Thursday, May 3, 2012

Faces of Goats

Raising goat kids is hard work.  This year we had 17 babies born here.  We are present at every birth to attend to the newborn's needs. This includes cleaning birth fluids from their faces so they don't aspirate liquid into their tiny lungs,dipping navels in iodine to prevent infection, and giving special attention to the extra tiny ones to make sure they are strong enough to nurse.  The new mom's are exhausted so they are given a steaming hot energy drink.  Kids that are extra tiny or appear that they will not get their fair share at the milk bar are put on a bottle.  

 In a week or so the babies are disbudded, and in another two weeks they are put on twice daily oral medication to prevent Coccidia infection.  This continues for 7 days and then is given weekly until weaning.  At 5 to 6 weeks each kid gets vaccinated against Enterotoxemia, tetanus, and pneumonia.  Kids that stay until 8 or 9 weeks get a booster shot.  That works out to be a lot of needles and syringes!  Each kid is observed to make sure that there are no digestive issues such as constipation or runny poo which can be devastating to young kids.  By 7 weeks or so any boys not remaining as bucks are banded to castrate them so they will make fine pets or companions to a buck or doe.  Each kid also receives two ear tattoos which uniquely identifies each kid for registration. 

Sometimes during all this activity we have time to just play with them and marvel at their development.  The faces below make it all worthwhile.


  1. Once again, they are really cute. I see some with brown eyes and some with blue eyes. Are the kids like most human babies and born with blue eyes and the pigment comes in later? Meaning are most of those blue eyed goats waiting for their eyes to turn another color?

  2. Although some Nigerians do have blue eyes, (you can tell at birth) these don't. I'm afraid it is a camera artifact. I do have one blue-eyed goat though.

  3. As cute as they are in the photos it is nothing compared to seeing them. I so enjoyed visiting!