After last night's terrible events, we're left with twin orphan goat kids that must be cared for. They are barely two weeks old, and were fortunately in very good health at the time their mother died. Unfortunately, neither one of them was able to figure out how to drink from a bottle yesterday. They were clearly hungry, but when the nipple was put in their mouths they just tried to chew on it. We got barely three ounces into them at the time we discovered their mother was dead (early evening), and kids this age need about a quart of milk each per day just to survive.
Late last night, Mrs Yeoman Farmer and I went out to give it another try. They still wouldn't feed from the bottle, so MYF got an idea: let's try pouring some milk into a bowl. That proved to be the ticket. Kids this age supposedly can't be trained to drink from a bowl (supposedly, only newborns can), but these two went right at it. MYF held the bowl about a foot off the ground, and I guided the female kid's head into it. After a couple of tentitive laps, she started sucking the milk down with gusto. Ditto for her twin brother. By the time we refilled the bowl, we didn't need to guide either kid --- both of them started sucking down milk at the same time.
We just got back from feeding them again this morning; we'll need to do this three times a day until they're three weeks old...at which time we can cut back to twice a day. They both went right at it again, and we decided for the next feeding we'll just leave the milk in the large pan after we warm it up. Between the two of them, they took nearly a quart this morning. Which is great, but we're only getting three quarts a day total from the other two goats we're milking. If we're going to keep any for the Yeoman Farm Children (which is, after all, the whole point of having dairy goats), we're going to need to buy some goat milk replacer soon. For now, though, we're glad we're getting so much milk into these kids while they're still healthy and strong. Once they start going downhill and get weakened, it's really hard to bring them back.
Here's the female:
And her brother:
We hadn't planned on keeping this female (most of Marigold's other kids have been lousy), but it now looks like we'll need her as a replacement milker. So...we need a name. Soon. We're open to suggestions, but it needs to be based on a flower.