Saturday, March 28, 2009

Feeding The Monsters.....

The five bottle babies I brought home earlier in the week are doing great. They are feistier then ever.

And VERY glad to see me when I go to the barn....

They think they should be fed 15-20 times a day.

It's "socialism" at it's finest - we take something (milk) from someone who has worked all day to produce it (the doe), and give it to someone else, who lounges around and plays all day (kids). All this does is make them want MORE.

Oh well -- at least they're cute...and they were free.

I guess I didn't do anything to earn getting them, either!

It's MUCH easier to just let mom do the feeding, though.

I've started to get them drinking from a pan, instead of nursing. The three youngest ones have it figured out, but the two older ones have a hard time with it, so far.

It's also hard to keep the freeloading cats out of the pan....

One of the cats had her kittens on Thursday (26 March). She decided to build her "nest" on end of one of the goat stalls. So far, nobody has been stepped on, but we'll see how long that holds up.
Meanwhile - the other two cats - one of which is pregnant - have decided that they are obligated to help take care of the other cat's babies. Today, I found ALL THREE cats in the nest with the babies...

If you look close at the pileup in the corner, you can see two heads, and parts of three bodies. All three of them are wound up in a ball on top of the kittens. The dark grey cat is the actual mom.
The hen is probably shaking her head at the goofball cats.

Of course, the hens lay their eggs in the stall, and hope the goats don't step on them. I've had hens lay eggs on top of a hay feeder in the barn - and the goats eat around them. All the hay will be gone, except for a small pile holding up the eggs...

Evidently, goats don't like egg on their face....

Here are a couple photos of the gates I have on some of my stalls. The top one is the "saloon" type doors I made, that swing in or out. I still need to make a more permanent latch but, the "loop and stick" works for now.

This is one I made from a section of "combination" panel. I welded some extra bars in to keep smart-aleck goats from sticking their head through the gate.

I will probably make the rest of the stalls half of each kind. I have 15 or so 4' x 4' sections of panel already to go. I got them for free from a neighbor.

Tomorrow, I need to build a hay feeder in another part of the barn for the four new does we have. They spend the night in their own room, and need munchies at night.

I also have to get another "nursery stall" ready. The last of the Boer goats has started to bag up, so it shouldn't be long.

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