Well, long story short, we bought two more goats. This goat thing is turning into a serious addiction.
On July 27, 2013, an ad for three purebred Toggenburg kids appeared on the Nova Scotia Kijiji website. Sam saw it and immediately began begging her mother to buy just one goat for her. In the ad, it said there were two doelings and a buckling, and she wanted a doeling. After a couple of hours of convincing her parents, coming up with money with a little help from her younger brother and doing what her mother calls “sleeping on it”, Sam was allowed to buy the goats. Her little brother, Charlie, that lent Sam money to buy her new goat, decided that he was going to also buy the other doeling. So for $180, two new doelings were coming into the herd.
The next morning after seeing the Kijiji ad, Sam, her mother and Charlie were on their way to Kingston to pick them up in the back of the Ford Focus station wagon. It was almost a two hour drive, and Charlie kept everyone entertained the whole way there. When they got to the boy’s house who was selling the goats, it was learned that the doelings were out of a batch of triplets. The other buckling that was for sale was the last triplet born the same day as these two does. The two doelings needed to be lured into the barn with the other four goats with grain, so that they were able to be caught. After the darker doeling of the two sprung off the wall, Sam and Charlie knew they’d have their hands full. Collars and leads were put on the goats and they were carried out to the car, where they were tied behind the back seats and laid down to hide for the journey from the valley to central Nova Scotia.
Once the doelings arrived at the farm, they touched noses with a rather amazed Ellsworth and began screaming for their mother. Both does were not yet weaned at three months, and Sam noticed there was still milk on their lips during the ride home. The two newcomers were put in the doe house with Spirit and Clover, who were quite curious to see these tiny goats. Spirit even attempted to head butt the smaller of the two doelings, but was too slow and hit the wall instead. It was very quickly decided by Charlie that he was going to own the bigger and darker of the two does, and that Sam got the smaller and fuzzier one. Charlie also decided that because the does kept running away from everyone and hopping around, he was going to call his goat “Dancer”. Sam is calling her doeling “Trinity”, as she is from a family of triplets. Spirit and Clover were put out to graze in a larger pasture and the kids were confined to the smaller yard, but this time Ellsworth was put in with them. All three quickly bonded and became best of friends, with Ellsworth being their leader of course. Both doelings spent the night in the barn with Ellsworth and were quiet for the most part.
This morning Sam went out to try and bottle feed the doelings, as Spirit wouldn’t allow them to nurse from her. Just catching the goats was a chore. She had to corner them in a stall in the barn and them lunge for their collars, all the while not spilling their milk. As you can tell, both goats are extremely timid and have had next to no human contact at all in their lives. Trinity was first because she was slower and easier to catch. Making a three month old doeling suck on a bottle of milk is not as easy as it appears, especially if they have only ever drank from their mother. After about 45 minutes of try to feed Trinity and Dancer, Trinity would latch onto the bottle as soon as a little milk was on her lips. Dancer, on the other hand, still refuses to drink, and if the person holding her collar does so much as adjust their weight, she rears and tries to pull away. Sam is hoping that within a week, they will be a lot easier to feed.
Both doelings will be registered as recorded grades, and be dehorned by “banding” so that they are able to be shown and handled easier. Charlie plans to show Dancer in 4-H next year, as well as one of the milkers. Trinity and Dancer will be bred in the fall of 2014 and we are all hoping for triplets from one of them!