Nanna, one of our Pygmy does, is a very special lady. She is kind, gentle and at times quite mischievous. This little lady has given us a beautiful little buckling, Toby, who has grown into a handsome buck. She was such a good mother to her baby. As a member of our herd, she greets everyone and is easy-going in the enclosure.
This little lady has found a special place in my heart for all the reasons above.
Here is the kind and gentle side of Nanna:
So here is how we came to have Tom and Jerry. These tiny babies are born in the stable and come into the goat’s boxes for food and water. I can’t rescue and bring every tiny baby into the house, even if I want to. They are stable mice and really have a great home there. the only problem is they get thirsty and seek out water. This is their undoing. They fall in and can not get out. It’s one of the saddest things to see when we go into change and refresh water in the boxes. We don’t really have a stable cat so these mice are not taken care of through the food chain . I go back and forth with the idea of a stable cat. I do have some concerns. One would be where do they wee and poop? Don’t really want that in the boxes or in the straw and hay supplies. Also cats carry Toxoplasmosis in their poopies and that’s really bad for pregnant goats just as it’s not a good idea for a pregnant woman to change litter pans while pregnant. Exposure can be harmful to the fetuses of both humans and goats. For these reasons we don’t have a real stable cat. Sounds so idyllic to have a stable cat, but these issues must be considered.
We just take care of whatever we find when we go to the stable. If they are in the water, they are not alive any longer and that is always sad for me. It never becomes routine. When I find these tiny babies in food bowls, I am so relieved. I just scoop them up and see where they run to. I put a small supply of grain in the hole they ran too and I try to remember where they ran to and place them closer to home. I have no problem scooping them up because there is no rabies in Sweden so these tiny cuties are not dangerous.
This tiny baby was lucky, he had a nice meal and had a dinner partner and didn’t fall in the water bucket.
I have never done a before and after of any of our goats. Just thought I would start with one of my cutest, before and after:
Toby is Nanna’s first baby born here at Gullringstorp. Toby was born May 12, 20102:
Our little Toby has grown into a real handsome buck that has an uncanny similarity to Elvis. Look at that hair-do, will you:
This morning was a perfect day for the goats to be out. No wind, no rain, no snow. It will be a short day however, due to the darkness coming at 3 pm. That’s ok because the ladies were getting cabin fever and even a short day out is better than no time out at all.
The ladies got to get out but not the boys. I know, I know what about the boys? Well it’s just not that easy and it requires some time and attention outdoors which was not on my schedule today. You see the issue is, my baby boys. I will give my babies more time in the boy’s box so they feel a part of their new little herd. I have several sub-herds within my complete herd. Once I feel Phillip and Winston have been accepted completely by the others, then I will feel comfortable letting them out with the others. In addition to that aspect of buck life, my little fellas have no previous knowledge of the electric fence which surrounds their enclosure. This will be a day that requires both of our attentions. The boys will have to be “introduced” to the fence. This is a ritual that I can not do. This is my husband’s job to place the tiny noses to the fence for what will be hopefully the one and only time their noses come into contact with it.
Well today was the day for the little girls and my ladies to go out and kick up their heels a bit:
After setting the electric fence, I walked into the stable. What a strange sensation to see my empty stable. It was so quiet and empty.
It was great fun watching all my goats out and running and literally kicking up their cute little heels. With the cold temperatures we have been having, our ground feels like concrete. It feels great to walk on it and the sound of my goat’s hooves as they run is just a wonder. They sound like a herd of galloping horses.
Well my ladies didn’t make it to 3 this afternoon. The sun has not set yet, a few minutes more and it will, but, it started snowing!
My ladies had a wonderful time out today the 7th day of January in the New Year 2013.
Things alway seem to be in transition here at Gullringstorp and with those transitions, I have to make some changes. Some are fun and some are a bit heart wrenching. Well this was one of the later ones to deal with.
My two little babies, Phillip and Winston were ready for their move out of their mother’s box , into the buck’s box.
I knew this time was coming, this is a transition that I have had to do several times. this does not make it any easier, however. Around the first of December, I started to introduce my little fellas to the other buck. They were placed in their box, under my close supervision for just a few minutes at first. The time was increased, but always under supervision. They were afraid at first, as expected, but #2 mommy was always there by their side. Mommy #1 Hilda was never happy during the boy’s brief moments away. That was not fun to hear her cries. But, it had to be done.
