Spring Kids: The Goats Meet ‘Gulliver’

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 in Farm Blog, Goats | 16 comments

A couple of weeks ago we finally received more than five inches of rainfall, which helped to green up the goat pasture considerably. Suddenly though, the temperatures soared into the low 80’s over the weekend, which was a perfect opportunity for all of the goat kids to really run around and play!

The pasture looks very big when you're a very small goat

The pasture looks very big when you’re a very small goat

The grass isn’t very tall, but at least now it’s green, although the goats were much more excited about the rocks than the grass anyway!

Goats love rocks!

Goats love rocks!

They're  fun to stand on, and make you look taller than your friends

They’re fun to stand on, and make you look taller than your friends

Rocks are really fun to run and bounce around, too!

Rocks are really fun to run and bounce around, too!

It doesn't matter which direction, it's just fun!

It doesn’t matter which direction, it’s just fun!

"Look at meeee! I can flyyyyy!"

“Look at meeee! I can flyyyyy!”

"It's my turn!"

“It’s my turn!”

However, it seems that some of these rocks in the pasture have become habitat for our resident reptiles…and two Coast Range Fence Lizards were NOT amused about the pitter-patter of tiny goat feet bouncing around above them!

If you look closely you can see there are TWO cowering lizards trying to hide from Goatzilla!

If you look closely you can see there are TWO cowering lizards trying to hide from Goatzilla!

I promise, the lizards did manage to scurry away to safety between bounces.

The goats didn't even notice the lizards though, they were too busy, like Rowena here, trying to fly!

The goats didn’t even notice the lizards though, they were too busy, like Rowena here, trying to fly!

While the goats were running, jumping, zipping around, and launching themselves off the rocks, Rosie suddenly noticed there was a giant in their midst.

"Don't panic, everyone! I'll take him down!"

“Don’t panic, everyone! I’ll take him down!”

Working together these Lilliputian goats soon toppled the giant to the ground, and Rosie suggested he should be interrogated…

"I'll hold him down...now, let's find out what he wants!"

“I’ll hold him down…now, let’s find out what he wants!”

"Who, Sir, are you?!  Are you lost?"

“Who, Sir, are you?! Are you lost?”

"He doesn't say much does he? Do you think he's sleeping?"

“He doesn’t say much does he? Do you think he’s sleeping?”

"He might be dangerous, don't let him up!"

“He might be dangerous, don’t let him up!”

"You're not getting up until you tell us why you're here!"

“You’re not getting up until you tell us why you’re here!”

However, it turned out that this ‘giant’ really wasn’t so scary after all.

"Are you quite sure that's safe?"

“Are you quite sure that’s safe?”

"Hey, you're right, this is actually kinda nice"

“Hey, you’re right, this is actually kinda nice”

"You don't look like us..."

“You don’t look like us…”

"...but  you seem very nice, so we've decided you can stay"

“…but you seem very nice, so we’ve decided you can stay”

With Indy keeping a watchful eye, the goats went back to playing, and browsing

With Indy keeping a watchful eye, the goats went back to playing, and browsing

"Hello rock, I'm going to jump on you!"

“Hello rock, I’m going to jump on you!”

"I wonder if the giant would like to try a strawberry leaf?"

“I wonder if the giant would like to try a strawberry leaf?”

We’ve been a little quiet the last two weeks while we settle into our new busy spring routine with the goats. We’ve been so busy, we’ve barely had a chance to relax.

Although we have managed to sit down and relax for a few minutes here and there

Although we have managed to sit down and relax for a few minutes here and there

Kidding season isn’t quite over yet, either, as Mariposa Lily is scheduled to kid this coming weekend. But in the meantime, here’s a short video of the kids enjoying a sunny afternoon in the pasture.

We’ll post an update when we have more news about Lily.

We'll be back!

We’ll be back!

There have also been a couple of other new additions to the farm this week, but more about them…soon!

16 Comments

  1. Oooh, remember when there were only two? Still amazingly adorable and playful, even in a herd!

    So what’s going on with the tops of their heads? I may have missed a post where you explained it, but I don’t remember.
    Alan @ It’s Not Work, It’s Gardening!´s last post…Good news, bad news

    • Dairy goat kids are disbudded at approximately a week of age to prevent horn growth (this involves removing the area of skin over where the horn bud forms). This is done for a few reasons. The first is, you can’t enter a dairy goat in the show ring with horns. They’re forbidden. Also, unlike meat goats that are raised on range, dairy goats are usually raised in more relatively confined areas (i.e. smaller fenced pastures), and once in milk, they are also brought into the milk house 2-3 times a day for milking. In those settings, horns can become a liability. Both because the goats can get caught on fences, or injure those that have to handle them multiple times a day.

