My Mom (who is 71) lives here on the farm with Ray and I. Last spring ... she was a great help with getting the bottles ready and feeding the kids. During kidding season ... I'm so busy on labor watch and delivery, milking, and the regular chores ... it's wonderful and gives me a great peace of mind to know she's taking care of feeding the kids. She always lets me know if any of them are not eating well or has a runny nose too!
Mom feeding the kids
Here's what she has to say about the experience:
Since Brenda is busy 34 hours a day, I try to help her all I can. No ... that is not a typo, she really is busy 24 7 during kidding season. When I first moved up here, and the baby kids started coming and I saw it took her 2 to 3 days to get the baby to start taking a bottle, I said that is not for me, she had the nack and the experience of teaching them to eat. Not me, all I have done with pets is raise chihuahuas, well, and also birds. They are easy to take care of when they are babies.
Brenda and Samuel feeding Butterscotch
So one day I told her that I would like to try and give it my best. It is really a struggle to get the new kids to take the bottle, sometimes they just refuse it completely, and on the start I had to get her to take over with 2 or 3 a few times.
I watched closely and saw how she did it, and I got the right idea. Ya have to hold them on your lap and they try to jump off, as they are stout and strong. But it seemed if they folded the front legs and were contrary on the start, just let their hind legs hang over my lap. That way they can't jump off the lap so easily.
I fed 48 twice a day. As they got bigger, it was pretty exciting ... as I got inside each pen of 6 babies, and sat on the cooler. They of course all want to eat at once, so ya have the other 5 jumping and trying to get on my lap also.
Mom Feeding the Kids
Then as they got a lot bigger, she rigged a wire holder for all 6 bottles to hang on the outside of the pens. But I only did one pen at a time, as they enjoyed their bottles so much, when they would butt, the bottle would go flying. lol
No, I would not say it was an easy job, but fulfilling and interesting. A bottle fed baby goat is always gentle and I would not have a wild one that has not been bottle fed. The last winter's babies are about grown, and when ya get in the corral with them, and they still give ya kisses and get up to set on your lap.
Since being new to the goat family, I never knew how personable they are. Every goat here has a name, and they all know their name. They are extremely intelligent. When I bottle fed those last winter, I would open the barn door and say "Hello Kids" and they knew their bottle was coming, and they were so excited and began talking to me. They still do today, when I go out there and say Hello Kids. They think of us as their Mother and never forget us.
I am looking farward to the new babies this season. Like when I raised chihuahuas, it is exciting what color each baby turns out to be. I have to remember each baby by the color and name, so one don't get fed twice and one is skipped at that feeding. I'm glad I can remember them all. ~~ Mother
I'm glad Mom enjoys feeding the kids! We'll have lots more this spring to feed than last year!