Have I ever mentioned how much I love the TMGR calendar? I write ALL my pertinent goat dates/reminders on it. Last fall, I even noted when my buck Atlas was mysteriously found in the yearling pen. At the time, no one showed signs of heat or evidence of breeding, so I put it out of my mind until yesterday. What happened yesterday you ask?
It was a beautiful, albeit windy spring day and I went out about noon to check on the goats and refill their stock tank. All of the current kids were 3-9 weeks old, so imagine my surprise when I heard the unmistakable sound of a crying newborn kid. I rushed to Gwendolyn and Guinevere (149 and 147 days pregnant), but they were laying placidly in the yard and still quite pregnant. The baby cried again, and this time, it was definitely coming from the yearling pen. I ran over and found a tiny doeling alone in the warm polydome. She was standing and angrily crying her head off. Her resemblance to this year’s 6 other Atlas kids gave me a good idea who the sire was, but who was Mom? There were 3 yearlings laying outside the polydome and none of them looked too distressed. A quick check of their backsides revealed that the confused new mama was Agate, my smallest 2021 doe. Her thick winter fur was obscuring her tiny but full FF udder. Since my indoor kidding pen was already set-up for Gwendolyn, I put Aggie and her baby in there and went back to the yearling pen to search for any littermates. Once I determined that there weren’t any, I quickly groped the other 8 yearlings to make sure there would be no more surprises.
I returned to the kidding pen and checked over Aggie and the baby, who weighed in at 3lbs, 4oz. Baby was still loudly complaining of her situation so I got her latched on to Aggie. Aggie didn’t seem particularly excited about the prospect of a baby or understand her role as a mama. However, she’s an easy-going girl and seemed willing to let this loud little creature nurse from her. This morning, the pair seems pretty well bonded. I looked over my 2021 TMGR calendar, and sure enough, Atlas’s fence breach occurred 148 days before our little surprise. Moral of the story: Build good fences, but take even better notes.