Goat-O-Rama Kids of 2020
What a beautiful video tribute to Butterfly!  And fly she does!
Goatberries Happen!
What a beautiful video!  The music suited Butterfly's journey perfectly.  What a testament to her resiliency and fortitude! Heart
I have done an absolutely wretched job of keeping this thread up-to-date this year! It seems we've spent more time enjoying our babies than photographing them, which is great, but I should at least post the photos I DO have! 

Tigerlily was our last doe to give birth and she held out until May 29th (four days late!), so Phil and I had a nice little anniversary surprise. I wasn't too worried about Tigerlily going overdue because I felt sure she was carrying two kids. If she looked like she was carrying a large single I'd have induced like I did with Snowball last year, but two kids are usually small enough for a big doe like Tigerlily to handle even if she goes over. 

At 3:30 a.m. on May 29th, I peeked at the goat-o-scope and saw two kids toddling in the straw on unsteady legs. Tigerlily had cleaned them off very thoroughly and was behaving like the perfect doting mother. I was thrilled! Both kids were dry so I figured they were born about two hours earlier. Phil and I watched them through the camera for about half an hour. They looked strong and healthy and Tigerlily appeared to be feeding them. However, I do like to dunk umbilical cords so Phil and I headed out around 4:00 a.m. to take care of that little chore and offer Tigerlily some fresh water and grain. She seemed enamored with her new family and I couldn't have been more thrilled. Tigerlily has a rough history of lost pregnancies, and she only half accepted Snowball last year and never would feed her on her own.

"Hey guys, look what I did!" 

We had a 10 lb. boy and a little 6 lb. girl. Both were two-tone chamoisee and the girl had a beautiful blaze face with the cutest pink nose.  

Tigerlily was thrilled with both her kids but she seemed especially taken with the little girl. Keep that in mind because things changed dramatically in the next 24 hours. 

Proof positive that Tigerlily did in fact voluntarily feed her daughter in the beginning! 

Cupcake was very interested in the new arrivals. In fact, Cupcake is always very interested in everything having to do with our herd dynamics and is one of the sweetest and friendliest goats I’ve ever seen. She greets everybody and never picks a fight or acts pushy. She is almost universally liked by every goat in our herd despite her low status on the “goatem pole.”

Phil and I returned to bed after about 20 minutes but we continued to watch the new family through the goat-o-scope. After about 15 minutes of watching on the camera we began to worry. Tigerlily was no longer nuzzling her kids and now was not feeding them. When they walked toward her udder she jumped and ran away from them. The warm glow of seeing her finally have kids that she loved disappeared as we watched her attempts to stay as far from them as possible. Luckily she wasn't savaging them. She didn't seem aggressive at all, but she definitely didn't want them anywhere near her udder. This seemed odd because she'd fed them quite happily only half an hour earlier and had even nudged them toward her udder. Her udder was not tight or inflamed. She just didn't want to feed these kids and I couldn't help but think that Tigerlily, in the brief time we were there, had transferred her maternal attachment to me. Once she saw me, these kids were no longer "hers". 

By daytime, Tigerlily was reluctantly interested in the girl but the boy had been rejected. His sodden umbilical cord was still wet and dragging because she refused to lick it any more after I left. Usually by morning the mamas have trimmed it short and sucked it dry. The girl's umbilical cord was short and shriveled. I dipped the boy's cord again and managed to get Tigerlily to lick his belly when I put my hand there. She did eventually chew off the cord and seemed to take more interest in her buckling after that, but she was still far more enamored with me than with either of her kids. I was very discouraged. I had to hold Tigerlily so the boy could nurse. Once I was sure both kids were fed, I beat a hasty retreat and locked them in the shed together. I hoped maybe she'd bond to them again if they were isolated. I had Phil go out and care for them as much as possible so as to try and break Tigerlily's bond to me. Poor Tigerlily. She's big, beautiful, athletic, and very uniquely colored. She's the only offspring we have from Finn. But boy is she high maintenance! 

We named the boy Major Tom Sawyer. I was for Major or Major Tom because he was so big and chunky. Phil thought Tom Sawyer because he's Finn's grandson and this is one Phil might keep so it would be fun to have a Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer pair. The little girl we named Ziggy, and it suits her perfectly. She's the cutest little thing, and she was so small and lightweight at birth that she felt like a bundle of dandelion fluff. 

