All of the winter kids are now over a week old. Their mothers want to go out to pasture with the herd. The goat kids try to go out with them.
Normally I won’t let kids go out
when they are so young. They tend to get lost.
Winter changes things. The goats go out later in the day. The herd comes in earlier. They don’t go all over, but stay in nearby fields.
Noon is soon enough to open the
pasture gate. The frost is off the grass. The kids are sleeping – or were
I start off toward the gate to a
chorus of yelling. Every mother goat is calling her kids. They are hungry and
The herd delays while the kids nurse. The does are now ready to depart. The kids are ready to play.
Finally the does go out the gate. Mothers
are still calling their kids who seem to be ignoring them. Until they don’t.
The does go out through a gate to
the small pasture, turn left and go out the pasture gate. The kids don’t know
about this. They race down to the corner of the barn lot into the cattle
Panels will stop adult goats. Goat kids try to go out with their mothers by climbing through the panel holes. I can let them go or go chasing after them snagging them one or two at a time. I let them go.
The herd crosses the bridge. The
kids stop to inspect this new object. The herd leaves except for Juliette who
will not leave her kids behind.
The kids notice they are left.
Juliette takes them back to the barn lot. The kids climb back in through the
fence. Juliette comes in through the gate. All return to the barn.
The goat kids will try to go out some other day.
Goats and their antics are highlighted through stories and tongue twisters in “For Love of Goats“.
Goat kids grow up so fast. There is a group of seven, yet already there are two kid play groups.
The three older kids – older is relative as they are only three days older – are going outside. Matilda’s single buck leaps up on the bench and spends lots of time outside exploring. Juliette’s twins try to follow her out to the small pasture but stop at the gate and run back to the barn.
The other four sleep more. These
were smaller kids being a set of triplet bucks and a doe from a yearling.
Kid play groups matter. When kids
are small, their mother answers their calls, comes running back when they are
lost and showers them with attention. As kids get older, their mothers start to
ignore them and get on with the serious business of eating. The play groups
then keep the kids together, answer each other’s calls and occupy their time
with various games.
The kids in a group are normally about the same age and stage. A smaller, more backward kid will often end up in a play group of younger kids.
By the time these kids are a month
old, the seven will spend most of their time playing together. Another two
weeks will split them up again into two kid play groups as the three older kids
get more serious about eating.
The groups will still merge for fun and games. King of the mountain, race down the log, tag through the herd and other activities are popular until kids get to be yearlings. Even then they indulge themselves at times.
The does watch the antics with such long suffering attitudes. They have forgotten when they were parts of kid play groups. As adults they are far too dignified to engage in such antics. Unless no one is watching.
Meet Star, The Little Goat, in “For Love of Goats” and read more about kids growing up.