Tag Archives: raising goat kids

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“.

Taking Cute Goat Kid Pictures

Having new goat kids in the barn is fun. They do grow up fast so taking cute goat kid pictures is important.

Getting such pictures during the winter is a challenge in my barn. The open doors are covered making the interior dark even when the lights are on.

Another challenge to getting those cute goat kid pictures is getting the kids to stand still and look at the camera long enough to take the picture. Nine out of ten pictures has some blurring in it, usually ears.

sleeping kid cute goat kid pictures
Young goat kids spend a lot of time sleeping. There is a bench in the barn perfect for kids to sleep under or in front of where it is near the wall. Nubian doe High Reaches Drucilla’s twins are tired and snoozing. It still takes several pictures to get one in focus as the barn is dark.

Yet another challenge is the size of the kids. They are around a foot tall. I may not be tall, but I am taller than that so it’s easy to look down on the kid for a picture when stooping down gives a better angle.

The goat kid finds a goat keeper holding a camera on his level irresistible. Face shots are cute when the face isn’t bigger than the frame. Lenses take better pictures when they don’t have stuff smeared on them.

I solve the darkness problem by setting the ISO up to 500 or taking the kid outside. That ploy brings the mother goat into play as she is not thrilled with anyone fooling with her precious babies. She places the kid on her far side away from the camera.

Nubian doe High Reaches Drucilla guarding her kids
The goat kids find the pasture fascinating. Nubians doe Drucilla is convinced some danger lurks and she is on the alert.

Sleeping kids are easy to get pictures of in dark places. And these can be cute goat kid pictures.

Outside in the sunlight or under bright overcast skies is the best for getting those cute pictures. Kids do stand still for a few seconds now and then. They do get busy and forget to walk up to the camera. Even mother goats get careless at times and forget to block the kid from the camera.

cute goat kid pictures are mostly luck
Nubian doe High Reaches Juliette and her buck kid are out in the pasture for the first time. She is gobbling grass like she is starving to death. He is checking out a fallen leaf.

The key to taking cute goat kid pictures is patience and having the camera with you whenever you go out to see the new kids.

Test your goat knowledge working puzzles in “Goat Games”.

Goat Kids Try To Go Out

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.

goat kids try to go out
Following their mothers out the pasture gate seemed so exciting to the goat kids. Their mothers called them telling them to hurry. Except everything was new and begging to be explored.

Noon is soon enough to open the pasture gate. The frost is off the grass. The kids are sleeping – or were sleeping.

I start off toward the gate to a chorus of yelling. Every mother goat is calling her kids. They are hungry and come running.

The herd delays while the kids nurse. The does are now ready to depart. The kids are ready to play.

little Nubian doe running
Big goats are hard to keep up with if you are small. Goat kids have plenty of energy to run along with the herd.

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.

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.

playing goat kids
The old bridge was a great place to stop and play. The goat herd continued on unnoticed by the kids.

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“.

Goat Kid Play Groups

Goat kids grow up so fast. There is a group of seven, yet already there are two kid play groups.

leader of one of the two kid play groups
Single goat kids have several advantages. Often they are larger at birth. Then they get all of the milk. Nubian Matilda’s buck kid takes advantage of both as he is awake more, plays more and explores more than any of the other kids.

The three older kids – older is relative as they are only three days older – are going outside. Matilda’s single buck leaps up on the bench and spends lots of time outside exploring. Juliette’s twins try to follow her out to the small pasture but stop at the gate and run back to the barn.

kid play groups need kids like these
Only a week earlier these two Nubian kids were wet newborns trying to make sense of their new world. Now they are lively and curious about everything. They sample grass, hay, dirt as their rumens start to work. They spend lots of time playing and sleeping.

The other four sleep more. These were smaller kids being a set of triplet bucks and a doe from a yearling.

Kid play groups matter. When kids are small, their mother answers their calls, comes running back when they are lost and showers them with attention. As kids get older, their mothers start to ignore them and get on with the serious business of eating. The play groups then keep the kids together, answer each other’s calls and occupy their time with various games.

The kids in a group are normally about the same age and stage. A smaller, more backward kid will often end up in a play group of younger kids.

kids sleeping group
Out in the barn kids dodge adult does. Young kids spend lots of time sleeping and want a safe, warm place. This old cobbled together bench offers a safe haven and the kids move in. It looks like they would smother each other, but each head is sticking out. The difficulty is getting up, especially if you are the bottom kid. Usually all the kids get up when one does and all of the kids go searching and calling for their mothers.

By the time these kids are a month old, the seven will spend most of their time playing together. Another two weeks will split them up again into two kid play groups as the three older kids get more serious about eating.

The groups will still merge for fun and games. King of the mountain, race down the log, tag through the herd and other activities are popular until kids get to be yearlings. Even then they indulge themselves at times.

Nubian doe kid
Nubian High Reaches Valerie is a first time mother. She is a yearling. She had this single doe kid that is a bit small. High Reaches Rose had triplet bucks at the same time. Valerie was happy to adopt one and much prefers the buck to her own little doe. The little doe has adopted me as I make sure she gets two or three big meals a day. She is growing fast.

The does watch the antics with such long suffering attitudes. They have forgotten when they were parts of kid play groups. As adults they are far too dignified to engage in such antics. Unless no one is watching.

Meet Star, The Little Goat, in “For Love of Goats” and read more about kids growing up.