The first baby goat of 2014 arrived on Wednesday, January 15. At 7:30 AM one of our interns, Emma, asked eagerly if anyone had gone out and checked on the pregnant goats. There are a total of 9 pregnant goats on the farm right now, 5 of which have been put in their own pen, so we can monitor them, as some are due to give birth now and through the coming weeks.
Emma went outside on what felt like the beginning of a beautiful spring day.
“I just decided to check on them,” Emma said.
She saw that only Maiz-E was lying under the shelter, while the other goats grazed in the pasture. Her pace quickened as she approached the pen and there was a little baby goat next to its mother. What’s interesting about this goat is she looks just like her mother. It is not uncommon for a brown goat to birth a white kid, or a spotted goat to birth one single colored.
“It was kind of hard to tell,” Emma said. “They are so similar in coloring the baby just blended in.”
Once our intern noticed however, it was hard for her to contain her excitement.
“I got emotional,” she said. “It was a beautiful thing. I yelled ‘we have a baby!’ and I told the bucks that one of them was a daddy. I felt really special finding it. I’d never experienced anything like that before.”
Maiz-E and her baby are resting quietly in the nursery where they will stay for 3-4 days. During this time the baby nurses from its mother to get the colostrum, or “first milk.” In a few days we will separate the kid from its mother and begin to milk Maize-E for the production of our farm’s milk. We will bottle feed the goat kid until she is ready to be weaned. After that she will either be sold or become part of our herd.
“We were just sitting here last night like nothing was happening, and this goat was being born!” Emma said. “It’s amazing.”