Goat-O-Rama Kids of 2018
Our last 2018 kid was born on May 31, and we rounded out our Beatles-themed season by naming this little guy "Sgt. Pepper." It's only fitting we should have nine babies in a Beatles-themed year! He's a tiny little peanut, weighing in at only 5 lbs. at birth. Once we dried him off he felt like a little ball of dandelion fluff--certainly not much heavier!    

Coral couldn't have picked a much prettier day to have this little guy, but she could have picked a more suitable location! I could tell she was getting close, but I wasn't at all sure how close. She's a first-time mom and didn't really seem to have the routine down. She came for our daily walk with the herd at 1:15 and she never separated herself or dug nests or any of the other little things impending mamas do. She was more vocal than usual but that was it. Her cute little udder seemed to grow every time I looked at it. It felt a little hot to the touch and had some lumps which worried me, so after our walk I spent a few minutes massaging it with hot towels. It was only a bit of congestion and the lumps worked right out, but the massage seemed to stimulate some contractions. I didn't know if they would continue or pass, so I put Coral off the patio and turned my attention elsewhere. Phil went back in the house to work.

Coral was baa-ing a lot but it soon faded into background noise as I got busy with other things. After about 15 minutes I began to notice that the baa-ing had changed in tone and frequency. I peeked round the edge of the house and she was lying among the wood chips in a baking-hot corner where I cut and stack firewood. And there were hooves peeking out from under her tail! I rang the doorbell to summon Phil down from work and I hurried over to fetch Coral up from the hot, dirty, and uncomfortable spot she'd chosen and pulled her onto a patch of clean grass nearby. 

Sgt. Pepper made his appearance shortly after 2:00 with no assistance. Well, I tugged gently on a leg as he came into the world, but Coral did all the work. Much like his mother, who we've nicknamed "Fuzzy", there was more hair than goat, and this funny little guy had 1 1/2 wattles! There was a normal, furry wattle on the left side and a hairless black half-wattle on the right. It looked very silly. You can just see the naked little thing poking out from under his neck in this photo.    

Penny was very curious. I kept trying to push her back because mamas are usually very protective of brand new babies and don't want other goats poking their noses into the action. I didn't want Coral to trample little Pepper in her zeal to run off the interlopers. But I needn't have worried. Coral was so enamored with her offspring that she didn't even look up when first Penny and then Jezebel (who is often mean to Coral) came up to sniff the newcomer.  

Coral was so cute about Pepper's birth. She's already one of the most adorable goats I've ever seen, with those big, wide-set eyes, the perpetual Cheshire cat smile, and permanently curious ears. When Pepper thudded to the ground with a crash (yes, Coral was standing, and yes, I failed in my catching duties), Coral whipped around with a look of shock on her face like, "Oh my gosh, did that just come out of me??" She paused for a moment in pure disbelief, then cautiously lowered her head and began to sniff and poke timidly around at the new baby. She looked both curious and terrified at the same time. She took a few careful licks then suddenly her fearful attitude turned to pure rapture as the realization dawned on her that this baby was her very own to nuzzle, lick, and enjoy. She couldn't get enough of him after that and is a wonderfully careful and attentive mama.    

Standing achievement: unlocked. 

"Gah! Mama quite pushing me!" 

"Darn right I pushed... you're growing up too fast already, and I was not finished with your bath!"
Once Coral was satisfied that Pepper was thoroughly clean and dry, she plopped herself down and snuggled right up to him in a possessive manner that I've not seen in a goat before. All of our mamas are proud of their babies, but Coral is in a league of her own. She's spent the last two nights curled up with him in the shed as well. Most of our mamas tend to put their kids down for a nap and then take a little time to themselves, but Coral is spending all of her time with her new baby for now.  

As a singleton, I have a feeling this little guy is going to grow very quickly once he gets going on that udder. And as a funny note, I was talking to Phil about removing Pepper's hairless half-wattle because it looked like a long, nasty, black tick to me. I guess Coral had the same idea because when I checked on him a couple of hours later it was gone. Coral had nipped it right off! So now he's a little one-wattle goat. So funny!

Is there a more idyllic setting in which to have a baby? I ask you!

Meanwhile, can anyone see Nauti under all these kids? 

Coincidentally, Phil and I just celebrated our 19th anniversary and we now have 19 goats to celebrate it with!
How adorable! Who is his father?
Happiness is a working goat
We've been so busy these last couple of weeks that I haven't had time to post photos! At the end of May, Phil and I brought FOUR babies in for a movie! It was quite the fiasco! Sadie and especially Max were getting too big and rambunctious to come in the house any more so it took some effort to control the situation! I put a sheet on the couch for hair control. All the kidlets are shedding!  

Max exits stage left and I'm left with a pile of pretty girls. 

A few days after the "Four-kid-fiasco," little Sgt. Pepper came on the scene and has been occupying our couch for movies ever since. Here he is just three days old. 

And what a heartbreaker! 

For the first few days he had cute little lopsided ears. 

