Pregnancy is kind of neat in goats. Nothing much happens in the first 4 months. The last month is when all the magic happens. The babies don’t grow much at all until the last month. Moms don’t even need much nutrition until the last month. The first 4 months are just hype. You know there’s babies in there – but they’re just seeds, waiting for springtime. That fifth month, watch out!
Meg has been huge for several weeks. Even though the babies just, really, started to grow last week. She has also been hungry. Really hungry. Like, I am careful not to trip in the goat stall, because I just know she’d be all like, “Dinner is late. Let’s eat Tracy!” Seriously. I check her weight all the time (in self-defense). She’s a good weight. But she acts like she could eat a horse. “FEED ME!!!” She’s gone nuts.
She sleeps under the hay feeder, so she can eat without getting up. I open the barn in the morning, and all the normal goats leap up and run to me. Meg lays there under the hay, waiting for me to actually serve breakfast before she wastes energy on rising to her feet. Eventually, she gets up. She eats. All she can eat. And then she goes outside, lays down, and grunts. She is sooo barely pregnant. If she is grunting with martyrdom now – oh, she’s going to be a drama queen as those kids grow.
I noticed this afternoon that she was covered in hay pieces. All over her back. I went to brush them off, and she got up and walked away in a bit of a huff. And laid down, twisted her head around, and ate the hay off her back. “I was SAVING that!”
She’s a lovey goat. Not anymore. Now she hates me. I try to get close to run a simple test (swipe a thingy under her while she pees) and she runs away like I’m the devil. She used to love me. I’m not allowed within 10 feet of her. Unless she wants something, like a nice head scratch. But she’ll let me know when I’m allowed near her.
Ice is our least-friendly goat. But I told her today that she’d better have a white baby, so we can name it Caspar the Friendly Goat. All of a sudden, Ice likes me. Lately, she comes up to me, flashing her Baby Blues, acting like “Hey, old buddy old pal!” Today, she was lolling around lazily – so hard she rolled over onto her back like a turtle. This is how friendly she is: Goats should not lay on their backs. I know this. I walked over to her, perfectly capable of rolling her over, but I didn’t want to upset her by, you know, touching her. So I asked her, “Ice, is this the position you WANT to be in?”
I guess not. She rolled over again. She was being so weird, I stopped what I was doing and followed her at a respectful distance. She laid down. I sat 10′ away. She got up, turned around, faced me, laid back down. And flashed the Baby Blues at me.
She came to the milk room yesterday, while I was milking Abbey. I looked up, and Ice was leaning through the gate, big blue eyes wide and hopeful. Can I come in? I scowled at her. “You can come in if you want to be milked.” All day today, she was looking at her udder, like “damn you, udder, make milk!”
Well, quite frankly, that worried me. So I brought her onto the milk stand for a look-see. She seems fine and normal. I gave her the icky mineral supplement, just in case. That should be good for at least a week of Ice hating me again. She let me lead her out of the milk room like the polite, friendly goat that SHE HAS NEVER BEEN. And she came back a little while later and flashed the baby blues at me again. “No way.” She collapsed in a heap just outside the gate. I WILL give in to the blue eyes. She just knows it.
Sweetie – I swear, she might not even be pregnant Well, she decided, if Meg is going to grunt her way through pregnancy, so is Sweetie. She grunts without conviction. But she puts up a good show. “Uh.” …. “Uh.”
And, today, Mini joined in. She’s hardly even pregnant. “Uh. …. Uh.” 7 weeks to go, and she’s going to out-drama-queen them all.
Butters has become my little rock of sanity. While all the girls go crazy, Butters remains a pleasant, lazy little butterball of love. I sit down in the barn, and he runs up and pushes and shoves and squeezes and contorts until he’s in my lap. Same as always. I love Butters.
And then Maggie – in heat – runs up and head-butts him. “My human!” And runs away. I scold her. She comes back. Touches the back of my head. Tried to climb in my lap. Runs away. Lisa sneaks in while Maggie has me distracted. Touches my back. Runs away. “Hi! Gotta run!”
At one point while I was trying to figure out what grave disease might make Ice friendly, I sat down (a respectful distance from Ice) to observe her, and felt things on my back. 4 young goats were surrounding me from behind, touching me lightly, while Butters slipped into my lap. Bart began nibbling the back of my shirt. I looked down at Butters, and he nibbled my nose. My last sane goat, and he’s still a nibbly-nibblet. Still my baby lap-goat. I won’t say he’s my favorite, but I sure do enjoy him. Butters and Maggie are my best buddies. I love them all, even when certain goats are acting a little harder to love. And I appreciate the ones who act so easy to love, too.