Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Small, Unexpected Gift

We recently made a day trip with my mom to drop her Miniature Alpine doe, Keys, to spend some time with a buck at her breeder’s. Keys was purchased as “bred” last year, but ended up being open and so the breeder is rebreeding her for my mom.

Anywho, we get up there, chat a bit and Shayla sets her eyes on this TINY little doeling. She goes on and on about how pretty she is. "Look mommy!! See how TINY she is?! Look at her, isn't she just BEAUTIFUL? She's even wearing makeup!"

She truly thinks she’s the prettiest goat she ever did see and asked if she could have her. I told her we’d wait and see…perhaps at Christmas.

The breeder however told Shayla she could HAVE the doe!!! Shayla was over the moon excited, nearly bouncing in excitement and frantic to get her hands on the lil' doeling... I'm still shocked by the unexpected generosity & though I had no plans to add another goat anytime soon, I'm very happy for Shayla & quite proud of the responsibility she's showng at the ripe old age of 6.....

This lil’ doe is a 4th generation Miniature Alpine and is quite small…even for a miniature. Add to this she is dam raised, almost 4 months old and VERY wild.

Took a bit of effort, but Shayla did manage to catch her:

The newly captured Ella

Car ride home..

Many people do wean goats at this age. Many wean them at 8 weeks old. As a personal preference, and the fact that I like my kids big enough to breed their first year if I decided to, I don’t wean any sooner than 16 weeks. Does and any kids undersized stay on milk as long as they will take it.

Due to Ella’s size (she’s ½ the size of the mini kids we had born last year) I wanted her to stay on milk.

Have you ever tried to train a dam raised kid to take a bottle after such a long time????

Talk about a lesson in patience! Made even more difficult by the fact that Ella is wild as can be and we have to catch her each time to feed her!!!

Shayla was persistent though!!! Every morning she was in the barn shortly after the sun was up and we’d force the bottle on her. Typically we wore more milk than we actually go in her, but Shayla refused to get discouraged or give up.

Finally after 5 days, trying 3x’s every day, SUCCESS!!


The bottle feeding battle

Ella is officially a bottle kid and now eagerly, if not a bit warily approaches us each time she sees the bottle.

My! What big ears you have!!!

Shayla says she's wearing cream eyeshadow & eyeliner.

Tiny Ella trying to reach the alfalfa pellets
 Next on the agenda is a 5 day round of coccidia treatment, followed by a strict, every 21 day prevention protocol and hopefully soon we’ll see some good growth. By using strict coccidia prevention in kids you ensure great growth and prevent intestinal scaring & damage. Once kids are well grown they'll have a natural resistence to this parasite, being able to keep numbers in check all on their own. Not only do you benefit by having good growth, you also raise goats who have better feed conversion, making them more ecconomical. Like they say... "An ounce of prevention..."

Speaking of growth… I had been meaning to post these pictures ages ago and am just now getting around to it. Sam was raised on strict coccidia prevention, a bottle kid who I allowed to have the bottle until he was 16 weeks old. These are some before & after pictures of my Alpine buck..

Sam and Shayla, 2 1/2 weeks old and Sam & Shayla at 13 weeks, 4 days old…. Weighed in that day at a hair over 75lbs!

Sam's Before & After

What a hunk and he’ll definitely be well grown and in top condition going into his first rut this fall. I’m so proud of my Sambo! He'll be bred to Bleuberry & Sabrina October 2011 & I'm crossing my fingers for doe kids!


Oat Bucket Farm said...

Such a wonderful little goat woman you have there! Congrats on successfully getting Ella on the bottle, I can't wait to see how she grows!

* Crystal * said...

Thanks Audra! Shayla is an official goat addict! I'm worried kidding season will be a dramatic ordeal because she'll want to keep EVERYTHING! lol

Also, you need to update your blog with your newest additions (& get more pics too!). I'm a follower & I check in on it often waiting for a new post :)

Caliann said...

Oh, she is just darling! By "she", I mean both of them, of course!

That little doeling REALLY has the Alpine build, and the "antelope" style that I am hoping to have in my big girls. Good for Shayla!

Christy said...

Wonderful work getting that doeling on the bottle!! Your kids are adorable -both the two legged and the four legged!!

Marissa said...

Ugh, we tried to train 2 5 week old twin bucklings to the bottle a few years ago. They had horns and I had bruises to prove it! Good job on getting her on the bottle!

petey said...

So neat! I think its great for kids that age to take care of their own ani-mules. Both my boys had horses at that age, so they got to clean stalls, feed and all the rest. I think it built in a good work ethic! Pretty, pretty goats, pretty pretty girl!

* Crystal * said...

Caliann- She is all ears & legs, love her look!! Her ears kind of made me think of your Bamboo, though Bamboo may have more extreme Unless she's grown into them.

Thank you Christy...... I swear, it makes me look bad but I was ready to give up on the bottle, but Shayla was persistent & quite firm on the issue! It was such a huge, drawn out battle but I'm glad shes finally taking it and eagerly gulping it down now.

Marissa- If she would have had horns it would have been a different story....but then again I wouldn't have brought her home.....Thankfully shes disbudded & the worst that happened was Shayla & I got whopped in the nose a time or two.

Petey- I'm very proud of her..... I know some teenagers who couldn't manage the responsibility of a baby goat! Of course I help her out, but all in all she does a majority of it herself. :-)

Leigh said...

Ella is a pretty little doe, but the real treat is the look on Shayla's face. Priceless! Congrats on your new addition. What a gift!

trashmaster46 said...

Little tiny goats! So much cute!