      There are few methods of disbudding kids, but we choose to have ours disbudded surgically (the kids sleep through the whole procedure under anesthetic). The surgical approach tends to decrease the incidence of aberrant scur (horn) regrowth as the kids grow compared to other methods, but is more noticeable at first. However, in a few more weeks the incision areas will be much less apparent 🙂

  2. I can only presume it will be horns? But it looks uncomfortable.
    Diana Studer´s last post…The Wearing of the Green

    • After they wake up from anesthesia, and the local anesthetic has worn off, they really don’t notice. It makes me cringe to see them play-head-butt each other the next day, but it honestly doesn’t seem to bother them. Presumably they evolved with less sensitive skin in that area, because if goats had sensitive skin around their horn buds, they probably wouldn’t head-butt each other half as much as they do. Gives me a headache just to watch them sometimes! 😉

  3. Clare ,…sweeeet pictures,…especially the ““Are you quite sure that’s safe?”” one! In the next one down, the two kids looks quite like they’re wearing sunglasses pushed up on their foreheads. Cute faces and looong ears! Great ‘flying’ shots…

    To watch them it seems like they are Spring-loaded. A sure sign of….Spring!
    Sue Langley´s last post…Craft and Garden Workspaces: We clean up!

    • The multicolor buck in those two photos, Indy (his name theme is California native plants, so we’ve named him ‘Desert Indigo’ for his blue eyes) is probably my favorite kid so far this season. I know…I’m not supposed to have favorites, but he’s good looking, just like his sire, and has a fabulous personality too. It’s going to be so difficult to sell him!

  4. Oh, so much fun! I’m glad you got so much rain, that must be making all the difference with the fruit trees.

    Thanks so much for posting – it’s really wonderful to read about your adventures.
    Town Mouse´s last post…Just Add Water

    • The fruit trees were definitely happy for the rain. Our pear trees at the moment are blooming up a storm. We’ve had some drying winds since that storm though, and things are already looking quite dry again. Not sure we can expect much more rain this season, but hopefully we’ll get a little more. We’re still sitting at about one-third of our normal annual rainfall 🙁

  5. Now that is an exuberant exhibition of spring happiness overall. Thanks for the explanation about the disbudding process.
    Cindy´s last post…A Shrouded Bulb

    • Spring used to mean wildflowers for me. As pretty as wildflowers are though, they just don’t bounce like baby goats! 😉

  6. There were a couple goats up for adoption in the community that I kept trying to convince my husband we should take in. I kept sending him posts of yours, but to no avail (case of city-guy marries country-girl). I’m not sure how he can resist – the photos and videos of your goats are so adorable!! I’m sure they are keeping you busy, though!
    Indie´s last post…Where the Wild Things Are

    • Well, if he can resist a field full of two week-old baby goats, there might not be much hope. Although, in my experience, those city guys can sometimes be swayed, so don’t give up! 😉 And yes, these little ones are definitely keeping me on my toes at the moment!

  7. Clare, your little goats are such darlings. I too remember when it was just two, and now you have a herd. I loved the story that accompanied the photos. What fun and “the giant” looks like such an amiable fellow. I too liked the explanation of disbudding. We had goats on the horse farm and each time I went out to get my horse, the goat would try to get me with her horns. I was not a fan of goats for the longest time.
    Donna´s last post…What’s in the Thicket? The Understory

    • I’m not quite sure how it happened, but we went from 2, to 8 last year, and now we’re up to (temporarily) 20, with more on the way this weekend! That said, we’ll be selling most of the kids this year, and then keeping our core herd (bucks and does) to around a dozen. Really. I won’t keep them all. Even though, in a perfect world, I’d love to 😉

  8. Oh my goodness… your goats are soooo cute! I know it’s incredibly hard work, but you almost make me want to raise goats. I didn’t realize they were so interactive and could jump so high. The photos of them interacting with humans are so precious. What fun entertainment! Loved the video!

    • They really are tremendously interactive, extremely entertaining, smart, and easier to train than my dogs. It is remarkable how high they can ‘fly’ at this stage, as they’re so small that gravity doesn’t do much to keep them earth-bound. I remember as a kid that Lotus once came close to clearing the lower half the barn Dutch-door, which is 4 foot in height. No small feat for a dwarf goat! 😉