I have kept a close eye on my little fellas for the signs of maturity. Little bucklings mature quickly and you must really enjoy the “baby” stage because like all babies, theirs is also fleeting. I have enjoyed these two boys tremendously. Hilda has had other babies here at Gullringstorp and they are both still here at Gullringstorp. Peanut is as gentle a doe as her mother and Little Man retains her gentle ways also, even after 1 1/2 years.
These two little ones are my last bucklings to keep here from our breeding. I made a promise that any future bucklings will be up for sale. It pains me to think of this, but it would have pained me even more if I was forced to sell Phillip and Winston.
January 2nd, I looked at my boys and said this is the day. They were moved in with the other bucks. Having had many years of employment in hospital Clinical Laboratories, Emergency Rooms and as a trained Paramedic, I am able to tackle painful or uncomfortable situations with the strength required to get the job done.
The task at hand was completed, and I did cry as I walked away. I cried at my little one’s cries for their mommy and for the cries I heard from Hilda’s box. It was heart wrenching to say the least. I knew it was time for these little “babies” to now become little bucks. My little fellas were born August 11, 2012.
We are so very fortunate here at Gullringstorp, each of our mothers, so far have been able to have an entire box to themselves for labor, delivery and the first 4 months with their babies. It’s wonderful and I am so happy to be able to provide this for them. I have to say, it’s a bit of a luxurious life for my ladies. We have not sold any of our new babies to date, but I will be selling boys, if the come. My mothers are able to feed their babies, have their private nursery and play yards. I don’t take any of this for granted, believe me. My mothers are happy and content playing and feeding and looking after their little ones and I just love watching it all.
Phillip and Winston made the big move January 2nd to the boy’s box:
Well as you can imagine, I didn’t really sleep very well with my “babies” having their first full night with the big boys. When I arrived in the stable the next morning, they were yelling so loudly and so was Hilda. I mistook the screaming for the boys missing mommy and mommy missing her boys. To my wonderful surprise, it was to let me know they were ready for their morning grain.
As with all my baby boys, they are allowed to have grain for at least a month after they have been transferred to the boy’s box. Since they are still babies, they can still have some in the morning only. As bucks become older, they can no longer have the beloved grain because it can cause urinary stones.
January 3rd, I mistook Hilda’s cries once again and brought her boys down for a short visit. to my utter surprise, I was actually in rhythm with Hilda’s cycle. She did not want her boys anywhere near her now. My instincts on the morning of Jan. 2nd were correct. She was ready for her babies to become bucks and she knew that couldn’t happen in her box.
Well today, Jan. 4th, I got the idea that poor Hilda might be lonely with her boys gone now. What to do??? Ok , Nanna lives alone, and they seem to get along well, so I tried to bring Nanna to Hilda’s box. things seemed to go well for a bit but then on careful inspection, although there were no real clashes, Hilda was afraid of Nanna and Nanna was afraid of all the sounds coming from the two boxes on either side. I sat with them for a while and decided it was not going to work. Hilda will be fine actually until her box is once again filled with the patter of tiny hooves and Nanna loves her home.
Overall, the boys are just fine, Hilda will be fine and Nanna as always is happy.
Just a few of the changes and challenges with a small goat herd at Gullringstorp in 2013.
We have had lots of rain lately so our goats are not really going out. I have heard of people who had goats that enjoyed or didn’t mind the rain, but not Gullringstorp goats. They really hate the rain, so we have indoor activities instead.
Our chickens, on the other hand seem to love the rain. Our Brahma chickens really like the rain and stay out till they are soaking wet. I always worry that they may get sick or something, but I think chickens can take it. No one has gotten sick yet and they really do get soaked.
Here are chickens, goats and a dog:
Welcome back for more activities at Gullringstorp !
Well, we got Hilda back into her clean box just in time for her to have a clean and comfortable labor. She was brought back into her box around 2 pm while the others remained in the enclosure. Hilda’s absence was noticed immediately. It took some time before all the goats, boys included, to resume their activities of eating grass, playing and relaxing.
