What a wild start to the year this has been. As if having over a dozen new goats join the herd in January and February wasn’t enough – our very last mama joined the ranks today. In true Crossley Farms fashion, it was chaos.
This story really starts yesterday. We made the impromptu decision to load the kids up after the workday and drive to Omaha to visit the zoo. We made it to our hotel around 9:30 p.m. after an abundance of delays with wildly frustrated kids in the car. Despite the late to-bed time, we rose early, loaded up on coffee and saw tons of cool animals. When everyone crashed for naps, we climbed back in the car and started our journey home.
As if an under-24-hour road trip isn’t madness enough, we pulled into the driveway with Kili and Denali losing their minds near the barn. While we had a farm sitter for the overnight, the early evening was creeping in on feeding time and we’d intended to handle it ourselves. We wandered up to the barn to see what the commotion was – only to find one of the Pyrenees in the goat pen, frantically defending the brand new babies from their mama.
To be honest, we’re still not sure why the dog decided to do this. We think she was alarmed by the noises the mama was likely making while giving birth. Whatever the reason, it’s critical that new babies get to spend time with their mama, get cleaned up and are able to nurse for colostrum. It was obvious that the little ones were brand new – but we couldn’t risk mama abandoning them both or, worse, them not nursing right away.
We intervened to get the dog out of the pen. Then, we put mama and the babies into a private area of the pen together – away from the other goats as well. Once everyone had their own space, we stepped away and watched for signs that everything was going well.
While we waited – we spent time loving on the animals and making sure the dogs were comfortable and relaxed with all of the goats around.
Mama was understandably stand-offish – but seemed to relax once she realized we were going to leave them alone. I watched as she cleaned each of the babies and the practiced their earliest wobbly steps across the ground. It was incredible. Each of them took turns nursing – all the while, mama kept guard over the tiny corner she’d worked them into.
The new pair are absolutely beautiful. One is a stunning gray color that we haven’t seen before. Both have the most adorable ears – they’re huge. I couldn’t be more relieved that everything worked out the way it did. Once again, our herd has grown!