19 March 2011

Our Pet Goat

The goat kid we revived from "mostly dead" continues to thrive...but, unfortunately, only in the house.

We did our best to reintroduce her to Thistle, the mother goat. The Yeoman Farm Children put Thistle in the stanchion, got some milk flowing from her teats, and tried to get the kid to suckle. She just stood there and let the nipple fall from her mouth. They tried again. And again. And again. No luck.

The YFCs milked Thistle out, and then returned her to the kidding pen. We tried leaving the kid out in the pen with her, hoping something might click, but she just sat there all afternoon. And Thistle didn't express the slightest interest in this "thing" sharing the pen with her.

So...the kid (who remains nameless, BTW) came back into the house. Where she sleeps in a box in front of the fire, and gladly takes milk when given to her from a dropper. She's put on noticeable weight. Her tendons are doing a lot better, and she's walking steadily all over the living room and kitchen when we let her out of the box. She doesn't gallop around like a typical kid, but she's making remarkable progress and I think her prognosis is excellent.

Except for the whole "bonding with other goats instead of humans" thing. I'm honestly not sure how we're going to work this, or how long she's going to be a "house goat." It's okay for now, but goats are notorious climbers. It's only a matter of time before she'll be climbing out of her box, messing all over the floor, climbing the stairs, and climbing onto the dining room table.

We took her out to my office last night, while we watched college basketball. The office has a vinyl floor, so it didn't matter if she piddled (and she did). Her footing was a bit unsteady, because vinyl is slick, but she got the hang of it soon enough. Before long, she was wandering all over my office like any other house pet. It was kind of fun, actually.

Wilbur was all over her, trying to figure out what this new little creature was. For her safety, we thought it best to move Wilbur outside (which was fine with him).

What happens next? We're not really sure. This is uncharted territory. She's a very nice goat kid. I'm just not sure how long we can continue keeping her as a house pet.

Stay tuned. There's never a dull moment on a farm.


barbara said...

Hubsy loves your blog and suggested it to me; now I am a fan as well. This is a great story, especially when so much trouble is in the world. You could call her "Puddles" after the little floor messes? Maybe she will become a yard-goat?

Homesteading Mommy said...

We bottle feed all our babies and they still bond well with other goats. I'd put her back in the barn and just bottle feed her. She gets to interact with goats, but is still getting nourishment. We have some friends who were given a goat who had been a house goat. There was a reason he was GIVEN away. Annoying little booger. Anytime you went into the pasture that goat was stuck on you, rubbing against you, nosing your hand. Couple that with the buck stink and... well, they got rid of him not too long later. Good luck!