Goat-O-Rama Kids of 2020
Well, if you've been following this thread then you should already know that part of the story. Wink

We thought Butterfly was going to keep sleeping in the house for a while yet, but yesterday evening she got herself in and out of one of the goat hutches so we decided to leave her out with her mama and the other goats. She's thriving and gaining weight faster now. She plays hard with the other goats. Her rump is very steep now and I can't stretch her legs behind her, but I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that this heals with time and that her rump angle straightens out as she becomes more mobile. I keep reminding myself that it's not even two weeks since she was injured.

Pepperjack is a naughty boy. I can keep the horses out of the goat area but I can't keep the goats from crossing into the horse pen. I would think that the mamas would be smart enough to keep their babies far away from the horses by now, but they are very careless about it and go where they please. Pepperjack can't resist going after those bouncy little floppy-eared squeaky things any more than a dog can resist a rabbit. I've caught him chasing two more times, including again this evening. Good thing the babies are quick, but Butterfly is still the slowest so she's always the target. I've been planning to put the spare shock collar on Pepperjack and zap the heck out of him every time he goes after the goats, but I couldn't find the prongs for short-haired animals. I gave up tonight and just rigged it with a leather pad that doesn't allow the long prongs to poke so far into his neck. I lengthened the strap with a second dog collar and tomorrow I'm going to try it out. I think with just a few treatments he'll stop chasing. He's bold and mischievous but he's not stupid.
It's about time I posted photos of Rita's kids! Rita is a wonderful proud mama and she's not only good with her own kids but has also been very kind and gentle with Skeeter's babies. This makes me very happy in light of Butterfly's handicap.  

Zelda was the first kid born, we estimate around 2:00 a.m.

Her brother Sonic followed about 30 minutes later. 

What a proud mama!
Here are a couple of photos from that morning when Zelda and Sonic were brand new and before Butterfly got hurt. We were having the darndest time keeping her contained in these polydomes. Once she figure out how to jump over the lip, there was no keeping her inside.  

George is such a cutie! I have no idea where I came up with that name. I don't usually go for "human" names for my animals, but for some reason I can't think of this little guy as anything but a "George". I love those big ears!   

This was a few hours after Butterfly's accident and after we'd returned from the vet. She laid on my lap with a bag of frozen corn on her poor swollen butt and helped me and George watch movies.  

For several days after Butterfly's accident, I kept her indoors most of the time. Although very sore, she never lost her curiosity. Phil and I collect monsters and Butterfly was intrigued by this ugly fellow and his beautiful pink flower. 

And that night Butterfly and George came in for more movies. 
Skeeter got used to visiting her babies in the house. She always hated to leave them, but she soon began to realize that Phil and I were taking very good care of them and she stopped worrying so much once she went back outside. 

Butterfly spent a lot of time laying like this with her hind legs stretched out during the first couple of days. 

Phil and I took down our ping-pong table and set up a baby goat playpen in our basement where Butterfly could recuperate safely and comfortably. It was large enough for mama to spend time in there too! We usually brought her in for an hour or so in the morning. During the day I'd take her kids out to her to visit in the sunshine. Then at night I'd bring Skeeter back into the house for a final midnight feeding.   

This box was extremely popular. I'd put the little goats in the pen and they'd make a beeline for the box and plop right down. I thought it was a pretty big box, but within a few days they barely fit in it together and George was jumping on top of it and threatening to flatten the whole thing. 
Phil and I soon started bringing Rita's kids into the basement for playtime with George and Butterfly. Sonic loved the box as much as anyone. It was delicious! 

Saturday, May 9th was a banner day for Butterfly. She got up 3-4 times on her own and was strong enough to wobble around with the other kids. Rita was extremely gentle with her. In fact, when I introduced Rita to George and Butterfly, she looked as though she wanted to adopt them. "You mean I get to have more babies??" 

Butterfly and Zelda made friends right away. George was getting too rough for Butterfly, and Sonic was too shy, but Zelda was just right! 

With Rita acting as babysitter, Skeeter seized the opportunity to take George out for his first adventure. George was bursting at the seams to explore and hang out with the big goats. He'd been cooped up too much as company for Butterfly, and he'd been a good boy, but he really needed an outlet.  

At first I worried that if Skeeter spent too much time with just George, she would forget she had a second baby. My fears were unfounded.  

Handsome boy! Two-tone chamoisee is one of my favorite colors. Our first doe, Nibbles, was a two-tone chamoisee with a white face.

