Lotus & Minnie: Just Kidding Around

Posted by on Mar 23, 2012 in Farm Blog, Goats | 44 comments

It’s now been just over two weeks since we brought the goats to the farm.  Lotus and Minnie have settled into their new home, and we’ve all quickly adjusted to our new routines.

Minnie (left), and Lotus (right), our two Nigerian Dwarf doe kids

So far it’s mostly gone smoothly, with the exception of 24 hours where Minnie really wasn’t feeling well.  We knew something was amiss when Minnie refused to eat.

"I had a tummy ache, but I got lots of extra attention, so it wasn't so bad"

Minnie had developed a bit of an upset stomach soon after she arrived.  Suspecting she’d slightly overindulged, we withheld milk in favor of electrolytes for 12 hours, gave her some probiotics, a little extra TLC, and before we knew it, Minnie had her bounce back.  Now she’s even bouncier than ever!

Bounce...bounce...bounce..."I feel much better now!"

"Look at me!"

"I can fly!"

There’s no question though, the goats have completely taken over, and we’re all having a ridiculous amount of fun.  They’re definitely the star attraction around here at the moment!  The comments we hear the most when people meet them are “they’re soooo tiny, I had no idea they’d be that small”, or “I can’t believe how colorful they are”.

"we really are hideously cute, aren't we?"

What visitors don’t get to experience so much is that multiple times a day, mostly at meal times, they become a little less cute.  They suddenly turn from goats to gremlins, and greet us with a chorus of frantic screams.  I should qualify that Minnie is the one that turns into the gremlin.  Lotus, the self assured one, is generally nonplussed.

"You're back! Did you miss us?"

Minnie is the more demanding one, and usually quite worried about where her next meal is coming from.  As such, the sight of me, or the bottle, or both, sends her into a complete tizzy.

"I'M STARVIN' OVER HERE!"

Lotus occasionally chimes in, but there’s no question that Minnie is the vocal, and opinionated one.

"I'm not too worried, they always feed me on time"

Perhaps because of Minnie’s small size she’s worried about being overlooked?  Not that anyone could overlook the ‘mighty Minnie’.  I still haven’t fathomed how so much personality can be packed into such teeny tiny goats!

"I may be a little noisy, but you love me really...right?"

Regardless, mealtimes get a little frenzied, and yesterday I could hear Minnie’s hysterics inside the barn all the way up at the house!  It’s going to be interesting to hear how much louder she’ll get over the coming weeks as she grows!

"Lotus, I think she's exaggerating, was I really that loud?"

In fairness though, food is perhaps the most important thing to worry about if you’re a baby goat.  For the first few days the girls mostly only consumed milk, and it’s still their favorite thing to eat, but it’s interesting to watch their development day to day as they discover new edibles to nibble on (in addition to the occasional inedible zipper, or camera lens).

"Mmmm...hay...this is good stuff!"

They’re slowly branching out though, and discovering that their world is filled with lots of gastronomic delights.  Lotus was the first to discover hay, and seems to constantly have a sprig of alfalfa hanging out of her mouth.  A few days later Minnie caught on, and now they’re both a pair of chow hounds.

"Mmmm...what was that? It was tasty!"

The chef’s special at the moment seems to be our native woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca).  Fortunately, these are tough and prolific plants here, so a little goat browsing is unlikely to do the plants much long-term harm, and may even help to keep them in check.

"Strawberries are the bestest ever!"

This week the goats were introduced to blackberry vines too.  They’re trickier to eat than strawberry leaves, stringy, chewy, and somewhat prickly, it takes a little effort to figure out how best to attack a blackberry vine, but they seem to be getting the hang of it.  It just takes a little team effort.

"Um...Minnie...I could use a little help here..."

Sometimes it helps to have a friend to hang on to one end while you attack the other…although you have to be careful, occasionally a vine decides to attack back.

"Lotus! Help! It's attacking me!!!"

Eventually they got the hang of it though, and this vine soon met its demise.

"Ha! We squashed it! Mmmm...this is tasty, you should try it!"

The few rogue sprigs of growth that are left in the goat yard after the pen was constructed stand little chance of growing into much.  Lotus seems to enjoy this snowberry, even though it tickles her nose…

"These snowberry twigs are fun"

…while Minnie stalks anything grass-like.

"Let's see how you taste..."

We’ve been exploring around the farm most days, getting the goats used to walking on a leash. Sometimes they go in opposite directions, and other times they simply try to out-run us.  Overall though, they’re doing quite well on leash considering they’re only a few weeks old.

"I wonder where we're going today?"

Of course, it’s important to stop occasionally to sample the local flora.

"Lotus, did you find anything good to eat? I'm hungry!"

Leash walking isn’t their only exercise though.  Jumping, bouncing, running, and shoving your barn-mate are all essential for keeping in shape, and occupy large parts of their day in the goat yard, when it’s not raining.  Typically there’s one in pursuit of the other, trying to out jump, out run, or outsmart the other.

