Goats? I never would have thought it. But, life doesn’t always take you down the roads you expect! My high school daughter was working at our local vet’s office and her colleague rescues baby goats that are headed to slaughter. One day she brought two babies into the office to spend the day with her when they were teeny tiny, and if you haven’t seen baby goats before, well, there isn’t much chance you can walk away without a soft spot in your heart for them. I would have to say that was the beginning.
We visited her rescue farm and got to meet her goats and pigs, and the question crept in, “Maybe we should rescue some goats?” We have the space, and the weeds (which they would love to eat), and the love for animals. And I was truly impressed by what I saw at the sanctuary – so many different types of animal, living together happily, and getting the proper care and attention they deserved.
We found a mama nigerian dwarf goat and her two boys at a local animal rescue. The mama goat, Merida, was pregnant when she was taken from an awful neglect situation, found crammed into a small trailer full of goats without the proper food or care. She delivered her babies in the care of the rescue, and they were looking for a good home for all three of them.
After a visit with them, we decided to do it! We’ve been huge advocates of rescuing animals, having gone that route with our cats, dog, and horses. So, expanding our mini sanctuary made sense. The goats would have a lot of wooded area that they could call home, with brambles and ivy galore for them to eat. Our homestead would get the benefit of having natural weed eating machines, manure to fertilize the ground, and the joy of seeing goats running and jumping around. Goats do love to play and are quite curious and animated! They do literally jump for joy!
Merida’s babies were pretty much weaned when they came to our farm, but they would still duck under to get a little milk from her every once in a while. Especially when they were a little nervous or scared, they would run to her for some comfort.
The first day they arrived, it was a struggle to get them from the driveway to the barn. They were scared and didn’t want to move. It was sad to see them like that. The smallest one, Brady, was carried by my daughter into the barn. She came back covered in pee! With a lot of bribing with treats and coaxing, we got Gronk, the other baby, to the barn. But Merida, she didn’t want to budge, and when we tried to make her move she would throw herself down, flopping on the ground quite furiously, and we feared she would injure herself. It was a long and slow process, moving a few feet forward at a time before stopping and waiting for what seemed an eternity until she was ready to take just another step. Her behavior is a testament to her experience in life thus far. I wondered… had she not had any friendly human contact, had previous babies taken from her, watched other goats get butchered… who knows? But when at last we got her to the barn, she ran to her boys and calmed down. The babies were not traumatized. Their life had been good. Within minutes they were jumping on chairs and figuring out what mischief they could get into!