Wednesday, February 24, 2010
The nursery allows the dams and kids to talk, nuzzle and be close, as Little One is doing with her kids pictured above, yet keeps them from nursing. The 7am/5 pm milking routine replaces nursing and both does' milk is combined to feed everyone. Supplemental bottle feedings using a cow's milk/half&half mixture have been necessary for Mamma's kids from the beginning since she has not had sufficient milk for all six. The frozen goat's milk we had on hand did not work because the cream separated out and was a little glumpy, clogging the nipple.
Bottle feeding each precious little one (4 oz every 6 hours) is such special one-on-one time ... even at 3 am. They make getting out of a warm bed, standing over a hot stove to warm the milk and getting covered in milk myself all worth it. They are soft and warm and cuddly with round little bellies after they eat. They flock to my feet whenever I enter the nursery, whether it's feeding time or not. When I sit to feed them, I am covered in a mass of wiggling fur. It's delightful!
After much discussion about where to put the nursery and how to position the shelter, the layout we chose is working well. The nursery is on the hill between the goat yard and the privacy fence on the property line. The shelter faces east to get morning sun and positioned next to the covered area of the adults' yard. Goats don't like getting wet, so this offers a place where moms' and babies' noses can touch even in the rain. And rain/snow is on the forecast for today. Also, by being close to the milking area, an electrical cord reaches to the kids' shelter. We have been spoiled by several beautiful days this week with lots of sun, but today there is need for a heat lamp.