Sunday, September 9, 2012

The End of One Chapter for the Goat Triplets!

Farmer Man feeds Marble, one last time!
This morning was the last morning that our little goat triplets will get milk.  Yes, Marble, Myrvan and Marty are now officially weaned!  They grow up so fast!

If you follow this blog, you know the triplets were rejected by Mama Mabel at birth, and we've been bottle feeding them since the beginning.  It was, originally, a big daily chore:  the babies got milk four times a day for the first few weeks!  We'd milk the does in the morning, feed the triplets, a few hours later we'd warm milk in a 'bain marie' style, and feed again.  We'd do that again in the afternoon, milk and feed again in the evening.  The chore went down to three times a day, then two times a day.  Two times a day was fairly easy to fit in because we fed them at milking time, morning and night.  Our Mama Goldie takes a long time to milk; we'd milk Mabel first, fill the babies' bottles, then Farmer Man would feed them while I milked Goldie.  The feeding itself never took long - the babies could empty a full bottle quickly!  Not necessarily neatly, but quickly!

Myrvan and Marty are big boys now!
Milking has been a messy, sloppy chore!  We got used to coming back to the house somewhat splattered and changing into clean clothes!  Bottles would drip, goats would stop to sneeze, milk moustaches would get whipped off on Farmer Man's shirt!  It was, however, good bonding time and we really see the difference in how comfortable the triplets are with people, particularly in contrast with the twins who came last and were well cared for by Mama Choco.  Gaffer, being the first born and only kid for a few weeks, has always gotten lots of attention.  The twins came last, almost a month after Gaffer and two weeks after the triplets, and it's not that we were bored with's just we were busy with the triplets, and busy with planting, busy with weeding and Choco was keeping them in line!

The amount the triplets have been getting at each feeding has been slowly reduced over the weeks from ten ounces each feeding, to eight, back up to ten when we went to down to two feedings a day, then eight, then six, then four ounces.  We went to just a morning feeding a couple of weeks ago and bumped the volume up a bit, then reduced, reduced, reduced until this mornings' feeding was really just a mouthful!  It was all over in seconds!  The triplets have all taken to a grain ration with gusto, enjoy their hay and love, love, love some willow tree!  We're sorry to see the shared time go...but perhaps we'll just turn it into grooming time - so we can still hang with the triplets! 

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed bottle feeding our two this spring, and actually quite missed it once they were weaned. I had a devil of time finding bottles that didn't leak with those Pritchards, as most of the water/soda bottle threads are too short these days. I did finally find some great ones though, so that stopped some of the mess ;) I must admit though, I don't miss having the goaties milk foam chins wiped on me multiple times a day. They do grow so fast!