Friday March 29th, 2019 we were on the lookout for more births. Buckeye, who we refer to as “Bitty-Betty” due to the same stand-offish attitude that her mother, Black Betty, displayed, gave birth two days earlier. That meant that Lil’ Snooks and 524 (alias Zsa Zsa) were soon to follow. Due to the cold weather, Mike went out to check on the existing newborns as well as the expecting Does at 11:00 pm.
He found two wet newborn doelings in the stall shared by Snooks and Zsa Zsa, both babies still covered in the placental sack, cold, alone and being ignored. Lil’ Snooks was standing with her head jammed in the corner of the barn, pretending that she knew nothing about the incident. We called her over, and said “Snooks are these your babies? Come here and take care of your babies”. But she was not willingly coming near them and she was sticking to her story “Babies? What babies? Those aren’t my babies….I don’t not knowing nothing about birthing no babies!” The post-birth evidence she was expelling was incontrovertible that these were hers.
She is a skittish personality, was on the bottom of the heirarchy order of the 5 does in that herd and was pretty feral when we brought her here. We have to understand and feel bad that she’s been put through so many changes in the past few weeks – a 500 mile relocation, a bunch of new herd-mates, the subsequent sale of the alpha female she knew (Black Betty), and an entirely new regime including getting touched and health-checked, and combed, being in the barn without it meaning she was having maintenance done, and offered treats out of hand that she refused to take until 2 weeks prior, all in a short 7 week period of time.
She is about six years old, and had been an excellent mother previously, so we were amazed she would reject these doelings. So we toweled them dry, and spent quite some time trying to get her to allow them to nurse. She kicked at them and even head butted them away. It became clearly evident to us that she was having no part of it. We brought them into the house overnight to keep them warm, and continued the next day trying to graft them to her. She was in even deeper denial the next day, and even resisted smelling them when we held them to her face.
Lil’ Snooks is one of only 4 Does that are 100% Wood bloodline, and she gave birth to two doelings who are 81.25% Wood….they are critical to the re-establishment of the Wood bloodline. So now we’re surrogate goat parents to these two beauties!