The first born of the twin girls is the most colorful. A frosted black splashed with white markings and even a Collie/Sheltie-esque white tip on her tail earned her the name FudgeRipple almost immediately. Her sister, born just minutes after, is a beautiful dark chocolate brown with black legs and face. One white spot in the middle of her side brought her the name Comet. Amazingly, these two richly colored kids come from a light sandy colored doe and a pure white buck. All that dark color was a bit of a surprise as we watched these two healthy newborns stumble to their feet and begin discovering their hay lined birthing pen, their adoring owner, and of course proud mama! Not far from the scene, Emily and Paddington Sheltie along with Jessey Smooth Collie looked on with well contained excitement.
Within only hours the kids were able to be brought out into the goat pen under the ever watchful eyes of their mom, Dreamcatcher. They quickly discovered the comfort of the small DogLoos placed there for their resting pleasure. They also explored the numerous toys, feeders, and fences in their new little world, and had their first face to face meeting with Jessey and the Shelties.
Emily was the first to meet our new family members nose to nose, and Mama Jess, “the self appointed mother of all babies”, followed shortly after. While Emily’s approach was based in the thought of “I wonder if these kids can play yet?” Jessey’s was based more on, “How do I get them to cuddle with me?” It was fascinating to watch the two dogs step cautiously around the little goats, ever mindful of their frailty, and ever respectful of their dear friend Dreamcatcher as she looked on.
Amazing in their abilities at just a few days of age, the little doelings soon began hopping, jumping and head butting, all to the intrigued delight of the dogs. Only little Paddington, still very much himself a baby, had to be told that grabbing them by the leg is inappropriate play for a baby goat. Nonetheless, Paddington is an intrinsically gentle soul who only had to be cautioned “uh uh!” to realize another avenue of
interaction needed to be employed. Soon he was running beside the little kids, jumping up on the wooden spools and inviting them to join him in a game of “King of the Property”!
After the first few days, the baby goats began taking an interest in what Dreamcatcher was eating. A good supply of fresh alfalfa hay had always been kept within their reach, and as their mama munched on it, they suddenly began to show an interest. FudgeRipple, the first born, took the initial interest with her sister right behind. At first it seemed a genuine curiosity to them, and tho they appeared to know it was edible, the method they would need to employ in ingesting it escaped them. Being, by this time, adept at nursing, and bumping the udder in order to increase the milk flow, they started by giving this a try. It was nearly
impossible to hold back laughter at watching these two little ones bumping their noses into a flake of hay to see if somehow the appearance of a recognizable food source would result. Jessey and Emily sat patiently nearby similarly curious as to how the two babies would proceed.
With several tries at bumping having proved unsuccessful, FudgeRipple carefully took a stem into her mouth, sucked on it briefly, then spit it out. No milk here! Comet watched her discard the dry item, and in either weariness or frustration, she opted to jump into the hay, shake herself off, and go off to bed. FudgeRipple quickly followed suit. It wouldn’t be until the next morning that the pair began actually munching the alfalfa. Of course, once they began, their delight in chewing and swallowing only grew!
By a week of age, our two little doelings had become fully adept baby goats. They would run to the fence in the morning to greet both me and the dogs, bounce on the wooden spools with Paddington, and follow their canine pals around with the full approval of their mama, Dreamcatcher. Their baby soft coats had already brightened with a richness in color, and their precious little faces would always display that little LaMancha smile that belies their ever present sense of fun. As for the dogs, they had become completely enthralled with their new diminutive charges and playmates!
All too soon, our first little superstar doeling was off into the world with an adoring new family and a promising future of grooming, cuddling, and strutting her stuff at fairs and 4-H shows. Little Comet, our chocolate brown beauty with the white spot on her side has been deemed by everyone who’s met her as a sure winner in the goat world! We said a brave good bye to her and her wonderful new family who will be keeping in touch with updates and show wins as new families should.
With FudgeRipple now an only kid, she has bonded even more amazingly with the dogs, and it’s hilarious to watch them teaching each other the games that come naturally to their respective species. As a Sheltie puppy, it’s nothing unusual to see Paddington chase the little goat around the corner of the house. Watch for a minute longer, however, and you will see Paddington racing back with FudgeRipple in hot pursuit! Head butting may come naturally to a baby goat, but seeing Mama Jess respond in kind is something you just don’t expect from a Smooth Collie! Jumping up on wooden spools, Dogloos, and even on the patio swing is a favorite game FudgeRipple shares with Emily. Often making the first landing, Emily will quickly move to the side to make room for her hooved playmate. When the play time is over, tho, snuggling and cuddling are things neither dogs nor goats need to be taught to enjoy. Little FudgeRipple may never learn to bark, but with good and watchful friends like she has, she’ll most surely never need to.
Meanwhile, Dreamcatcher LaMancha is supplying the whole family with plenty of rich, sweet, and ever so healthful milk. Anyone who tells you that goat milk is anything less than fabulous in taste has simply not experienced LaMancha milk. They have also not met my dogs, who excitedly stand in line to get their daily share!