Yesterday we drove all the way down to Payson to pick up a couple more goats.
Our goat Caroline is about to kid (she IS pregnant after all!) so J has been trying to find another doe in milk so that we will be able to milk two goats instead of just Caroline. There's a little bit of a process to milking (cleaning supplies, etc) so milking two goats doesn't take much longer than milking one. And you get twice as much milk.
J finally found this place that had three Nubian does in milk. One had two kids, another had one kid, and the third one had a kid that had died. The one with two kids looked the most Nubian, so we bought her.
Our original idea was to separate the mamas from their babies at night, and milk the does in the morning, and then let the kids be with their mamas during the day instead of us milking at night. So everyone would get milk and we would all be happy. Right?
We were only going to need one kid for our plan to work, so we bought the mama with her doeling, and left her buckling with the original herd. (The babies are big enough that they can be separated from mama now; they were actually all listed for sale separately.) There was no reason for us to pay for a buck that we don't need or want. And, if we did buy him, pretty soon we would need to separate him from the herd anyway because he would start trying to breed his mother and his sister. We don't want to be inbreeding here.
So, we took everyone home and the mama goat hollered and hollered all day yesterday. She was missing her buckling. Oh, good grief. We separated Bucko from the herd, too, because we didn't want him to breed the mama goat, and he hollered and hollered all day too.
The other problem was, these people that we bought the goats from didn't actually milk their milk goats. They used to before, but they hadn't in a while because they're busy people. So their goats (except the older ones) were all afraid of people. Not the best.
Today we caught the mama goat and put her on the milk stand, not to milk her but just to let her realize that she can have GRAIN (!!!) on the milk stand. We didn't let her doeling follow her to the milkstand, and they both totally freaked out to be 15 feet apart. So, separating them every night is going to mean that they will holler and holler every night. It isn't going to work. We have neighbors.
Better that they just forget about each other and the mama goat becomes a milk goat instead of being with the doeling. (Like she is supposed to be.) And then, we can bottle feed the doeling until she is weaned the rest of the way, and then she will be friendly with people instead of terrified of them (like she and her mama are now). Milk goats are supposed to be friendly with people.
So, today we let Bucko back into the herd (breeding season doesn't start for a month anyway), and I caught the doeling (much harder than it sounds), I stole her away from her mama and the herd, and put her in Chalcy's backyard (which has a 6' fence). We put Feta in with her so that she isn't alone. Goats are herd animals, so they don't do well alone. Now everyone at our house is very concerned. Feta does NOT want to be over there with the doeling (and without her herd) so she keeps screaming. The doeling wants to be following her mama around so she keeps crying. The mama goat is very concerned about her lost babies so she keep calling to the doeling from the other side of the fence. Caroline should be kidding any time now, but she is not too worried about the new goat commotion because she was with Feta before, and now she is with Bucko, so, no big deal.
Hopefully everyone will calm down in a day or so. We will try to milk the mama goat tonight, and then we will try to bottle feed the doeling too. When Caroline kids we will put her kid(s) with the doeling, and then maybe Feta can go back to the rest of the herd and everyone will feel better.
Any suggestions for names? So far we've thought of Polly and Penny. Or, Betsey. Right now they are "the mama goat" and "the doeling". We need to come up with names.