"This bench is my favorite!"

Although it’s important to occasionally stop to satisfy an itch with a good scratch.

"One sec...be right there...ahhhh, that's the spot!"

It’s difficult to capture their overall bounciness in photographs though, but the following video should help to convey just how much fun it is to be a baby goat, and should help to put a spring in your step just in time for the weekend.

Did you see around the 45 second mark where mischievous Minnie manages to harness the power of gravity to make Lotus completely disappear from the top of the bench?  Poof!  There one minute, vanished the next.  I think Minnie pushed her, don’t you?

As you may have noticed, baby goats are so bouncy it’s quite difficult keeping them in frame, and in focus!

"Too close? Didn't you want to stare into my beautiful blue eyes?"

There’s no question that Lotus and Minnie are both growing.  They’re certainly getting a lot heavier, although I probably don’t appreciate just how much bigger they look as I see them almost all day, every day.  As Minnie likes to stand underneath the stanchion though, I’m going to use this as a height chart of sorts, and see just how long it takes for her to get too tall to fit under there.

"I still have some room to grow"

Even though they’re dwarf goats, we know they won’t stay this small for long!

"Bounce back in and see us again soon!"

We’ll post more about these two very soon, in the meantime, Lotus and Minnie hope you have a very bouncy weekend!

44 Comments

  1. Such bouncy, bouncy critters! I swear there were a couple of times in that video where Minnie was eying the top of the pen, wondering if she could jump that high. She is definitely catching up to Lotus in size. Just adorable. They remind me a bit of rowdy little boys, pushing and shoving.
    Alison´s last post…Wordless Wednesday

    • It’s definitely clear than Minnie doesn’t let her smaller size hold her back. I predict she may become quite the troublemaker! 😛

  2. Om my they are so funny and cute!! I didn’t realise how small they are until I saw them in the video going for their walk!

    What a blessed childhood these two are having. Life looks like so much fun for them 🙂
    Christine @ Thegardeningblog´s last post…Autumn Bird-capades

    • People comment a lot in person that they’re surprised how small they are. I thought that clip would help to show some scale. I promise, Mr. CV isn’t 10 feet tall 😉

  3. Springs in their feet – love their explosive take-offs.

    So what do your pups think of the new arrivals?

    • They definitely get style points for some of those jumps! The old dog, who zipped by in the video, is quite enamored with the goats, and loves to go on walks with them. For some reason she’s especially fond of Minnie (I think Lotus is aloof where dogs are concerned). Our younger dog mostly just wants to run around and chase them 😉

  4. Very impressive jumps! I can see how that would be hard to photograph, and especially to get a video. Makes me appreciate flowers and mushrooms ;->

    • Exactly! Flowers don’t usually dash out of the shot before you hit the shutter release 😛

  5. I love goats! Even more than dogs, I think. I sponsor a little cashmere goat (sponsorship = fiber) – she’ll be 2 years old next month. I even named the little bugger, Lambchop hahaha she’s white and, without horns yet, looks like a little lamb 🙂 She’s the runt, but she makes sure that NOBODY forgets about her. If her mama doesn’t have an extra teet for her or isn’t around when Lambchop’s hungry, well, she’s not picky – she’d suckle ANY mama! I had no idea that mama goats know whose are theirs and will literally kick intruders off. Not that a little kick stops Lambchop this runt!
    rikkitachiquitabananagirl´s last post…Wordless Wednesday

    • I’d love to have fiber goats. It is funny how the little ones are often the most demanding! Certainly true in Minnie’s case!

  6. Too cute!!!

    • Thanks Pamina, they are definitely a distraction at the moment!

  7. Adorable! They really do levitate and Lotus especially kicks up her heels with extra energy to jumps up and out at the same time. Amazingly cute! I don’t see how you’ll get anything done now but watching them and enjoy them immensely.
    Sue Langley´s last post…My green onion garden

    • Lotus really does throw her heels up very high. I wish I had half their energy! 😛

  8. Clare, They are absolutely adorable. I mentioned before that I have been quite friendly with two Nigerian dwarf goats over the last two summers. Their antics are a never-ending source of fun. We walked them all the time on leashes. However, it was easier to let their herd instinct take over—they would just follow us without the leash because we were their herd. If they were being obstinate, we would disappear around a corner and they would come frantically running after us, fearing they lost their herd. The only problem would be when a bigger herd walked by (a larger group of people) because they always want to join the largest herd.
    Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens´s last post…Woody Plants for Shade Part 4

    • They don’t like me to go too far out of sight either. Although occasionally they get distracted by new things and don’t notice that I’ve walked back into the barn, or around the corner. Eventually though, I expect they’ll probably follow us anywhere we go. They spent the first few nights inside the house as the barn was cold, and it’s fun to watch them run up to the front step as if they expect to be let in 🙂

  9. Clare I never knew goats could be so adorable and fun…what loves they are….can’t wait to see more installments…you must be exhausted!
    [email protected] Eye View´s last post…Seasonal Celebrations Revealed-March 2012

    • They are a hoot. I must admit, I can decide what is better therapy after a long day. An uninterrupted day in the garden, or a day just watching these two zipping around 🙂

  10. Quite the little dancers aren’t they? Makes me tempted to give into my husband’s desire for a couple of goats or sheep. The neighbor next door has 3 little black goats–I’ll enjoy them.

