Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Day 3: Rejected

I wish I had happy news to share. How all the goats were doing well and bonding and playing and eating. But sadly, such is not the case.

Oddly enough, over the last 2 days, I've had concerns about Peanut and Coco. In fact - I was most worried about Coco who was the last born and who I thought might be the weakest. Even yesterday - she was off by herself while Junior (who as it turns out is a girl) and Peanut played and lay together. I had to pick her up a few times and put her with the others but by this morning all 3 were tight as could be and everything seemed fine.

At around 2, I went outside to poke my head in to see how everyone was doing. Everything was fine but when Junior went to nurse, Ann-Margaret butted her away. Worse yet, she began butting her for no reason. In all of my fears and worries and concerns, it never occured to me that Ann-Margaret would reject one of her babies. Moreover, I never thought she'd do it so violently.

I pulled Junior from the stall and placed her solo in the adjacent stall. She of course hated being ripped from mom and siblings and started bleating incessantly. Ann-Margaret answered and it seemed like they were communicating so I brought Junior back over. Ann-Margaret went at her so hard, had I not been there, something terrible would have surely happened.

The vet tells me rejection is a fact of life and it happens. She didn't seem shocked given that Ann-Margaret had 3 babies and that's more than a goat usually has. We've brought Junior (who is probably getting renamed) into the house. She is in a big kennel with some straw and a stuffed pug for company. We are trying to bottle feed her but so far she's not taking to it so I am forced to squeeze a few droppers full of half goats milk/half regular milk into her mouth every hour or so until she starts eating on her own.

To be honest, I don't know what we're going to do. One option is to keep her in the house until she's big enough to defend herself and then return her to the pasture. I don't think that's really an option.

Friends with a farm and other animals (although no goats) have offered to take her which is a more likely scenario - even though I hate the idea of splitting Junior up from her family. Then again, most animals are separated from parents and siblings eventually and I keep trying to remind myself of that fact.

No matter what I am saddened and crushed by this whole thing. I just hate it. No 2 day old baby should have to go through what little Junior is going through - even though she is going to get so much human love and affection from us, from whoever takes her...I don't know. I am starting to ramble I just feel so overwhelmed.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...