Friday, June 8, 2012

Baby Goat Bliss

Here is the picture of May's baby, June Bug, as promised.  May is the goat who just will not stay in a fence. She is almost always out (and eating things like my flowers and banana trees).  We chase her back in whenever we see her out, but she's never in for longer than five minutes.  So of course she wandered way off to have her baby.  We found her and June Bug hiding in an oak thicket, right in the middle of the paddock the cows were supposed to be moved to that day, so we had to move them, which proved to be traumatic on all counts.
May has mostly been staying inside the fence now, and she's actually a much better mother than Nougat.  Maybe this has something to do with only having one kid, but she's always by her baby, smelling her and cleaning her off.  June Bug proved to be very sharp and learned to nurse faster than either of Nougat's babies.  May watches her like a hawk, and when I was sitting with her after the birth to help the baby get it's share of colostrum as soon as possible, she was smelling the breeze and listening to any little sound.  She reminded me of a deer.
Nougat, on the other hand....
Had her babies on an enormous cactus.  I still have cactus spines all over from trying to help them out of it.  I never see her really wash her babies like May does, and the first day I came out she left them very quickly to see if I had a treat for her.  The babies were crying, and one ran over and she kicked it out of the way.  She's usually laying about 20 feet away from them when we get there.  She responds to them when they cry and likes to know where they are, but she's not really careful with them.
It's so interesting watching the animals parenting.  They never, ever act aggressively towards their babies, as humans do with corporal punishment.  And they respond to their crying--something that is unusual in modern human parenting.
If you think of it in terms of people, Nougat is the closest to what is fashionable in modern parenting--the separation, limits, boundaries, sleeping away from your babies.  May is more of an attachment parent, I suppose.  I hope June Bug doesn't end up hopelessly spoiled and over-attached.  The reality is, though, that Nature doesn't bother with philosophical reasoning.  It's obvious that in the wild, May's baby would have a significantly higher chance of survival.

 PS:  I saw our mail lady again (it's been someone else delivering the mail lately), and she told me that the buck we had them all bred to just died a few days ago.  She said he just got thinner and thinner and finally got really sick and died.  She tried wormers and antibiotics, but nothing helped.  It sounded just like what happened to Ellie!  I really wonder if that was what she died from.  Our other goats seem completely fine and healthy, and the babies are doing great, thankfully.

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