Without fail, every year we end up with at least one bottle baby. They are usually the runt of a set of triplets such as Taco Belle, who has now graduated to the outdoor nursery so she can play and learn to be a goat with all her other caprine brethren. Plus, she has been spotted on a number of occasions gorging herself on our "power udder" doe, Breeze, who even with her own twins produces more than enough milk for everyone and is more than welcome to let kids other than her own help relieve the pressure.
While Jessica and I were at the Pennsylvania Meat Goat Producers Association seminar & sale yesterday, one of the younger does whom we didn't think was bred left a surprise package in the field.
When Ralph first found the kid, it was so tiny and appeared to be dead. But as soon as he touched it, it let out a wail. He took the little doe into the house to get her cleaned and warmed before putting her in the maternity ward in the barn with her mother. Unfortunately, the doe had very little milk and rejected the kid.
So into the neonatal ward in the living room she went. Made up of a high-sided Rubbermaid tub, a heating pad and clean towels, the bottle babies have a safe, warm place to stay. The little doe, who we named April Fool (she's April's granddaughter) has been eating well, peeing, pooping and can stand on her own.
Taco wasn't quite this small when she was born, but now she's bigger than her siblings so let's just hope the little Fool grows just as well.