Lotus & Minnie: The Goats are Growing Up

Posted by on May 4, 2012 in Farm Blog, Goats | 41 comments

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.

"Hi, did you miss us?"

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…

"See, I have lots of room to grow!"

…and this was just two weeks later, in mid-April.

"I don't know if you've noticed, but the stanchion seems to be shrinking!"

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.

"Um...Minnie...it's a little difficult to see your face from this angle"

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.

"Hey, these rocks are cool! I knew something was missing"

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.

"Lotus, this is my rock, you're not getting it!"

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.

"Oooooh. Whadya bring us? Is it tasty!?!"

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.

"Did someone say breakfast?"

Bottle feedings won’t last too much longer, as we’re already half way through weaning.

"Slurrrrrp"

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…

"WHERE'S!!! MY!!!! MILK!!!!!!!!!?"

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.

"Fine...I'll eat more hay then...but I'd rather have milk"

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!

"Heehee...you didn't know goats could smile, did you?"

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.

"ZzzzZZZzzZZzzzZZzzz"

Minnie isn’t opposed to relaxing on her favorite humans either, although she doesn’t tend to snore as much as Lotus.

"They love me, what can I say?"

The only difficulty now is that they’re becoming quite a lap full!

"Oooof...Lotus, I think this lap is broken. We used to fit up here. Did you eat all the hay again?"

For perspective, Minnie was this small when she first arrived.

"I like this lap, there's lots of room"

Of course, after a short snooze, it’s back to the hay feeder, yet again…

"Got Hay?!"

…and again…

"Minnie, did you eat all the alfalfa?"

Between-meal rock hopping is a favorite activity for both them…

"Does this rock make me look taller?"

"This one's my favorite!"

Followed by a quick trip back to the hay feeder to refuel…

"Lotus, stop hogging all the hay! I'm hungry!"

…and maybe a treat.

"Pssst...Lotus. Watch closely, and see where he hides the treats"

Although any treats come with the condition that the goats must be up on the stanchion to eat them.

"Um...this is getting a little awkward. Next time, can we get a stanchion built for two?"

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.

"About the milking thing...you're not expecting us to fill THIS milk can, are you?"

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.

"Stop in, and see us again soon!"

It’s difficult to remember how life was here before they arrived!

41 Comments

  1. Thanks for the update! All that jumping and leaping is such fun to watch!
    Alison´s last post…Wordless Wednesday

    • I think so, but that’s why I keep getting further behind on my list of things to do. I’d rather watch the goats ;)

  2. As if I already didn’t want goats so badly, this post and video makes me want them even more! You have such a great setup for them. I loved watching them hop around and play and those little tails wagging!! So cute!
    Catherine´s last post…Hillside Farm – an adventure in rust and treasures!

    • Catherine, I think you’re going to have to get a small farm. Then you’ll have more room for chickens, and goaties too! The trouble is, you can’t have just one goat (unless perhaps you have a horse for company). See, I told you…it’s a slippery slope! It all starts with chickens…and then… :D

  3. Never mind weaning them off milk (they’ve got hay), how are you going to wean off laps?!
    Elephant’s Eye´s last post…Patch the Cape leopard and his collar at work

    • I agree, I think weaning off laps might be more difficult, both for us, and the goats. Much like dogs, goats are creatures of habit, and there’s no question that snoozing in a lap, for Lotus at least, has become a habit! :P

  4. They are soooo adorable and tiny too. They look about the size of a house cat sitting on your lap. I understand your problem taking their photos. I have a similar problem photographing the zebra at the farm. He will not leave my side ever. Even trowing apples, he does a quick retrieve, then is back right up against me. Pictures are impossible.
    Donna´s last post…Landscaping with Trees and Shrubs

    • Maybe that’s what we’re missing…a zebra…or a camel? A giraffe maybe? ;) I now have an image of a zebra in my mind, playing fetch! Too cute!

  5. I am in love! What a delight to read about them and see them in action – thanks for including videos. They are such darling little imps – I cannot wait to read more about them and keep up with their progress this year! Good luck with the weaning and with loud Madame Mouth. :)

    • You should have heard Minnie when she got her first shots. She’s such a little diva! We’ll post some more about them soon…they have a couple of very big weekends coming up! :)

  6. They are just too cute! Love the static cling problem … that was a laugh. They certainly are growing up quickly, and you’ve documented this fantastically proud Mum!
    Bernieh´s last post…April Shower Bonus … My Dry Tropics Garden Journal … Week 19, 2012.

    • It makes it very difficult to walk anywhere with two goats stuck to my ankles. They’re so funny. Clearly I’m part of the ‘herd’ ;)

  7. Wow!!!!!!!! Too cute! I sure wish I had enough time and space for goats. I was unrealistically dreaming of goats for a while, but finally realized that we just don’t have enough room or time in the day to enjoy them properly.

    • They do take quite a bit of time out of my days, although, once they’re weaned, they only ‘need’ me to check on them twice a day. I’d rather see them more than that though, and I enjoy procrastinating on farm chores, in favor of hanging out with goats ;)

  8. They are growing so fast. Absolutely adorable! I don’t think I would get anything done between naps on the lap and watching them…complete entertainment! The new rocks are great and they really seem to like them and their milk. Wow, that milk was gone in a hurry!
    Karin/Southern Meadows´s last post…Georiga’s Secret Garden

    • Yep, milk doesn’t last long around here! It’s a challenge sometimes not to let them drink too fast. Minnie is funny too, she always whines and squeaks when her bottle is running dry ;) I never expected to have a goat more opinionated, or more expressive than me! :P

  9. I do love your goats and your post.
    Mary@Going Native´s last post…You Can Grow That – Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum commutatum)

    • Thanks Mary, I love our goats too. Even though they’ve turned into little poison oak vectors ;) They love to eat it, and I now have my very first poison oak rash!

