Tag Archives: goats in pasture

Joy of Being Young

As I get older, it gets harder to remember what it was like to be a child. Watching the goat kids reminds me of the joy of being young.

Nubian doe High Reaches Agate feeding buck kid
Any youngster knows you need plenty to eat to produce all that energy. Nubian doe High Reaches Agate stands patiently for her buck kid to drink plenty of milk before he bounds off to play.

Adult goats and I are alike in some ways. There are serious matters to attend to.

goats going out to pasture
Nubian doe High Reaches Agate is the last doe going out to pasture and the one kids follow when they get left behind as she always answers their calls.

For the goats those matters are mostly eating and raising their kids. For me they include eating, although I do less of that each year, taking care of my livestock which is family, writing, taking pictures and walking.

goat kid showing joy of being young
Those old does may stay at a walk, but not the kids. High Reaches Pamela’s buck kid shows off his racing form speeding by High Reaches Agate.

Kids aren’t burdened with these serious matters so much. Eating is important. The rest of life is exploring and playing. Everything is new. Everything has the potential for play.

shy goat kid hides behind Nubian doe High Reaches Rose
Nubian doe High Reaches Rose is busy eating the lush spring vegetation. This is the main occupation of the adult goats. Her buck kid is checking out the camera from his safe vantage point before daring to join the other kids.

Walking out to pasture the herd passes an old, broken sycamore log. We adults tromp by. Kids stop to nibble on the crumbling wood, jump on top and race along in their joy of being young.

Leaping goat kid shows joy of being young
Forget being shy. High Reaches Rose’s kid takes off leaping to race away with the other kids.

The south pasture is a long walk. We adults set a steady pace, stick to the path and focus on our destination.

enjoying life is part of the joy of being young
After a strenuous play session, these two buck goat kids are taking a break. They do try to keep an eye on where the herd is going as they hate to be left behind.

Kids stop to check out every plant, rock, fallen branch and blowing leaf along the way. When they get left behind, they race up leaping, bucking and kicking in their joy of being young and filled with energy.

goat kid antics show the joy of being young
This littlest buck kid is no slouch when it comes to kicking up his heels.

Out in the pasture the adult does get to work eating grass and weeds. This early in the season the grass, even the fescue is lush and tender. The only sound is the tearing grass blades.

cavalcade of goat kids shows joy of being young
The herd is drifting down into the creek bed on its way to the pasture gate. The slope is a perfect place for goat kids to race and leap down leaving their more sedate mothers behind.

Kids nibble on this plant and that. They sprawl out to sleep. They run up the hill and descend kicking up their heels.

goat kids on tree stump
Goat kids find many uses for an old, weathered tree stump. It’s good to nibble on. It’s good to standing on. Given some time, it’s good for playing king of the mountain on.

By the end of the afternoon the herd approaches the bridge on the way back to the pasture gate. The kids sometimes lead, sometimes follow. The does walk onto the bridge, cross and start toward the gate.

Goat kids playing on gym
These young goat kids still do more sliding down the gym ramp than running or jumping. In another week that will change.

Kids check out the creek banks, the bridge planks, the water below, the rock slope beside the bridge. Inside the barn lot the gym is waiting for more chances for the kids to play.

The does take this as the way things are. I feel memories stir reminding me of the joy of being young.

Goat kids are part of the action in “Capri Capers“.

Finding Protective Mother Goat

November is an iffy time for kids to be born. Newborn kids get cold easily. Having a protective mother goat helps.

High Reaches Butter’s Juliette is such a goat. She is very proud of her new baby born November 1. She was not impressed when I put a goat coat on the kid because she was cold.

Luckily the next day warmed up. The goat coat came off. The kid fluffed up and is fine, even on cold nights now.

During the summer, goat kids must stay at the barn until they are almost a month old. The grass is so tall, they can’t see their mother. Even a protective mother goat has trouble keeping track of her kids.

Nubian protective mother goat and kid

Even in the barn lot standing next to the barn, High Reaches Butter’s Juliette is standing guard over her kid. The doe kid is not worried. She is lively and curious.

Fall is different. A fall in dry weather is even more different. The grass is barely six inches tall. A kid is twelve inches tall and gaining daily.

Like most goats, Juliette hates to stay locked in the barn lot when the herd goes out. She is a herd animal. She stands and calls all day. Since she is a Nubian, these calls are loud.

There is incentive to let Juliette go out for the day. There is incentive to keep her in to feed her kid.

Newborn kids aren’t very active. Over the summer they may lay around sleeping most of the time for a couple of weeks. Winter kids seem to get active much faster. Juliette’s kid was racing around at a week old.

Still, a week is very young to go out tramping around the pastures. I hate to go out searching for lost kids.

Protective mother goat talks to kid

Juliette talks to her kid a lot. At a week old, the kid still listens most of the time.

Late one afternoon, when the kid was nine days old, I let Juliette take her out for a couple of hours.

The kid came in with the herd. The kid had a wonderful time. The kid was standing at the pasture gate with the herd the next day.

Another difference with the fall schedule is morning hay. This means the goats are happily munching through milking time and a little beyond. They don’t go out until noon.

A kid has only three to four hours to keep up. A protective mother goat can keep up with her kid that long.

I opened the gate. The herd walked through. After all, they weren’t hungry.

An hour later Juliette was still by the gate. The kid hadn’t gone over the bridge with the herd, so they were standing by the gate.

I picked the kid up and took her across the bridge with Juliette following. I set the kid down. The herd was close by.

That evening the herd came in. Juliette and her kid were not with them. I went looking.

Juliette was at the top of a hill with her kid. Protective mother goat that she is, she could see the entire pasture from this vantage point. She refused to come down.

I had to go up. Me, in my mucking out the barn shoes with slick soles, had to scale a hill covered with loose gravel (This is the Ozarks norm.) on a forty degree angle. This required using hands and feet along with trying not to think about the trip down.

Juliette stood there and watched me. She yawned. She wandered over to the side of the hill and started going down calling her kid to follow.

protective mother goat in pasture with kid

The kid may think a nap is due. Juliette stays beside her, not grazing more than a mouthful now and then. Danger may threaten. She must be on the alert.

I followed lurching from tree to tree to keep from falling. At least Juliette had trained her kid well to follow her so I wasn’t trying to carry the kid as well as stay on my feet.

Thankfully Juliette and her kid stayed with the herd the next day.

Nubian goat kids can get into lots of trouble. Capri is in top form in Capri Capers. check out this wild melodrama filled with villains chasing Capri’s owner.