November is an iffy time for kids to be born. Newborn kids get cold easily. Having a protective mother goat helps.
High Reaches Butter’s Juliette is such a goat. She is very proud of her new baby born November 1. She was not impressed when I put a goat coat on the kid because she was cold.
Luckily the next day warmed up. The goat coat came off. The kid fluffed up and is fine, even on cold nights now.
During the summer, goat kids must stay at the barn until they are almost a month old. The grass is so tall, they can’t see their mother. Even a protective mother goat has trouble keeping track of her kids.
Fall is different. A fall in dry weather is even more different. The grass is barely six inches tall. A kid is twelve inches tall and gaining daily.
Like most goats, Juliette hates to stay locked in the barn lot when the herd goes out. She is a herd animal. She stands and calls all day. Since she is a Nubian, these calls are loud.
There is incentive to let Juliette go out for the day. There is incentive to keep her in to feed her kid.
Newborn kids aren’t very active. Over the summer they may lay around sleeping most of the time for a couple of weeks. Winter kids seem to get active much faster. Juliette’s kid was racing around at a week old.
Still, a week is very young to go out tramping around the pastures. I hate to go out searching for lost kids.
Late one afternoon, when the kid was nine days old, I let Juliette take her out for a couple of hours.
The kid came in with the herd. The kid had a wonderful time. The kid was standing at the pasture gate with the herd the next day.
Another difference with the fall schedule is morning hay. This means the goats are happily munching through milking time and a little beyond. They don’t go out until noon.
A kid has only three to four hours to keep up. A protective mother goat can keep up with her kid that long.
I opened the gate. The herd walked through. After all, they weren’t hungry.
An hour later Juliette was still by the gate. The kid hadn’t gone over the bridge with the herd, so they were standing by the gate.
I picked the kid up and took her across the bridge with Juliette following. I set the kid down. The herd was close by.
That evening the herd came in. Juliette and her kid were not with them. I went looking.
Juliette was at the top of a hill with her kid. Protective mother goat that she is, she could see the entire pasture from this vantage point. She refused to come down.
I had to go up. Me, in my mucking out the barn shoes with slick soles, had to scale a hill covered with loose gravel (This is the Ozarks norm.) on a forty degree angle. This required using hands and feet along with trying not to think about the trip down.
Juliette stood there and watched me. She yawned. She wandered over to the side of the hill and started going down calling her kid to follow.
I followed lurching from tree to tree to keep from falling. At least Juliette had trained her kid well to follow her so I wasn’t trying to carry the kid as well as stay on my feet.
Thankfully Juliette and her kid stayed with the herd the next day.
Nubian goat kids can get into lots of trouble. Capri is in top form in Capri Capers. check out this wild melodrama filled with villains chasing Capri’s owner.