Friday, January 8, 2010

Feeding the Kids ... Mom's Perspective

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.

Goat Kisses!

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!


Dalyn (AKA The Queen of Quite Alot) said...

I love, love this blog! My favorite things- goats and cheese *U* Just made my day! I'm putting you on my bloggy list.

Brenda said...

Thank you, Dalyn! Welcome to my blog! I've been enjoying reading your blog the past several days too!

Spring Lake Farm said...

Way to go, Mom!!!


~Tonia said...

Ahh I recognize the baby in the last pic too!! Little Miss Mariah.. Who is um well not so little anymore!!
I know your mom is a lot of help. I cant imagine doing all you have and then feeding babies as that is a full time job for sure.. I was complaining about the 12 I had last year!! Haha Of course I was not "allowed" to really do it the way I wanted.. I cant wait to see your babies this year!! I have also been in your barn when its bottle time Wheeeww what alot of "talking"!!! lol

Brenda said...

LOL! Yes, they "talk" pretty loud when it's all of them at the same time saying, "Hurry up over there! I'm hungry! It's my turn already!"

Marg said...

Yes Tonia, that is Mariah girl, that photo was taken at the Lebanon fair when your daughter was showing her. I was so happy Mariah remembered me and gave me a kiss. lol Mariah was my very favoite bottle baby, although she was a little stubborn with the first few days of her getting use to her bottle, but she turned out ok. lol When she was born I loved her unusual tri colors too. I am glad your daughter picked her, as I know she is well loved there along with your others.
Brenda sometimes has to spend the night in the barn all night awaiting the new arival, to make sure the baby and the Mother make it ok.
I remember one night on the start, I went out to see if she was ok, because it was blistery cold outside and she hadn't taken a quilt to keep her warm. I think it was when Mariah was born. I went in and said a hey to her, then I noticed she was all curled up beside the Mother, with I think it was a coat for a cover. She said, "Oh, Mother you woke me up". I said well it is so late and cold, I just had to come and check on you. But then I got use to her spending nights to be there in case she was needed, which often happens with delivery.
Once everyone was gone but me and a neighbor's teenage son, who they had hired to do some work for them. She always tells me to keep a watch on a doe that is due anytime. So I went to the barn again that day, just in time, as the baby was being born. I didnt thik I had the strength, so I told the boy what to do and we got the baby born safely. That boy lives with his grandfather and said he has helped with his Grandpa's cattle. But he still didn't know about goats. Brenda got home and we felt so proud to have been here to help out with the safety of the baby. lol

goatmilker said...

That is so neat to have your Mom helping. I have my Dad and Mother-in-law who live with us they don't help outside but inside and it sure is a blessing.Have a great day Rebekah.

~Tonia said...

I guess I should have recognized the Blue panels in the background.. To look back at pics and see how big she is now!! Wow!
We have been tempted a few times to just stay in the barn. Its usually fairly warm and the goats curl up next to us!Lol.. THe first year we had a "big"kidding it was me, the girls and my parents in their goat barn with the goats.. Had 5 or 6 kid in one night! We just laid out next to the goats to rest for a few. Just gotta watch where you lay!Lol

Feral Female said...

Great entry Mom!! Looking forward to seeing more of you and your entries!

H Diamond Farms said...

Just wanted to say HI! And I love your blog. I spent the afternoon reading through all your back posts, lol. Tonia sent me the link. I'm getting ready for my first kidding this year, and will be using milk for herd shares and such. She thought I could get some help from your blog, and she was right! Love your babies, so cute!

Brenda said...

Welcome, H Diamond Farms! I'm glad you enjoyed reading the past posts. I've enjoyed putting them together. Tonia is a great friend to have!

Flat Creek Farm said...

Oh, what a sweet post! Love it! You and your mom are very fortunate to have the very best life ~ a life on the farm. (ok, so I'm biased ;-)) What a nice blog you have - glad to find you. -Tammy (central MO)

Brenda said...

Tammy - Welcome! I agree completely ... a life on the farm is the best!