Sunday, May 8, 2011

"Kiddin" Around

I've been a little behind in my blog posting lately but I couldn't go without posting about these adorable babies! Last Tuesday, my friends Emily and Meredith and I headed out to Prodigal Farm to feed their kids. This year is the biggest "crop" of babies they've ever had topping out at 104 (I think). Thank you Meredith for loving the farmer's markets and for receiving Prodigal Farm's newsletter AND for including me in this thrilling experience!

We all woke up bright and early to make it to the farm by their 8am feeding time. We were warmly greeted by the farmers and the quickly put to work.

We fed the newest kids from bottles made out of old wine bottles and baby bottle nipples.
The older babies were passed back and forth into an enclosed stall to be fed from an ice chest that had been turned into a milk bar. Holes were drilled in the sides and nipples were placed in the holes. The ice chest was filled with formula and the goats just helped themselves. Each goat in this year's new herd has been named with "E" names and when a goat was passed over, you call out their name so that they can be checked off the list and everyone is sure to be fed.

My favorites were the smallest babies. They were so eager to eat and to get attention. Who knew a baby goat
could be so sweet! Just look at those faces!

Some babies ate a ton (like tiny little Egg in the first picture below) but others needed a little coaxing.

I was excited to use my speech pathologist feeding skills to help a little guy who isn't yet taking a bottle on his own and exhibits signs of failure to thrive. Chile is his mom's name. He hasn't been given his own name yet, I assume
because they aren't sure if he'll make it, but that's just a guess. He doesn't curl his tongue when he sucks and he hates the bottle nipple. We used a special soft bottle (a 1 liter coke bottle) so that we could control the milk flow and he didn't have to suck.

After much effort, we got him to eat some food. His breakfast was followed by a little bath because he was COVERED in formula.

A little less than two hours later all kids had been fed, we were covered in milk and dirt, and had made 104 new little pals. We headed over to the milking barn and got an overview of the milking process and graciously received our payment- chevre cheesecakes and goat cheese spread. I chose a coconut lime cheesecake and curry spread. In case you are wondering, I ate every single bit of them in 3 days. I tried to share with Russell but he loathes goat cheese.

Some facts about goats that I learned on our field trip:

1) Goats only breed one time per year, the
se goats breed in October.

2) Baby goats stay with their mothers for about two days before they are moved. Goats produce colostrum just like humans that is very important for the baby's health.

3) Male goats are kept away from female goats except during breeding. When male goats are
near females, their pheromones cause the milk and cheese to taste very "goaty".

4) It's very common for a goat to have twins and triplets. It is rare for them to have quadruplets but it can happen.

...I can't wait to go back!

and that's all!

1 comment:

  1. Oh! One more fun fact: Goat's milk is already homogenized. This means that you can't separate the milk fat so you can't make skim or 2% milk or goat butter.

    AND- thank you Meredith Pettegrow and Emily Sadlow for letting me use your pictures. Once again, I didn't take any :)