The FIRST two months
The first two months with Stormin Norman #normanrockwellthegoat
He was a bit of a surprise at the barn at 3pm. Usually goats wait till your sleeping!. Not our sweet Scribbles. She quickly pushed out MR Norman and about 30 min later had a still born. This is always sad but does happen yet still shocking.. Things got worse as she stopped pushing but by early AM it was clear she was having issues. I called three vets before one could get us in. The baby was huge and it was just too much. We lost our sweet Scribbles as well. She along with Twister this year. I cant hardly even believe it.
Her one and only surviving kid we placed in the laundry room after colostrum (important mommas first milk for their immunities of which I milked from Momma before her passing) and warming up with towels we placed him with Sage one of our French bulldogs. She would have made a great mommy!.. she is the ranch baby mommy :). I was exhausted by the long day and evening into the next morning. I couldn't sleep though. Worry and sadness. When I opened that laundry room door there was this tiny tiny bundle snuggled up with Sage on a dog bed. I couldn't help but smile and it just warmed my heart.. HE made it thru the first night! And Sage was eager to assist with everything I asked of her. Such a good dog. After all everything was new to this baby, unfamiliar and out of instincts. This was all new to Sage a new responsibility that was dependant on her 24/7. Tiny and dependant on all of us. Sauge(Sage) has been an astronomical help with Norman especially in those first few weeks that have now developed into an inseparable pair. Again warming my heart.
Baby goats need to be fed five plus times a day at birth. Their tiny stomachs can only take in so much and you actually do have to monitor how much their intake is. Too much as well as too little both can be bad for them. So there we are, baby goat in the house which btw made it a whole lot easier than when I was bottle feeding others in the barn. He had lost his momma, his siblings. He only had us. Little did we know how much he would steal our hearts!..
Norman quickly learned that feeding station was at the table on the deck. He would run to it, not me when he was ready for a meal. Then HEAVILY nudge under my arm pit till I produced him a bottle. He was easy to bottle train and although I did get him to drink from Momma (I think I have video of that) He for the most part after that first nursing only knew myself and a bottle.
It wasn't long before he was nibbling on things. I would say by week one he was tasting things and by week two he had a couple favourite things he would actually eat. The dogs taught him to drink water out of the baby pool and he learned how to jump on rocks, off logs and just JUMP!.. we got him a stair case and slide to play on.. I kept him in a dog enclosure while I did chores to keep him safe when I couldn't watch him, but that did not last long. By week three he was jumping over it! By week four he pretty much had full rein of the ranch and was included in ranch chores. He happily would follow me and the dogs out to the barn and explore while I fed and changed waters. HE stuck close to my side and if not mine Sages.
At the barn he met chickens, pheasants, quail, rabbits, cats, pigs and other goats. He was scared of the goats as at this point, about four weeks old had no idea he was a goat, in fact he displays dog mannerisms. Still has goat moves as well!.. BUT he doesn't like the barn he likes the house!.. AND is happy to let you know that. At about six weeks he started eating ferociously !.. Our yard does have a few plants that are toxic to goats so I always keep a close eye. He seems to avoid them. He's not that keen to hay but loves a good cracker (treat of course). AND oh my Strawberry leafs are his favourite. A calling from his piggy sister possibly we lost earlier this year to heart failure. Miss Strawberry, we sure miss you. He's started weaning himself as I slowly increased the time between bottles. Then he started not even wanting a bottle. Sad for mom GOOD for mr independent!..
Then there was the banding .. Yup you heard it.. It was time to end the little dudes testosterone issues. Sorry boys but in the goat world if those suckers dont come off its a stinky world for you. And With Norman doing so well with house training - yes you can train a goat. It was time ... AND Boy was that emotionally hard for Randy and I. we've done it many of times but this time was super emotional!.. BUT we got it done. Little man was not happy for a couple days but then-- poof his head butting, chasing, name calling ended just like that... I dont think he's very happy with me but he will be in the long run!..
Norman in his first two months has experienced the loss of his momma in front of his eyes, feeling abandoned to feeling overwhelming love from so many different animals and people, jeep rides, quad rides, freedom to roam, walking on a lead line in the forest, bath time, crazy movies while sitting on the couch eating popcorn, exploring my art studio, Snuggles 0h the snuggles, ROMPING with dogs and cats, learning to eat goat things, climbing, jumping, playing. learning commands such as "potty", "no", "off", "dog park", "bottle", "come", "lay down" "leave it" "bed time". All of which he now knows. I never knew a goat was so smart. He is teaching me to be a better steward to the herd.
With great loss there is great love. Today will be two months I have been his momma. RIP my dear Scribbles I promised you that night I would take care of your baby. AND here he is taking care of me.....