23 February 2007

The kids are alright

The newborn goat kids had a great first night, thanks in part to the heat lamp borrowed from the chicken brooder. They were still a little damp with amniotic fluid at bedtime, but cuddled up together under the heat lamp they looked very comfortable. Wish I'd had my camera with me, because the sight was priceless.

This morning, when we came out to do the chores, both of them were fluffy and totally dry --- and, best of all, both were up and nursing. I turned off the heat lamp, but left it out there in case we get another sub-zero snap before the end of winter.

Our children have named the goat kids "Button" and "Marigold". Not sure which is which at this point, but that'll all get sorted out. These goat kids are cross-breeds, so it's not like we'll be registering them. (We couldn't find a Saanen buck in time for breeding season, and we figured Saanen-Toggenburg kids were better than no kids at all.) Some neighbors raise Toggenburgs, and sold us "Eight Bits," the kid buck we ended up using for breeding.

On our farm, only animals that we intend to keep get names. That includes all the female sheep, the breeding rams, the female goats, the breeding buck, and the roosters. (There are too many laying hens to name, and they all look alike anyway, but each of the roosters is quite distinctive.) All the animals that will be butchered get named "Hamburger," "Lamb Chop," or the like. If we get a male goat kid, I'm lobbying for naming him "Chev," short for "Chevon," which is what the French call goat meat.

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