    • Sometimes I think Lotus needs a pair of tap shoes 😉 It took Mr. CV quite some time to convince me to get goats. There’s still time to find yourself with a goat or three…

  11. How adorable!!!! Didn’t realize goats bounced like that! Or that they’d be like real babies – crying for their next meal. And the picture of them on the leash had me laughing out loud! Too cute! I know you’re just smitten by these two.
    holleygarden´s last post…Passed Along

    • To listen to Minnie at meal times, you’d think she was being stepped on. The video didn’t do it justice, as she could see me. When I was out of her sight though, she seemed to be screaming as if she was about to starve! I’d say the service is pretty good in this restaurant though, even the dogs don’t get fed four times a day 😛

  12. I really can’t add anything to the other comments – just wanted to thank you for sharing the joy!
    Country Mouse´s last post…Nifty Nodding Needlegrass in the Mist

    • It’s too much to keep it all to myself 😉

  13. They are utterly cute. I want one, no I want them all 🙂

    • I already want more! 😀

  14. oh my goodness I think goat videos is my new most favourite thing ever to watch. Bouncy doesn’t even begin to describe. I too was shocked at just how tiny they are. When I saw they barely even came up to your knees I was beside myself. Just too too precious.
    Marguerite´s last post…Humidity and our House

    • They rarely actually just walk. Bounce, kick, bounce, spin, bounce, bounce, bounce…repeat. They’re so much fun at this age. Why didn’t we get goats sooner?!

  15. They are so cute~!!!! I think they have springs in their legs. I was laughing at all your photo captions…sounds like you are having such a great time with these adorable creatures!
    Karin/Southern Meadows´s last post…The Purple Invasion

    • Sometimes I think those spring might be rocket-powered! I’m always impressed how high, and how far, they can jump!

  16. Clare – I am hooked! They are just the cutest and the video is the best. It would be nearly impossible to get any work done with these two around! Cannot wait to see & hear more of their adventures… 🙂
    Shyrlene´s last post…Summer Before Spring? (The difference a "day" makes!)

    • Work has definitely come to a screeching halt. I will work in the greenhouse today…I will work in the greenhouse today…I will… 😛

  17. I wonder if Minnie will be able to jump as high as she was in the video once she gets a bit heavier – she’s like a gymnastic and seems to jump much higher than Lotus. What a pair of characters you’ve added to the Curbstone family Clare though I can just imagine how demanding they are at mealtimes.
    [email protected]´s last post…Authorship Markup Scheme For Bloggers Unique Content

    • I suspect both goats will be more ‘grounded’ as they get larger, but it is impressive how high they can jump at the moment. I’m glad we made the lower half of the dutch door to the barn quite tall!

  18. Cute doesn’t begin to describe your goats! I loved the video. I had no idea goats bounced like that. They look like they are having a wonderful time. I suspect they are already hopelessly spoiled. The sight of them walking on a leash was too much!
    debsgarden´s last post…A Surprise in the March Woodlands

    • They are definitely hopelessly spoiled. I’m NOT looking forward to weaning, as Minnie has taken to howling down the neighborhood if I’m even a few minutes late with the next bottle! 😛

  19. Ok, goats on a leash? They are too cute for shure! I can’t see how anything gets done with them around.
    Dave´s last post…Photo Friday: Busy Bluebirds

    • As we don’t have the property fully fenced, the leashes are something of a necessity. I’ve already discovered that Lotus is MUCH faster than me! 😉

  20. Oh my goodness! Those two are the cutest things I have ever seen! They really do literally bounce, for the sheer joy of it! I’m ready to place my order for a couple! Fun!
    KT Lee´s last post…Awakening

    • I don’t think they know how to walk. It’s bounce bounce bounce everywhere they go. They do look so happy though. Maybe I should bounce more? 😀

  21. Holy cow, are these things cute. CUTE!
    Jess´s last post…Is Old the New New?

    • Yes, and don’t be fooled, Minnie knows she’s cute, and works it to her advantage. She has me wrapped around her little hooves already 😉

  22. I don’t think I could ever tire of their cute antics. They look so cute on the leashes taking a stroll.
    Donna´s last post…W4W Tracery in the Landscape

    • They really seem to enjoy going for walks. Especially down to the bridge over the creek, they seem quite fascinated with the sound of the water as it rushes by. Of course, any blackberries that can be sampled on the way are a HUGE bonus!