It has been a rollercoaster ride, for sure. After the arrival of our two pregnant does a week before Christmas we paused to wonder what on earth we had done. Two “wild” animals, each the size of a fairly large dog, staring strangely at us and charging in the other direction whenever we approached. How on earth were we going to make friends, gain trust, assist in births if necessary – let along milk them!?
Day by day though, with a little coaxing, a lot of patience, and huge amounts of treats, they started to take food from our hand, come toward us when we went in the paddock and staring a little less fearfully. The major advance was when we managed to get their collars on them, not an elegant manoeuvre, but we can now handle them and, importantly, get them on a lead to take them to the meadow. Walking your goats in the meadow is a wonderful thing to do on a warm sunny winter’s day; less so in gales and rain, but a goat needs their pasture, as well as their bonding.
And then, the saddest thing. Comparing the two goats and their evidence of pregnancy, one was far larger and more uddery than the other, and I was starting to worry. So I wasn’t totally surprised when I found that one of them had miscarried. I’ll spare you the gruesome details, enough to report that the doe is now fine and her spirits back to normal.
Today we have a spa session planned. For haircuts and manicures read cutting-out-of-dreadlocks and hoof-re-shaping. Might give those muddy knees a little scrub too!