The Kids Are Alright

kid: (noun) 1.a young person  2. a young goat

A few months ago Honey and I signed up to learn how to milk goats.  “Why?” you ask.  Well, like I had mentioned after our trip out to the coast we did some serious talking about the lifestyle we detoured off of after our move here.  We never did much with farming besides local markets, but it has been something we have considered every so often…having a farm that is. There was a local goat farm that we had connected to through the Farmer’s Market and the weekend after the trip to the coast we went to an Open Farm day to meet their goats and learn about what they did.

It was such a wonderful day. They had a class on how to make goat milk cheese, a class on how to use herbs for healing purposes, and of course just walking around visiting with the goats, the dogs, and the chickens.  We had wonderful conversations with the farmers and we expressed interest in the Milking Classes..  A few weeks later, they taught us the proper handling and sanitation and then the technique of hand milking.

When schedules allowed we would go over there one night a week and milk and talk a little bit.  As the conversations started getting longer we realized we all got along pretty well and soon the guys set up a brewing day.  Honey had been doing one gallon batches but at the farm he got to try out the 5 gallon brewing process, let’s just say he has a wish list now.  After the brewing day (which was an all day thing) we moved into the friend category and we just happened to come milk once a week.

So fast forward to last week, I had just completed some yard work and about to clean up when I checked my phone and saw a missed call from the Lady Farmer, who I really need to think of a good nickname for,  I knew that she was out of town and their intern (who I was also becoming friends with) was looking after the farm, I listened to the message right away.  Turns out that morning four baby goats were born and the intern  Mordecai (not her name) would welcome some help if my schedule allowed for it.  The message was a half-hour old, I called and left a message, said I could be there in a hour and off I went.

When I got to the house two kids were inside, Mordecai was trying to get them to eat and succeeding with one.  It was an awkward process to teach the babies how to nurse off the bottle but in the evening the most difficult of the twins latched on while I fed her.  After a long day of wondering if she would get enough nourishment (because the first 24 hours are crucial) and trying my best not to get too attached to this cuddling, deer like creature, I practically broke out into tears when she latched on to the bottle.  Yeah, it was a long day.  But thankfully the farmers cut their business trip short and arrived that night and solved a lot of problems.

So for a good portion of that afternoon and the next few days I got to hang out with the kids and resurrect my bottle feeding knowledge from when Firefly was a baby.  During the week of the mamas of the kids got sick, she is fine, but then her babies had to be bottle fed while she recovered. The first two luckily were able to go back to their mother after the first day.  There are many friends of the farm that helped in the last week, trying our best to give some relief to the farmers that have extremely full schedules on and off the farm.  They also had sleep deprivation to contend with because of the medicine and feeding schedule.  But I was so happy to help and happy that I could.

So now onto the photos, of which there were many of…because honestly baby goats are friggin’ adorable.:

Day Old Baby Goats

Baby Goats 2

The 4 Kids

Sleeping Baby Goat