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New Kid on the Block

We keep a fairly arms-length relationship with most of our animals. Other than the dogs, they aren't pets and we all have a job to do. But once in a while, it's fun to have a little buddy like Fawn. She was born during the blizzard in April and her mother didn't accept her.

This happens periodically for whatever reason. A mother rejects the little newborn, even though we try all the tricks, mostly aimed at fooling the mother's sense of smell. These tricks include rubbing the lamb with the afterbirth, holding her other kid in front of her nose while the twin nurses, even masking scent with strong smelling skin ointment.

We know that if we don't succeed, it will be round-the-clock bottle feedings, mixing formula, warming milk all carrying on for weeks. Plus the instincts of the creature will be reduced since it will not be a herd animal during it's first months. Then there are also the missing health benefits from not having mother's milk.

In Fawn's case, we lost the battle with changing her mother's mind and there was no twin. So we started her by fooling another mother to let her nurse. This lasted a few days, and then we switched to bottle feeding excess milk from the mothers with older kids. Our son volunteered to do this work, since he has a soft spot for goats.

Now Fawn follows him everywhere, including inside the house (if we keep her out, she stands at the door maa-ing until he comes back out). He's taught her to walk up ramps and to jump when he jumps. Thankfully, she sleeps out in the barn now. It's fun to have a goat-y friend.

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