The newest additions to our farm are doing well and enjoying life. Now that they are more than 48 hours old, we have decided that they will survive and have given them official names—Gracie and Eleanor (Ellie for short). They are difficult to distinguish because their fur coloring and patterns are so similar, so we gave them different colored collars to tell them apart at a distance. Gracie wears a green collar and Eleanor’s collar is magenta. If you look closely at them, Gracie has a wider black stripe down her back and slightly more silvery white fur on her ears. Otherwise, they are virtually indistinguishable. It is the silvery white patches in their fur and their baby blue eyes that reveal their dwarf Nigerian genes—otherwise, they look like typical Oberhasli doelings. Thank you, Little Bit (their father), for giving us such beautiful and heathy kids.
We spent a lot of time with them yesterday introducing them to the world outside their goat barn. Like all baby goats, they danced and leapt exuberantly bouncing across the ground as though they were jumping on a trampoline. Our cat, Calli, still hasn’t decided what to make of them and has displayed casual indifference to their presence. They sniff and nibble on anything and everything just to experience their surroundings. They also accept us with youthful courage and enjoy being picked up and held. They cuddle up and nuzzle us with loving affection. Life is great and exciting when you are a baby goat! We are looking forward to see which one of them will be the first to climb to the top of the rock pile in their goat pen. Climbing is an irresistible adventure for goats.
Essie is proving herself to be an attentive and caring mother. She watches them closely and licks them frequently. She is still learning to be patient about nursing, and we have watched her try to regulate their feeding times. Unfortunately for Essie, she’s too big to hide so her babies have learned to pursue her relentlessly until she grants their wish. It has been three years since she last gave birth, and it is reassuring to see the maturity in her motherhood skills. Nature is certainly adept in teaching us our roles in life.
The cool, but refreshing air and sunny weather we are experiencing only adds to the pleasure we and our new goat kids are enjoying. Gracie and Eleanor are inseparable and cling to one another when they play and sleep. Although we considered selling them as FFA or 4-H student projects, we have become too attached to them to let them go. We have decided to keep them and raise them to adulthood, as we did for their mother. Peeper Pond Farm is their birthright and we have decided to honor that and give them the best life here that they can have. I have placed a number of pictures of them on the “Dave’s Pictures” page of our farm website for you to enjoy.
Now that climatological (astronomical) spring has settled in at our farm (as of March 20), we look forward to watching our newborn kids grow and mature into adulthood. Gracie and Eleanor will be the fifth and sixth goat kids we have raised, but they will always be special to us as the first to be born at Peeper Pond farm. In that regard, they are the pride and joy of our fledgling dairy goat operation. Soon our landscape will reawaken and flourish with the beautiful bright colors and fragrances of spring. Our hearts are bursting with joyful anticipation to watch as our newborn goats blossom and grow in harmony with the seasonal transition. I also look forward to the resumption of our suspended milking operation and hope that the fortunes are aligning to help ensure the adoption of our WV Farm Fresh Diary Act (Senate Bill 58) during this legislative session. May all of you experience and appreciate the abundant joys and wonders of spring renewal.