Baby Goats at the Farm

Dates are not my strong point. I have turned up for many appointments and activities either a week or day early or two weeks late.

It therefore comes to no surprise that I worked out the dates of the goat pregnancies wrong. Goats are pregnant for 150 days.

The billy goat arrived on April 20 and I don’t know why, I miscalculated and believed day 150 to be in October.

Imagine my surprise then when, on feeding the goats one morning, Chip was off her food. “Ooo I wonder if she is in the early stages of labour,” I thought.

I intended to go back and check early afternoon but lunch making, child looking after and the school run stopped me and, I am going to be truthful here, it slipped my mind. She gave birth (to Cupcake) with no problems so I knew she would be fine.

The baby and I were gardening waiting for the eldest’s school bus to arrive home and the eldest boy was doing laps on his bike. He would hurtle past us then go through the barns again-our old shippen is open at both ends so it makes a brilliant cut through.

He came riding over to us at break-neck speed: “Mummy, I have great news, I am not joking. You will never believe it. Chip has had a baby goat.”

Well, we ran so fast to that barn and sure enough, there was a tiny little goat kid. As she was so early (I worked out she was only on day 117), I resumed she must be having twins or triplets so we waited.

Alas more babies did not appear but the kid was a girl so I was happy. I then presumed Cupcake would give birth in October when I had expected it to happen.

Six days later, Cupcake was very restless and started pawing the ground. As a first timer, I was slightly more nervous. The farmer was baling haylage in a field around 5 miles away so if anything bad happened, it would take him a while to get back in a tractor and I would have to step in.

Goats are much narrower than sheep in the birth canal area so it can be tricky if you have to intervene.

At one point, Cupcake was on her side bleating very loudly and I panicked. Thankfully the farmer was on the way home with a load.

By the time he arrived, the membranes had burst and she was actually in less pain. She had stopped pushing though. The farmer had to go back to the field and couldn’t really stick around for long so we took the decision that he should intervene.

The children looked on as their daddy helped Cupcake bring new life into the world. I don’t care what anyone says, witnessing the birth of any animal is amazing and it really does make you realise the miracle of life.

The look of shock on the children’s faces was priceless. They’ve seen sheep being helped hundreds of time but the goats are like pets really and very tame so I think they were a little bit shocked.

Cupcake had a girl too and we are so pleased. They are very naughty little goats. Within 24 hours of being born, Cupcake’s baby had escaped and got herself lost in the hay shed.


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•Escape Goat• As I did my nightly checks yesterday I froze when I got to Cupcake. Her baby was gone. I rang the farmer in a panic. I saw her at the side of the stabled area and as I went to get her, she ran down the side of the hay bales stacked in there. I went back every half an hour until we went to bed but no sign. I just presumed that she would come out when she was hungry. I was out there at 6 this morning with 2 of the children searching and I even had a little cry about the lost goat. There are hundreds of bales in there. Would we ever find her? She is only just over 24 hours old. The farmer went to look while I got the kids dressed (we had originally searched in our pyjamas). He sent me a selfie with the baby goat she had gone all the way along to the other side. We have put both mama goats back in the same pen with their babies now and attached more hurdles to the gates so there can be no more escaping. I actually feel sorry for Chip and Cupcake. I thought 3 human kids was hard. It seems these naught little goat kids are much, much worse. Thank goodness for happy endings

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We have been in talks for over a week now about names. With sweet related names of the goats we already have (Chip, Cupcake, Sponge and Stud Muffin) I was planning to stick with cake related names. My blog Facebook page community came up with some crackers like Oreo and Sprinkles but, in the end I decided to go for autumnal names.

They were going to be Bracken and Pumpkin but when the one got stuck down the hay bales, I changed her name to Pickle because that is what she got herself into.

So meet Pumpkin and Pickle, our new baby goats who are never still enough to get a photo of them together and look so similar, it is only that fact that Pumpkin is bigger that we can tell them apart.

As I went through photos when writing this post, I looked back to see when Muffin arrived. I could find no photos of his arrival in May so looked back and he actually arrived on April 20 so the births weren’t early. Chip was day 145 and Cupcake was 151. What a fool I am. If we do it again, I will write the date on the calendar as I should do with everything.

Sponge didn’t arrive until July 5 so if she is pregnant, day 150 will be December 1. Please don’t let me forget.


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