I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I last posted about the goats! Where did April go? We’ve been so busy, time just seems to be slipping by.
When we last updated about the goat’s progress, we left Minnie standing underneath the stanchion. This was Minnie the end of March, with plenty of headroom…
…and this was just two weeks later, in mid-April.
Another two weeks have passed, and they’ve grown even more. It’s good that something around here is growing faster than our weeds!
I had intended to post an update sooner, but I’ve been having a little bit of a problem with the girls in recent weeks. It’s not serious, it’s just that when I’m with them, we seem to have a static cling problem. It makes for some very challenging camera angles, assuming the camera can even focus on them at all.
While the goats have been busy growing, and dodging the camera, we’ve made a few minor changes to the goat yard with the addition of some dwarf goat-sized boulders. We went rock shopping a couple of weeks ago. We picked up a large fountain rock at that time for the new native garden we’re working on, but we couldn’t leave the rock yard without picking up a few rocks for the girls to jump around on.
They both enjoy playing ‘Queen of the Mountain’, and Minnie really seems to enjoy having a height advantage over Lotus during their daily head-butting sessions.
Sometimes, humans with treats in their pockets are easier to reach while standing on rocks too, and the boulders have the extra added advantage of helping to keep their tiny hooves in shape as well.
This video is from this week, and you can see how much they enjoy bouncing around on the rocks.
Looking back, they’ve changed so much since the last video we posted.
The day to day routine hasn’t changed too much. The girls are turned out in the yard in the early morning, just in time for their first bottle feeding of the day.
Bottle feedings won’t last too much longer, as we’re already half way through weaning.
As the girls are growing they’re gradually eating more and more hay, and as their rumen capacity increases, we can decrease the amount of milk being fed. We started the weaning process by dropping a bottle feeding during the day, which was initially met with a whole lot of protest…especially from, you guessed it…
Yes, that’s Minnie, in all her gremlin-like glory! So she didn’t wake up all the nocturnal creatures sleeping in the surrounding woodland, instead of the scheduled bottle feeding, I’d take the girls for a walk so they could find some of their favorite blackberries, and strawberries, to snack on, and help to take their mind off the missing bottle feeding. After a couple of days, the protesting stopped, thankfully.
This weekend, now they’re drinking lots of water on their own, we’re scheduled to drop another feeding, and are hoping that Minnie won’t be quite so vocal about it this time. That said, weaning can be a stressful time in the life of a young goat, so we’re taking it slowly.
There are times it seems that all the girls do is eat, but it takes a lot of energy to grow a goat. Some days they look taller, other days they just look plain round. Although the near constant browsing is occasionally interrupted by lap time, and an occasional nap. Lotus, especially, likes to crawl up into my lap. I’m probably going to regret this when she weighs 65lbs!
We’ve developed a habit of relaxing in the sun for a while in the afternoons, and Lotus is more than happy to do her part to keep my productivity level as close to zero as possible.
Minnie isn’t opposed to relaxing on her favorite humans either, although she doesn’t tend to snore as much as Lotus.
The only difficulty now is that they’re becoming quite a lap full!
For perspective, Minnie was this small when she first arrived.
Of course, after a short snooze, it’s back to the hay feeder, yet again…
Between-meal rock hopping is a favorite activity for both them…
Followed by a quick trip back to the hay feeder to refuel…
…and maybe a treat.
Although any treats come with the condition that the goats must be up on the stanchion to eat them.
We’ve been consistent about that ever since the girls arrived, so hopefully, once their heads are finally big enough not to slip out of the head gate, we’ll be able to use the stanchion for grooming, hoof trimming, and eventually milking, and not have it be a battle to convince them to use it. However, I’m starting to think we need a stanchion with two head gates, as these two are clearly inseparable.
So not much has really changed in recent weeks, except Lotus and Minnie are quite a bit larger than the last time you saw them. Larger than life too, and very much full of personality.
It’s difficult to remember how life was here before they arrived!