      • Goats are great for clearing out poison-oak areas – much better than manually donning gear and cutting it out. Do you know if the milk of goats fed on poison-oak (not the stuff they drink now, but what they’ll give later) has purported qualities to help people susceptible to poison oak rashes? The reason I ask is someone suggested my poison-oak sensitive husband should eat honey collected from poison-oak to help curb his rash outbreaks. I have no idea if the honey thing is true or not.
        Katie (Nature ID)´s last post…Santa Lucia Mountains slender salamander ~ 04/29/12 ~ at home

        • It’s a good question Katie. I’m not sure it’s been that well studied. There are anecdotal reports of people having improved allergy symptoms when consuming the milk from cows/goats allowed to browse poison oak. I did find this article from UC that shows goat’s milk is safe to drink, as the toxicant is only found in feces after consumption. “Initial research indicates dairy goats used to clear poison oak do not transfer toxicant to milk“. I can’t find the follow up studies though. This initial study didn’t detect very low concentrations of urushiol though, so it’s unclear if there are enough trace residues transferred in milk for the immune system to recognize.

  10. Clare they are so precious…they captured my heart with their playful antics but the sight of them curled on laps sleeping really did it for me…raising them requires lots of work, care and love…like raising any family member!
    Donna@Gardens Eye View´s last post…Simply The Best-April

    • They are very sweet when they’re sleeping…although they’re getting a little heavy! Once upon a time I could fit both of them in my lap, but not any more! Pretty soon my lap won’t be big enough for one! :P

  11. Static cling – I love it! Despite the challenging camera angles, it seems the two of them aren’t really camera shy. You all got some great shots! They grow up so fast….
    Dave´s last post…Our BFF Cats

    • I only managed to get the shots I did by bringing someone else in the goat pen with me as a distraction ;) Looking back at the photo of Minnie in Mr. CV’s lap, I can’t believe how much bigger they are already!

  12. They are so adorable and I am so jealous. Is there anything as cute as a goat?
    Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens´s last post…Beyond Mice

    • I don’t think so…but I might be a tad biased ;)

  13. gosh darn I just love these two. Their little tails wagging away when they get their bottle is adorable.
    Marguerite´s last post…Choosing Lighting for a Historic Home

    • We usually call our young dog ‘wiggle butt’, but these two bring a whole new meaning to the phrase :P

  14. They are so cute! I wouldn’t get anything done, either!

    • It’s not easy getting things done this spring. “I’m just going to check on the goats for a minute…or two…or ten…oh ok, maybe an hour” :P

  15. Adorable. I was so looking forward to seeing the goats again, and they are indeed totally amazing. The video is really well done – that must have been quite a bit of work.

    (BTW, how about a Lama? They’re supposed to be excellent at protecting smaller animals from predators, when grown.)
    Town Mouse´s last post…Black Mountain Trail

    • Nooooo Llamas! Not here. They are excellent livestock guardians, but for Llamas we’d need to fence a large area here, and with our slopes…I’m not installing that much fence ;) It was enough of a workout just putting up deer fence for the orchard. Not to mention we’d need a bigger barn. I also don’t want to fence across the wildlife corridors here, their habitat is fragmented enough already. For the size of our ‘herd’…if you can call 2 goats (thus far) a herd…a dog is probably a better choice ;)

  16. Oh my gosh, I could watch Lotus & Minnie run,hop & skip around for hours! That nibble dexterity, up & over the rocks is fascinating; while those little personalities are too much for words! How could you not let them sit on your lap?!? :D
    Shyrlene´s last post…Rainy Days and Sundays …

    • I do watch them for hours…hence the zero productivity problem :D

  17. They are so amazingly cute – but I am sure they are a handful of energy!

    • They have a lot of energy…and they’re gaining quite a lot of mass too. I half expect to start finding hoof-shaped bruises on my lap ;)

  18. Gah, the one of Minnie asleep in the lap just about killed me! They are ADORABLE! Glad you’re snapping so many pictures, seems like you need to because they’re growing quickly. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • I already feel like I didn’t take enough pictures between the last two posts. They’ve changed a lot in the last few weeks. They’ve lost that adorable sort of teddy bear look in their faces, although I still think they’re the cutest things on the farm ;)

  19. They are still so small! (and cute)! They look like lucky ducky goats, if you ask me.

  20. Ahhh how sweet Clare. Did you ever realise when you first brought the girls home that they would become so integrated with the Curbstone family?
    Rosie@leavesnbloom´s last post…What captivates you the most in nature?

  21. Claire, I now understand the attraction of goats. My friend Karen just introduced to her newborn kid Dottie, and it was love at first sight. Your photos capture the wonderful nature of these sweet little beasts. Thanks for sharing them. I look forward to getting goats in the next few years once I get my hoop house up and chicken coop relocated.
    tom @ tall clover farm´s last post…To-Do Lists and Sunny Days