Updates From the Nursery at Gullringstorp
Frida is just the most wonderful goat mother I have ever met! She is just fantastic! She is in constant communication with her two babies. By the way, she has two tiny black doelings. I am so tickled that they are girls. They haven’t names yet, but that will be taken care of soon. Her babies bounce around their box and are so happy. When ever one is just a tad bit too far from her, she has a lot to say to them and they come running. It is a very close little family. They talk to Frida and she talks with them. Conversations are constant from that box.
Here are Frida’s new tiny doelings:
So as you can see, Frida and her little family are dong quite well. Now Hilda. It is a shame that I have seen Frida and her way of mothering, because now expect all my expectant mothers to be as diligent as she is.
Hilda had very silent stoic labor for many hours, then the screams came as she was actually delivering. Well all of that has passed but now we have a silent mother goat. These two tiny ones need to hear mommy’s voice and there needs to be constant communication between them. There is not. Now I am beginning to rethink that moment when Hilda stood staring at one of her babies. I thought she was feeling really good thoughts, maybe she was wondering who this baby was and why was she in her box.
There is no chatting back and forth between them and that is a problem. When those babies wander far from her she has no idea what to do about it. She seems to have really poor parenting skills. There have been several times when we go in to check on our little “nursery” only to find one baby under the water bowl on the opposite side of the box, far from mommy. Too far for a two-day old. I have seen Hilda and heard her yell at me as if to say, help, please get my baby back for me”. We always bring the baby back to her and she really does not seem to know what to do with either of them. When they are right under her nursing, it looks all well, on the surface. The problem is, how long do these babies spend apart from the cozy warmth of mommy as she lays surrounding them during the night?
Well, we saw these two new babies settled down in separate corners of the box with neither one snuggled next to Hilda, one too many times.these are not Frida’s babies who are 7 days old now and now run around a lot. These babies are just 1 1/2 days old and should not be separated so much from the warmth and safety of their mother. So I decided that if Hilda was having difficulty with her role as a mother, we needed to do something to make it easier for her and beneficial for the babies.
I decided to make the space for her and her new-born babies, smaller. I asked my husband to look around the property for something that we could use to actually make her box, for now, half the size. This way her babies could not wander so far away from her and she could be a better mother to them. She seems a bit overwhelmed by them and their movement. Now they would have a limited area in which to wander and she would be close enough for her to be an attentive mother. We then placed in the smaller area, a bowl for her grain, she has a hay rack already in place, a bowl with her greens since she was not going out to the enclosure, and a new water bowl, up out of the way of the tiny ones.
I had seen enough, so this is what we have done to help Hilda:
Hilda has all she needs in this new space. I have brought in special bowls of our strawberry plants for both Hilda and Frida since they are not out in the enclosure eating fresh grass. Both were really happy to get these greens.
We are hoping that this will help Hilda out and not become confused and frustrated when her babies wander. Now, in this new space, they can not wander far. Soon, however, maybe in just a matter of days, we will have to take down this fencing because they will be to active and start to “bounce”. They really will need the space to do all the “bouncing” they want. But for now, until they get bigger and stronger, they just need to stay close to Hilda.
I forgot to say, the little brown baby is a buckling and the little black one is a doeling.
Pumpkin is next, but not for a couple of weeks. She will be a first time mother so there is some concern for her labor and delivery and parenting skills. We will see, there may be no problem at all.
For now, this is the situation in our Nursery at Gullringstorp.