This past weekend two amazing miracles happened. After months of anticipation and many nights of worrying that I would screw everything up; our goats finally had their babies. Judy’s due date was on Thursday the 14th and Liza’s was on Wednesday the 20th. The day before and the day of Judy’s due date, I checked her over a few times throughout the day. I had heard that first timers usually kid a few days late anyway so I wasn’t all that concerned. But then around 5pm I went to check on her and saw Liza in the corner with babies. Well, so much for first kiddings going a few days late! Liza was six days early. This was the beginning of a whirlwind weekend and our experience of our first kidding with our first fresheners.
A few years ago, I begged and begged Dave to let me get goats. Because 1) They’re adorable and 2) goat’s milk!! But not only that, but goat cheese, goat’s milk soap, ice cream, the works! Eventually he did let me get two yearlings (Judy and Liza) and then a few months later he surprised me with two 1-week old bottle babies. Jump forward to last December when Judy and Liza were ready to be bred. They got knocked up big time by our stud buck, Ridge Runner. And now… they’re a few weeks away from their first kidding. Every time I look at their growing udders I start salivating at just the thought of the wonderful goat’s milk we’ll be getting soon. And of course, beautiful, bouncing baby goats! But the closer that we get to their kidding due date, the more and more nervous I’m getting. What do I need? Are they going to have trouble? How are they going to behave on this milk stand when they don’t even like me touching their belly?! Are the babies going to be ok? Did I feed our does correctly during their pregnancy? How do I actually milk a goat? Am I going to screw all of this up? I’m not going to lie to you guys, I’m really nervous.
It’s all been leading up to this moment, my friends. We got the goats, we built the barn, then we got some more goats. And now it’s time to (finally) breed the goats for the first time. I sat down with Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli and gave them “the talk.” But I wish someone would have given me the talk. Wait! No! Not THE “the talk.” The talk about scheduling goat breeding, what to expect when breeding goats for the first time and then the consequential cloud of goat math that has been following me around for the past few days.
Ever since we got the farm, I’ve dreamt of the day that I can hold a baby goat in my lap and bottle feed it in the kitchen. I’ve spent hours and hours watching baby goat videos on YouTube, read every book and blog that I could. And I’ve even bought tiny goat pajamas to have “just in case.” I’ve been nesting in preparation for baby goats. We were planning on getting some in February, around the time that the new goat barn will be done. But one night, I was in the kitchen and Dave had just gotten home. I heard the front door open and in walk two three-day old baby goats! They looked around and bleated as if to say, “Hey, nice digs! Are you our momma? That’s cool. Now feed me!” So there they were. Baby goats. In the house. My dream had come true. But I wasn’t prepared… what do we do with these babies?! Where do they sleep? How often do they need to eat? Let this blog be a guide for you on what to expect when you’re (not) expecting goats and all about my adventures in bottle raising goat kids in our house.