It’s been an exciting couple of weeks here at Bold Souls Micro Farm!
June 12, 2013 I spent the day piddling around the house, doing laundry, planning dinner, watching the clock for the time to head to the bus stop. It was a beautiful day and the windows were all open. I glanced outside periodically to check on the goats who were out grazing. Nothing out of the ordinary. Then I noticed that Bonnie wasn’t with the other two goats like she usually is. Unconcerned, I looked out the window into the animal yard and saw her in there nosing around at something. At first I thought it was a baby chick, but she usually ignores them so it seemed odd. I almost brushed it off, but then decided to run out and check on her really quick. I put my boots on and passed by the chickens in the grass. A quick count showed they were all there, no one in the animal yard. My heart quickened. Maybe this was the day! Then I remembered the other 71 times I thought it was the day, so I put the brakes on my hopefulness. As I turned in to the animal yard, Bonnie & I locked eyes. Her eyes held the same look that lets me know when my kids have done something wrong. That startled-to-see-you-and-calculating-their-next-move kind of expression. Suddenly I saw what she had been nosing at. A fluffy, beautiful, clean, tiny black & white baby goat!!! I gasped, grabbed my cell phone, and snapped a picture. This was my exact view:
I hurried around to where she was and saw another one! Bonnie had silently and undramatically given birth to her babies while I was in the house. From everything I’ve read, this is quite typical of goats to do. I really wanted to be there for the big event, but I was happy to at least get to see it so soon after it happened. I must have gotten out there within a few minutes of the births because she had not yet expelled the placenta. In a state of complete euphoria, I ran inside and grabbed my goat birthing supply bag which had been sitting by the back door for over a month. I also grabbed a couple of old sheets and ran back out to the yard. Bonnie was happily cleaning the babies. I put down the sheets to cover up the mess on the ground, put on my gloves and got to work cutting the umbilical cords and dipping them in iodine to prevent infection. I’m pleased to report that I wasn’t grossed out at all! In truth, I probably didn’t need to cut the cords, but I wanted to do SOMETHING to contribute! Then I helped the babies get to the teats to nurse for the first time. What an adorable sight!
At this point I had to leave to pick my daughter up from the bus stop. It’s not every day I have such an exciting surprise for her! I could hardly contain myself. We rushed home to see them. After a while, Bonnie laid down to let the placenta pass. I picked it up with plastic bags and was only slightly nauseated.
What I found amazing was how the babies came out looking so much like… regular goats! I know that sounds weird, but they look like they could be a month old right after they’re born. They are bright eyed, standing up, walking around (if not a little clumsily) and nursing like old pros immediately. I guess it’s the 150 day incubation period that helps them to come out so developed and ready for the world. Their eyes aren’t closed like puppies & kittens, they don’t need their mama right there to show them everything. They come prepared.
We named the black & white one Bianca. She looks just like her infamous daddy Buckley. (We won’t hold it against her.) The brown one is Carmelita & looks just like Mama Bonnie. They each have the same personality as the parent they resemble. Bianca the Brave is very spirited, curious, and not afraid of much. Carmelita is much more sweet, reserved and shy.
We get to soak up all the cuteness until August 21st when they will be 10 weeks old and ready to go to their new home. Not surprisingly, they were sold within 2 days of listing them on Craigslist. It will be a sad day to see them go but there will be many more babies to come here at Bold Souls! We’re just grateful we get to cherish them for a while and give them a good start. They will be very loved at their new home as well.
Next up: My first attempt at milking Bonnie! And tasting goats milk! Does it get any better? I think not.