April 29, 2009

Dove

This year Wish, our "nupine" goat (half nubian and half alpine), had a big single doeling, which we named Dove because of her white color.

At seven weeks old Dove seems to follow her mother, nursing constantly. She's evidently hard on her mom's udder, because Wish lies down when she's tired of it so that Dove can't get to her. Funny, Wish's mom did the same thing the year that she had twin bucklings. Wish is producing plenty of milk on the milkstand, so I don't think it's a matter of supply. Dove is just a big kid and a vigorous nurser.

Over the past few days, Wish seems to be spending most of her day lying down, and I began to be a little concerned that Dove is getting enough milk to drink, even though she is eating hay and grain very well. One morning I offered her a bottle of milk. It took 3 tries, then Dove latched on and inhaled that milk. It was gone in a second and she wanted more.

Since I'm already bottle-feeding a set of twins, giving Dove a bottle is no more work, although I wish I could sprout a third arm and hand to hold her bottle. Sometimes she only drinks an ounce or two; other times she will drink the whole bottle. It's worth it to make sure that Dove is getting enough milk, and maybe she will be less obnoxious to Wish.

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