It all started with ONE little boy goat...
Updated: Nov 29, 2018
I remember that day vividly - driving up to Northern Colorado to pick up our new baby boy Nigerian Dwarf goat...with wind blustering and temperatures of only 50 degrees out. We arrive at the breeder's farm and noticed that she had him in a dog kennel, apart from all the other goats. She said, "This poor little guy just got his CDT shot and is a little sore, so he was put in here to rest until you got here".
In hindsight - there were a few warning signs we should have paid attention to (1 - not seeing his parents on site or getting to see the care of the other animals on the farm, 2 - not asking if/when he was taken off his dam and if he had been exposed to a bottle yet and 3) not asking about testing for CAE/CL/Johnes since she was a milking farm). Newbie goat owner mistakes.
None the less, without even thinking, I ran to the kennel and opened it to see my new bundle of joy! Oops. Shouldn't have done that! He was extremely frightened and immediately tried to jump out, screaming a sound I had never herd before! I caught him mid-air (thankfully), and proceeded to 'mother' him in my arms, close to my chest, reassuring him that everything was going to be OK. HE WAS BEAUTIFUL! But what a noise they make! I mean, his little tongue sticks out 2 inches when he screams for crying out loud!! My husband just gave me a look that said, "WHAT have we gotten ourselves into?!"
We pay the balance due on our expensive little guy, get his registration paperwork and head for the truck. I wanted him to ride on my lap the whole way home (2.5 hours) so I could cuddle and bond with him. Hubby wanted him in the kennel in the back of the truck like any other animal... in the cold and wind :-( Guess who won that argument? Yep, hubby. So, instead, hubby had to listen to me panicking over his safety, warmth and care and had to pull over a couple of times for me to check on him until we got home. My husband is an amazing and patient man BTW - he puts up with a LOT from me! lol
The little guy made it home just fine, snuggled down in the hay we had in the kennel. We had purchased a harness and leash for him prior to picking him up and put it on him before taking him out of the kennel - brownie points for thinking ahead! Again, he jumped so high and so rapidly that if he weren't on a harness, we would have lost him to suburbia! After getting him to once again calm down, the mother in me was worried that after his long journey as a one month old buckling, he would be hungry....and so the next adventure began.
My huband and I just laugh to this day about our first day being introduced to a 'bottle baby' goat.
As any new 'parents' we were excited to feed our little one for the first time! More for our wind-down than for his, we chose to attempt the first feeding on our front porch. As we each sat in our rockers, bottle ready in hand, we worked as a team to get this little guy to drink. He wasn't having ANY of it! He jumped and squirmed and shook his head 'UH UH'. He screamed at the top of his lungs so the whole neighborhood knew we didn't just have a dog with us, he clenched his little jaw and turned his nose to the air. I wore most of the milk through our foresaken attempts and we were ALL getting tired and frustrated. Hubby gave it some thought and then tells me to hold him tightly and he will "put the bottle in his mouth and get him to drink." As I watched my hubby PRY open that baby goats mouth and hold that bottle in there with hubby's fingers around the goats nose/mouth so that the bottle couldn't pop back out, I cried out, "YOU ARE HURTING HIM!!! STOP!" Hubby just smiled at me, again patiently dealing with my passionate side and said, "He will be fine. Give him a minute. The little goat fought the bottle and the 'force feeding' for a couple of moments, but then the taste of "oh so wonderful warm goat milk" hit his tongue and away he went a suckling! That is all it took (laughing internally) We sat there exhausted after that, rocking quietly on the front porch. I held the kid again in my arms and patted him gently as he fell fast asleep in a milk induced coma. In this peaceful moment, I looked at my hubby and exclaimed, "Let's call him Kokopelli!" I'm not sure where I came up with that one, but this little guy would LIVE UP to his name very shortly after! As he grew, he was dubbed "KING KOKOPELLI". :-)
DAY ONE DOWN. Sigh. We were officially MAAH and PAAH. :-)