Everyone eventually resumed their normal activities while Hilda was busy at her job at hand.
I wonder if they knew?
Silly question, of course they did!
Welcome back for Updates From the Nursery at Gullringstorp…
One of the saddest things for me to experience, is my little boys, bucklings growing up. And let me tell you they grow up just too fast. One minute they are nursing at their mother’s teats and next thing they are trying to mate ant female in sight. And this starts at 2 months old !!
Our little Toby who is just a delight has been having hormone surges and although not fully functional, is becoming a bit of a problem. I have held off as long as possible, but we are now taking steps to separate him and move him away from Nanna. It is not a pleasant process at all for the goats or us, well me. My husband can handle it a bit better than I can.
These are Toby and Nanna’s last days in the enclosure together:
Toby began to show real buck activity while in the enclosure with the females. It became just a bit too much so he had to be moved in with the boys. Toby knows the boys because he lives right next door. He has been spending at least an hour in with them to get used to them and for them to get used to him. He gets beat up a bit but he is strong and will not be injured. He just cries for his mommy sometimes. Other times he is just fine.
But being placed in the boy’s enclosure separated from Nanna was not an easy for Toby, his mother Nanna nor us, ok me:
If you look really close you can see what bucky behavior got our little fellow moved!
Toby spends more time in the boy’s box inside now. Sometimes it’s a problem for Nanna and other times it works out just fine.
The time will come, maybe sooner than I would like , that Toby is moved permanently to the boys quarters. But for now, after his day out with the boys and hay time in their box, he is returned to Nanna for love, comfort and warm milk.
Little Pip is a bit younger and is not exhibiting any bucky behavior yet. He will be next and that won’t be fun either!
I thought I would try out my video functin on my phone and was pleased with the results. I think I will try turning my phone the other way next time.
Here are Toby and his mommy Nanna :
Little Fiona and her mommy Keriana:
Welcome back for videos of Alika’s son Pip and a “Surprise”
We had quite a scare with little Baby Boy on July 19th. He came around on the 20th and has made a steady climb back to good health. This is a little cutie you just don’t want to see not feeling well. What a sad little fellow he was. Yesterday, July 26th was his first day out in the enclosure. The vet recommended some days off fresh grass, grains and just have hay and straw. Boy it really felt good to let him and his buddies out to play! Their enclosure had been reinforced and a door put up to keep them in and the girls out.
My husband put a door on the fencing to help secure the enclosure. There is chicken wire around the entire enclosure. This would keep the live electric wires on the inside to deter the boys and the girls could not try to climb through the electric ropes. The entrance was a problem. A door was the solution. So far it’s working!
The boys really enjoyed their day out in the enclosure and so did the baby girls and the others, including our mothers to be.
Sleepy Nanna’s three steps to a nap:
Nanna was not the only one enjoying the day and taking a nap:
My expectant mothers are all a bit tired in the July heat. They rest as often as they can and they are a bit grumpy. they get really grumpy when new branches are brought into the enclosure or when we give another attention and not them.
Frida is getting a bit grumpy with her daughter Keriana. Frida would like to rest alone at times and poor Keriana is having a hard time with this. Frida eventually gets her space and Keriana must find a different place to rest.
With the mothers-to-be resting , alone, my yearlings Keriana and Alika had to make new arrangements for themselves:
After rest time, everyone heads out to enjoy the enclosure and all the yummy grass and flowers:
One of the climbing items in the enclosure was damaged by the goats so it needed some repair work. Finding things for goats to climb on safely is not so easy. We don’t have a natural rocky area for our herd so we have to bring things in for them. My husband began working and our Pumpkin who has a crush on my husband, was right there to check it all out:
I can’t say I wasn’t nervous with Baby Boy out eating grass after his problem, because I was. It was a long night as we kept checking on him in the box, only to find him happy and chewing his grass all over again! Best thing we could ever see! He was kept inside today just to give his rumen time to settle with all the grass he ate yesterday.
My expectant mothers are doing very well and seem happy and comfortable. Frida will be the first to deliver in the beginning of August. She is large, has a bit of trouble walking and lowering herself to rest but there are no real problems.
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