The crazy thing is that within 24 hours, Tigerlily did a complete about-face. She adopted Tom and rejected Ziggy and that is how it stayed. She feeds Tom on her own and takes very good care of him. She won't feed Ziggy unless Phil or I hold her down, and sometimes she even bites Ziggy's tail and tries to pull her off the udder. I'm about fed up with this crazy doe and I'm starting to wonder if she's even worth keeping. She eventually stopped crying after me as if I was her kid and now she runs from me because she knows I'll make her feed Ziggy. On the plus side, Tigerlily has never tried to harm Ziggy. She just runs away from her like a she's a devil baby or something. It's bizarre but I'm happy that at least Ziggy is safe with her mother.
Boy... we've had such a crazy summer that I basically forgot about updating this thread and now my babies are all growed up and ready to wean! I had the unpleasant task of tattooing everyone yesterday, and I banded three of the boys. Two are still intact in case I need them for breeding later this year. I plan to keep at least one and maybe both of the two intact boys for our own packers. Finn and Sputnik are six years old this year and we want to make sure we have some "up and comings" who will be ready to rock n roll about the time Finn and Sputnik slow down. Actually, Sputnik is already slowing down. I was hoping his huge size/poor conformation combo would wait a couple more years to catch up to him, but he's been mincing around like an old man since spring and I wonder what his future holds. He looks good, but he lays down a lot and occasionally even gets left behind when the herd goes off to browse. I started him on some supplements that seem to be helping, but I'm just not sure how things will go with him. It makes me sad but not surprised. He was always a bit of a ticking time bomb with those weird legs of his, and the fact that he got so enormous didn't help at all. If he'd stayed smaller and about 50 lbs. lighter it probably would have made a huge difference in preserving his joints, but it wasn't in his genetics.

Anyway, I've fallen in love with Sonic and Scout. Sonic went from being a shy, nervous little baby to the most friendly, curious, and outgoing buckling in our crop this year. He's really gotten gorgeous too. He has a beautiful face and very soft, kind eyes. He still tries to climb in my lap even though he's way too big. Scout is also my little buddy. He's very outgoing with me but unlike Sonic, who will trot up and greet anyone, Scout is a little more reserved with strangers. He has a stunning cou blanc color, but unlike Butterfly who has a stark black/white contrast, Scout fades to a charcoal gray then black. His face has some of the prettiest markings I've ever seen (well, except perhaps Zelda's). I don't know... we have some really nice babies this year and it's going to be hard to part with any of them!

George is probably our nicest baby all around. He's got a friendly, curious personality but he's not all up in your business like Sonic. He's by far the biggest and leggiest kid this year and he's shaping up to have very athletic conformation with excellent feet and legs. I really like George, but I also prefer goats with flashy colors so I'll end up selling him. The two other boys, Skipper and Tom are still coming along. Tom is Finn's grandson so Phil has a sweet spot for him. He's extremely stout and is going to be an incredibly strong goat when he's done growing. He's also got a very silly and bold personality. Skipper is just Skipper. He's rather plain to look at and his personality hasn't really started to shine yet. He was skittish of us when we came back from South Dakota two weeks ago and I'm not sure why, but I've been spending a lot of extra time with him each day to encourage him to come out of his shell. He's got a super sweet face like his mom with very gentle wide-set eyes and soft, curious-looking features. He's already warming back up to me after I tattooed and banded him yesterday. He recently discovered that he loves treats and this is making it much easier to repair the friendship.

At some point I'll eventually post photos of all these wonderful young characters!
Wow... crazy day today. Poor Maxwell who I sold two years ago to a guy named Steve over in Beulah came down with urinary tract stones at the end of a pack trip last week. Steve was able to get Axel (as he called him) to a vet where he had the pizzle operation, but yesterday Axel started feeling under the weather again and this morning he was laying in his stall. Steve took him straight back to the vet but he had another blockage and more stones in his bladder. He would have required a full operation and Steve made the difficult decision to put Axel down. Axel was only two years old and was just coming into his own as a packgoat. In the meantime, Steve's other goat, Sgt. Pepper, was frantic at home by himself. So in a sudden emergency move, Steve came by today and picked up two of our boys, Skipper and Tom, and took them back to Beulah to be Sarge's new buddies. Before we knew Axel wouldn't make it, Steve was already planning to buy Skipper, who is Sarge's little half brother, and take him home in the next week or so. But with Axel gone, we decided it would be best for Skipper to go with a buddy his own age. Since I've decided to keep Scout for myself, Tom was the most logical next choice as a companion for Skipper. And so we very unexpectedly said goodbye to the two boys this afternoon. I wish it had been under better circumstances, but I'm very happy that they have gone to an excellent home where I know they will be loved and very well cared for.
Wow! So sorry to hear about poor Axel. UC is so heartbreaking. Wishing everyone else a bright future!
One year ago today...

Yes, May 6th was the day our little Butterfly was shot down. I can't believe it's been a year. She recovered so well in the ensuing weeks and I can't believe she's living the good life out in Utah where she is flying again over the rock formations. 
I don't drink beer, but if I did, I'd prefer Dos Equis.  Stay thirsty my friends!
Isn't she pretty! And look--still fluttering above that mysterious little Mona Lisa smile is a black butterfly! I thought for sure it would become unrecognizable as she matured.

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