Friday, March 02, 2007

Holding Pattern

We're at fourteen baby goats and holding as I write this. It's a lot easier to take care of fourteen than forty, so this may be a good time to make a little report for those who are interested.

The five star maternity hotel still has a couple of empty stalls. Each mother has a private space for herself and her babies. They have all settled in.

In the morning, I feed each mother then open the gates and let all out to explore. The babies play, practicing their sideways dance steps and four-footed hopping. The radio is tuned to a classic music station and it often seems they are dancing to the rhythms of whatever music is playing.

As I rake out the spaces, they -- just like human kids -- seem to say, "Oh, boy, a dirtpile! Let's climb it!"

They go to that with gusto and look for other opportunities to test their skills, climbing up on concrete steps and looking for cavelike spaces under tables and behind the refrigerator.

As I fill water buckets and hay racks, I must step carefully as some of the triplets who have received supplemental bottles think that I surely have milk in my legs. They keep trying to figure out where it is. One baby sucked my fingers this morning, eventually deciding that they are utterly useless! They look right, but nothing comes out.

I then sprinkle pine shavings on wet floors and provide extra waste hay for clean bedding. Next, the does are placed back in their individual spaces and babies matched up, using the information written on their paper collars. They are tired out by then, and find cozy napping places. When I leave, all is calm, clean and quiet.

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