On the overcast morning of June 29, I headed out to the barn to find Tater cleaning up her newly born babies. Just like with Sweet Pea, there were two large kids starting to bounce around and one very small runt wobbling on unsteady legs.
With Sweet Pea's triplets we tried to nurse little Sammy along, giving him special nursing time and watching over him carefully. We did not, however, separate him from his siblings or make him a complete "bottle baby". When I discovered Sweet Pea's kids she hadn't done any work to clean Sammy off and while she never rejected him, she paid little attention to him. Sadly we lost Sammy after a week and when I saw a new runt of the litter I dreaded going through the emotional turmoil that Sammy had brought on.
After twenty-four hours with his mom, making sure he was drinking plenty of her colostrum, we took "Lucky" into the house for full bottle baby treatment. His first day, despite his mom cleaning him up and his showing an eagerness to stand, Lucky didn't seem interested in nursing and we feared for the worst.
The second morning our little black and white boy was calling for milk, however, and started drinking like a champ. Over the next week and a half we took him everywhere with us - leading him to be called the "office goat" at my work - making sure that he ate regularly and was gaining weight.
From his first day Lucky had more interest in life than Sammy ever did. Being around him all the time meant seeing him gain curiosity each day, and watch as his few moments of awake time slowly shifted into more awake time than napping. While caring for him has been an incredible investment of time, it has been well worth it to watch him learn. He has gone from a few tentative steps to full on bouncing everywhere just like the other goats. While he is still significantly smaller than his sisters, he makes up for it in "goat-atude" and inquisitiveness.
Meanwhile, as we bottle fed Lucky, his siblings grew quickly next to their mom. Two beautiful doelings, Bliss and Mary Jane, are full of vitality. Bliss is a carbon copy of her mother from her butterscotch coat to her tiny wattles. Mom seems to know this, and pays special attention to her blonde baby. Mary Jane is slightly bigger and already giving her month old cousins a run for their money at play time. Her coat is brown, black, and white and she has eager, bright eyes.
The kids will be two weeks old tomorrow, and after a visit from the vet yesterday we are no longer feeling touch and go with Lucky. While small, he should grow up to be a normal, healthy goat. Not entirely normal - I don't think any other goat on the farm will share quite the bond that Lucky and I have formed.
That is it for the kidding season of 2017, and soon we'll be taking a little bit of milk from Tater for ourselves and a new chapter begins.
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