble her feet to keep her from kicking while trying to milk her. After the first week and a half of milking daily, I was able to stop hobbling her feet. Over the following week, I no longer had to pick her up to put her on the stand, although she still would make me chase her. By the end of the 3rd week, she would come to the gate and most of the time would come out on her own and run into the dairy and jump on the stand. She didn't give a ton of milk as a first freshener, but I'm glad we were able to get her on the stand to milk her. The goats understand that being on the stand means they get a special food treat. That's pretty good incentive for them! I hope that she is easy to retrain next milking season.
Ivory is one of our newest does that we purchased this year. We've never owned a Saneen goat, so we didn't really know their personality. She is very laid back. She was so timid when we first got her and would only come to you if food was involved. After a lot of work and plenty of treats, she has broken out of her shell and become people friendly. She tends to hang back when the rest of the herd goes out to pasture. She really doesn't like to be close to the rest of the herd of the bigger goats. Before she gave birth to twins in early May, we had her in with our kids that were born this year because we didn't want to take any chances of one of the alpha does headbutting her in the side and hurting the babies she was carrying. Yes, a goat can abort her babies if she gets hit in the side during pregnancy. She is not a goat that challenges others. She will generally run the other way, but that doesn't mean the other goats won't try to get in a cheap shot here and there. Most afternoons, you can find her patiently waiting by the gate, letting out her subtle cry to tell me she's there and ready to be milked. She really likes a lot of attention from me in particular. She has become very bonded to me and my oldest son. I'm anxious to see how much milk she produces next season.
Rey is one of Ivory's twins that were born in May. She has a very sweet disposition. She and her brother are very bonded to my oldest son because we gave him the duty of bottle feeding them for a month. Like her mother, she and her brother tend to hang back from the herd. They stay together most of the time and do their own thing. They know that if they hear us calling for goats to come running because there is a treat involved. I love her cute face and the ears-I just love the "flying ears" on the Saneen.
Some of you have had the pleasure of meeting Belle. If you visited us at Fire and Water Festival in Arnaudville in April, you may have seen her with us on Saturday. She is a sweet soul and loves attention. She even helped one little boy get over his fear of animals at the festival! Belle had a little bit of a rough start. She apparently aspirated on some amniotic fluid during birth which caused a cough. Her mother rejected her because of it, so we had to pull her to bottle feed her. To this day, more than 5 months later, she still coughs occasionally. One vet told us that it's possible that some scar tissue formed because of the aspirating. That hasn't slowed her down any. She is very bonded to all of us because we took turns feeding her. Even my youngest boys took turns bottle feeding this sweetheart. We can't wait to see how she grows up and how her personality develops the older she gets.