All of the winter kids are now over a week old. Their mothers want to go out to pasture with the herd. The goat kids try to go out with them.
Normally I won’t let kids go out
when they are so young. They tend to get lost.
Winter changes things. The goats go out later in the day. The herd comes in earlier. They don’t go all over, but stay in nearby fields.
Noon is soon enough to open the
pasture gate. The frost is off the grass. The kids are sleeping – or were
I start off toward the gate to a
chorus of yelling. Every mother goat is calling her kids. They are hungry and
The herd delays while the kids nurse. The does are now ready to depart. The kids are ready to play.
Finally the does go out the gate. Mothers
are still calling their kids who seem to be ignoring them. Until they don’t.
The does go out through a gate to
the small pasture, turn left and go out the pasture gate. The kids don’t know
about this. They race down to the corner of the barn lot into the cattle
Panels will stop adult goats. Goat kids try to go out with their mothers by climbing through the panel holes. I can let them go or go chasing after them snagging them one or two at a time. I let them go.
The herd crosses the bridge. The
kids stop to inspect this new object. The herd leaves except for Juliette who
will not leave her kids behind.
The kids notice they are left.
Juliette takes them back to the barn lot. The kids climb back in through the
fence. Juliette comes in through the gate. All return to the barn.
The goat kids will try to go out some other day.
Goats and their antics are highlighted through stories and tongue twisters in “For Love of Goats“.
Pulling weeds is no fun. Knowing the weeds shouldn’t be there if only you had mulched properly in the fall makes it worse. Gardening with goat kids makes it bearable.
Goats are not welcome in my garden. They like too many of the vegetables and trample the rest.
goat kids is different. Kids don’t really eat much until they are three to four
My bottle kid enjoys hanging around me for company. He relies on me the way other kids rely on their mothers for protection and daring to go exploring. Besides, he usually has a lot of fun following me around as I go interesting places.
The kids except
for the bottle kid were supposed to be out in the pasture with their mothers.
That didn’t work out very well. I ended up with all four.
The kids explore everything with their mouths. They eat dirt as they are establishing their rumen residents. They nibble on the weeds. It’s a shame they can’t pull the weeds too.
I used the potato
fork to loosen a row of weeds across a garden bed. One or more kids would come
over to check out the weed masses I pulled out, shook dirt from and tossed into
Dead nettle and
chickweed have fibrous roots. They sprout in the fall and spread out their
roots over the winter. The root mat is a couple of inches thick and continuous.
It must be broken into small chunks to protect the back.
Pulling weeds does get boring after a time, a short time. Gardening with goat kids lengthens that time. Then they get bored.
It becomes nap
time. There are four kids. I can carry two at a time. The bottle kid is now an
I pick up
Natasha’s two younger ones. The bottle kid (I know, he needs a name. I’m
thinking.) follows me. His sister follows him.
The kids move back
into their favorite spot in the barn and curl up for naps.
The fun part of raising goat kids is watching them play. They find playgrounds everywhere.
Goats trace their wild cousins into the mountains of Asia. Mountain animals climb. Goat kids love to be on top of things.
In the barn the kids use their mothers for playgrounds. After a big rainstorm, all my does are covered with mud from little muddy hooves standing on them as they try to sleep.
For the most part goat mothers are tolerant. They ignore the little hooves bouncing on them and leaping onto their sides and backs.
In the barn lot the kids race up and down the goat gym. When they finally wear out, the gym steps make great places for a nap.
The fallen sycamores are cut into short pieces of firewood. After playing on the pieces, these little Nubian does find a good place for resting.
The pastures offer the most opportunities for finding playgrounds. The grassy parts are only good for naps. The woods and ravines are the best.
The ravines have wet weather creeks in them. These are usually deeply eroded channels snaking their way down the spaces between the hills.
Barely six weeks old these little Nubian bucks are already testing their fighting skills. the edge of the creek bed has good places for this and stumps for napping.Nubian
When water travels at high speed, it undercuts trees along the channels. It leaves boulders exposed. Kids jump down from the pastures onto these perches. They leap back up. They play king of the mountain.
Last year’s storms blew down many trees. It will be years before these fallen giants are gone for lumber, firewood or rot away. Until then, they are another source of kid playgrounds.
Kids leap up onto the trunks and chase each other up and down. Kids get up at each end and challenge each other or squeeze past each other. Their balance is amazing as they race at full speed up these rounded paths.
The fallen tree is wide enough for one Nubian kid. These two are trying to squeeze past each other and rejoin the other kids in play.
Some of the trees blew over, but lodged in nearby trees. Those at low enough angles become climbing places for kids. Luckily those trees aren’t so far off the ground that a kid falling off gets hurt.
Goat kids grow up so fast. They play a lot at a month old. They still play at two months old. At three months eating is more important than playing. I need to get out more to watch my kids play before they get much older.
Goat kids are playful and full of antics. Check out Capri Capers for Capri’s antics.