What a lovely, colorful bunch! 
I can't believe these photos were taken a week and a half ago. Time flies when you're having fun! 
Butterfly attended church with me for the last two Sundays since she couldn't be left at home unsupervised. George came with her the first week and was a huge hit. One of the ladies took him around to visit every car in the parking lot. 

For several days, this was Butterfly's preferred position. I'm not sure why it was more comfortable for her (looked painful to me!) but if she enjoyed sitting like a dog I wasn't going to argue with her. It was adorable as all getout.  


Sunday, May 10th was the first day we let Butterfly hang out with the herd (supervised of course). She was sturdy enough to stay on her legs and mobile enough to move out of the way. 

Daisy is always enamored with the kids.

Skeeter has been remarkable through all this. Many mothers would have abandoned a hurt baby that spent so much time separated from her. Some would have been careless and knocked their baby down or been too impatient to wait for them to shuffle slowly toward the udder. Not Skeeter. She has impressive mothering skills. At first she was a bit savage toward Zelda and Sonic when they would try to play with Butterfly, and she would even reprimand George for playing too rough. But as Butterfly has improved, Skeeter has become more permissive toward the other kids. What a smart mama! Now if only she were smart enough to keep her kids out of the horse pen! This is still a trouble spot we’re working on. Pepperjack can’t resist chasing the babies.
So glad to hear that sweet Butterfly is improving!  I love it when baby goats still haven't yet developed callouses on their front knees!
Sending strong thoughts of health & wellness to you, Phil, & the rest of your goat/horse/dog family!--Saph
I've been so wrapped up in Butterfly's drama that I haven't said much about Rita's kids. They are absolutely adorable, and now that we've been paying attention to them they've gotten much friendlier. 

Zelda has gotten especially chummy and she is the most dedicated "lap goat" we've ever had. If she sees a lap, she jumps on it. Well, she tries to. She's not quite big enough to actually make it, but she'll drum her little feet on my knees and look pleadingly up into my face as if to say, "Up? Up-up-up?" I can never resist. Once she's up, she doesn't want to get down. If we put her down, she immediately begs to be picked up again. 

Sonic is definitely more reserved than his sister, but he's also more laid back. He doesn't beg to be picked up, and in fact it's taken longer to convince him not to run away when we try to catch him. However, once he's caught he relaxes and falls asleep almost immediately. He doesn't have a particular aversion to people--he's just not as bold as other kids. He shies away from George a lot too and even with the girls he's more likely to walk away than engage in a head-butting contest. But he's already starting to come out of his shell and be more curious about things, and he rarely runs off when we approach him now. In fact, he's starting to shyly inquire whether I might please pick him up occasionally. As opposed to his more aggressive sister who sometimes launches herself at me, Sonic will raise one little foot to gently tap my leg in a polite request. 


What a colorful crew! 
We have three does due in the very near future. Coral and Sadie are officially due on Sunday and Tigerlily on Monday.  
Coral looks like she was due three weeks ago. I'm quite sure she's carrying triplets. 

Tigerlily is also looking very matronly these days. For three years in a row she's had singles, but I think this time she's got at least two in there. She'd better not have just one because she's enormous! 

Sexy Sadie remains true to her name. She's in good flesh, but she's hardly got any "baby bump" at all and has maintained an very sleek, trim figure. I don't think she could possibly have more than one little peanut in there. If she weren't making an udder I'd thing her pregnancy test was in error. 

We couldn't possibly live in a prettier place...

Dusty and Pepperjack are looking beautiful these days. 

A week ago our friend Emma, who attended Butterfly and George’s introduction to the world, got some ducklings! She wanted me to come see, and since I couldn’t leave Butterfly unsupervised yet, I brought her along. “Butterfly, meet ‘Ducky’!”
Butterfly has been living with the herd full-time for the last few days and she's loving it! My criteria for moving her out of the house at night and allowing her to roam unsupervised was that she had to be able to easily jump in and out of the shelters by herself (there's a 12" lip at the entrance to each one), and she passed that milestone quicker than I thought possible. She keeps up with the other kids and she's climbing rocks and hopping, albeit with slightly wobbly hind legs. She wants to jump up on my knees like the others are currently doing, but so far she's not quite able to. I think stretching her hind legs out behind her still hurts. But I anticipate she'll start jumping on my knees in the next few days. She now gets up properly by raising her hind end instead up pulling herself up by her front legs. Her rump angle is still steep and her hips aren't quite symmetrical, but they are slowly improving. She can hold her tail up a little higher each day, which is a tell-tale sign that her rump angle is flattening bit by bit. I don't know if it will ever be 100% normal, but I think even if her pelvis is always a little "off" it's not going to give her any discomfort or mobility problems. Yay Butterfly!!

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