This little goat loves cuddles! 
Sarge, or "the little peanut" as we've been calling him, needed help on our walks for the first few days. His mother seemed determined to start bringing him as soon as possible, and he did his very best to keep up, but he's very tiny and kept getting trampled by bigger and faster goats. So we often carried him during the first week.  

These two are the cutest together. Coral is still very much a baby herself, and motherhood has done little to "mature" her as it usually does with most goats.   

Look at that little pink tongue! 

Proud mama. 
And let's not forget the "big kids"! TinCup's and Nauti's kids hang out in a group, and their mamas often take turns babysitting while the other goes out to graze. The kids are getting old enough to stay with the herd most of the time now, but I still occasionally see the four of them conked out under a tree with one mama grazing alone nearby.  

Wild Honey Pie's pattern reminds me of the colors we commonly see on Nigerian Dwarfs, but that seldom present on a large breed goat. I love it! 

What a cute face! 

And Honey Pie's sister Prudence looks like a little Boer in her coloring. If my neighbor still had his herd, and if I hadn't personally overseen TinCup's date with Rocky, I'd be concerned that there'd been some mistake. But no, my neighbor hasn't had any Boers for going on three years now so there is no question about this girl's parentage. But I like to tease her about being the "red-headed stepchild".  

Tired mama with her cuddling babies. 

Nauti's kids are growing like weeds. Sadie is going to be a beautiful, striking doe. And Maxwell... I just have to laugh at this little guy. He's about as gung-ho as a goat can get. I've been having to correct him on an almost daily basis because he insists on pushing me with his little horns. He's getting better, but I think whoever ends up with this goat is going to have to keep on top of the manners. This little guy started using his nubs on people earlier than any baby we've ever had. They all try it at some point, and most go through a phase where they have to be corrected fairly regularly, but Max started a lot sooner and is more persistent than most. Unless his personality changes during wethering and re-homing, he's definitely going to become an "alfa goat" type. He's very bold but also very friendly. If I sit down, he makes a beeline for my lap and he stays there. But if I put him down and turn my attention elsewhere, there's a very good chance I'll soon feel his little nubs digging into my lower back. And of course he's already chasing the girls with a lascivious gleam in his eyes.    

Penny and Rita are growing nicely and are sweet as they can be. Jezebel, as always, is a very doting and nurturing mother. 

With great big girls demanding food, Jezebel shows us the face of long suffering sacrifice. 
Felix is the same way with his little horns.
Happiness is a working goat
Yesterday Phil and I went for a walk around the lake in Colorado City, and on a whim I decided to grab Max because he was already following me toward the truck. I started to lift him into the passenger seat with me when Phil expressed his doubts that I should bring just one baby goat. After all, wouldn't he be lonely? So I reluctantly put Max back down near his mama and turned to get in the truck. But Max wasn't having it. He cut in front of me and jumped onto the passenger side floor before I could get in. So he got to come after all.

Max only baa-ed a little bit on our trip out. He sat in my lap and enjoyed the view from the window. And once we got to the lake he was Mr. Happy-Go-Lucky. He bounced along beside me, peering interestedly at fishermen, cyclists, dogs, and geese without trepidation. He never once started crying for his mom or sister. He acted like he was born to walk with people. I can't wait to start taking this little guy out on trails when we get back from Rendy! I wish I could bring him with me, but he's not old enough to leave his mom yet.
These are photos we took over a month ago. The kids have sure grown since then! 

Petunia is a true matriarch. Four years later, her son Sputnik, though vastly larger than she, is still her closest companion. And this year’s kids are never far from their mama either.  

"Run, babies, run!" 

Phil Hassey: Goat Baron

Prudence and Honey Pie take charge of the baby goat rock. So cute! 
I can't believe it's already been a month since we took these photos, shortly after we got home from the Rendy. The baby goats are starting to skip the "baby goat rock" now. I guess they're getting too grown up for these kinds of antics, and the baby goat rock seems small and mundane to them now that they're "mature". Smile  

Brother-sister rivalry.

A few days later we were smelling smoke from the "Spring Fire" on our daily walks. I was originally thinking about joining my family for a big 4th of July get-together down in Texas this year, but the extremely dry conditions had me too nervous to leave home. I notified my relatives that I would not be attending, and the very next day we saw flames and smoke from the Spring Fire, which exploded in size over the following week of hot, dry, windy conditions. Several other small fires started in our vicinity during that week, and though they were promptly extinguished, I felt like we could easily be under evacuation orders at a moment's notice. It was a good year to stick close to the critters.    

Dear Prudence... she certainly did "come out to play" starting in early July. She and Honey Pie are my shy girls. I hadn't spent enough time socializing them, and then we left for a solid week in June so they were not quite as outgoing as most of our kids. But we came home from Rendy and suddenly she decided that the best game in the world was to jump her front feet on a person's backside. For about two weeks, Phil and I spent each walk getting pummeled from behind by her little front hooves. She would also walk and leap along on her hind legs behind either Phil or I, not quite touching us but keeping very close and perfectly upright. It was hilarious! And then the phase passed as suddenly as it began. .    

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