a preponderance of punctuation marks (reedrover) wrote,
a preponderance of punctuation marks
reedrover

Goat baby update - Sunday was weaning day!

(For the sake of this post, "everyone" refers to "all of the kids except for Goblin." It will just make the flow easier if I state that up front rather than keep restating it.)

Sunday was trauma weaning day for this year's goat babies. I put up the top-right-quarter fence divider in the front field, along with one of my new gates from Sydell. This is now the kids' area, without their mothers. For adult supervision, as well as to get her better food/nutrition while she is still nursing, I included Talla and Goblin in this corner group.

In order to make the separation a bit less exciting, I put down huge bowls of baby food on both sides of the fence. Moms were chowing down and shoving each other around, and didn't notice as I grabbed kid after kid and pushed them through a tiny gap in the fence toward the other bowl full of sweet feed. After the initial yell of Oh No! The Big Bad Wolf Got Me! the kids scrambled through the fence and went off to where they saw more goats and more food. I closed up the fence and stood back. It took about a half an hour for the kids to realize that they couldn't get back through the fence and reunite with their moms. And they did not act terribly panicked about that idea.

There was a lot less yelling in general this year about weaning. I think being able to share a fenceline with their moms means that everyone is much more calm about not being able to nurse. They are all considering that they might just have to settle down to the idea that it's all grain and graze now. This isn't without any struggle, of course. Gimble is constantly trying to get through the fence in every possible way. But he's not screaming from a broken heart because his mom abandoned him. He's just frustrated. This is a vast improvement from the two-day holler-fest that Sashimi and Ria engaged in from across the farm fields (and from which I eventually gave in and reunited them).

I am also weaning about a month earlier than usual. Usually I wean by stealing the kids away to the goat show at the end of June. This time, I'm weaning deliberately and separately from going to the show. I want to see if weaning and food changes a month prior to the show change the kids' attitudes at the show, as well as their overall health and growth. We shall see.

Also, I dewormed all of the kids this morning, including Goblin and Talla.
Tags: angoras, kids
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