Tag Archives: goats

Assassin goat

2016 was a low birth year for us on the Flores mini-ranch overall. We had no horses, puppies, kittens or chicks born. Our goat duplication was also minimal. Instead of everyone having twins, there were only singletons or none at all in the summer. Well, except for Queenie. She’s been a consistent twinner all along.

So in 2017, we weren’t surprised when Whitey was yet another singleton. He wasn’t too happy about being the only kid. There was no one to play with when the mommies went out to graze. He was very vocal in his displeasure. He also didn’t have anyone to huddle with under the trough. He took to waiting until everyone was settled down and then climbing on top of one of the goats, usually his mom, to sleep.

About a month later, the big white nanny goat, a recent acquisition and thus still nameless, decided it was high time to have her baby. She waited until the middle of the night to ensure privacy. I heard the wailing of an unhappy baby goat sometime around 2 am. As my husband was not home, I went out to check it out.

Sure enough, there was a little white kid expressing its dislike of its new condition. But where was the mother? Oh, there on the other side of the corral. It looked as if she wasn’t finished kidding yet as she was still pawing the ground. Whitey wasn’t pleased with this new addition and added his own bleats to that of the new baby.


I waited outside for about 15 minutes, sure that any second she would give birth. As the minutes ticked by, I could see that she was having difficulty. She lay down yet again and stretched her legs into the air. I had never seen a goat in such distress. I decided that emergency measures needed to be taken.

I woke my son from a sound sleep and sent him up the road to my father-in-law. I was concerned that the nanny goat wasn’t going to make it. In the 10 minutes or so that it took for my son to return with my father-in-law (much more skilled in goat husbandry than myself) she popped out another baby goat. However, she was still carrying on.

It turned out that there was yet another baby goat. At this point, she was exhausted and the kid was presenting feet first, which was delaying things a bit. My father-in-law helped out a little, and voila, baby 3. Triplets! There were 2 boys and a girl which we tentatively christened Curly, Moe and Larry.

The next day, mama goat was still exhausted, as were we. The triplets weren’t too fussed if she was out of sight, but move one of their siblings and they became hysterical. Mama goat needed a little extra time to recuperate, but soon enough was back on her feet.

As mama goat had only two teats, feeding time became quite a hassle. One of the triplets decided that he and Whitey would be brothers and hunkered down with his new family. This worked out until Whitey’s mom was sold. The first night she was gone, something happened to the adopted triplet. We found him dead in the morning.

The deaths didn’t stop there. Later that afternoon, Pinta birthed a stillborn kid. We ended up on the plus side by the end of the day, though. Bunnie gave birth to itty bitty Brownie. Just a few hours later, Venada had twins–a boy and a girl, twice the size of Brownie.

Venada's boy/girl twins are a day younger than little Brownie, but look at the size difference.

Venada’s boy/girl twins are a day younger than little Brownie but look at the size difference.

Brownie gave us quite a scare about 2 weeks later. We had left the goats unattended for about 30 minutes while we went in for lunch. When my husband came out to check on the goats, he gave a holler. Brownie was in the water bucket up to his neck in water and unmoving, although still alive.

My husband wrapped him in a towel and sat with him in the sun. As he still didn’t show any inclination to move about, he brought one of the triplets that had befriended Brownie to nudge him a bit. About 45 minutes later, Brownie tried to get up. Whew!

It was about 2 hours before he could wobble around any. Now that the danger had passed, we puzzled about how this could have happened.


We think we have an assassin mama goat. The triplet that died, might have been killed. The stillbirth might have been caused by repeated stomach butting. Another triplet has a torn ear. And it just wasn’t possible that Brownie fell into the bucket. He would have fallen head first and that would have been the end of him. We think he was tossed through the air and landed in the bucket. And our probable suspect was Venada.

I’m all for ousting the murderer, but she does give healthy twins even though she goes overboard in her need for world domination. My husband agreed to keep an eye on her and since the bucket incident, there’ve been no new attempts on anyone’s life.

vaquita and skunk

Finally, a month after we thought all the kids for the season had been born, Vaquita presented us with Skunk. He’s long legged, long-eared and oh so cute. She too waited till dark to give birth and had a bit of difficulty. The kid was big and this was her first baby. She’s also pretty skittish compared to our other goats, so didn’t like anyone close enough to give assistance and once delivered, didn’t want anyone near her baby. Of course, the dark coloring make Skunk hard to see and has been causing no end of grief for his nervous nellie mom. My husband separated Vaquita and Skunk in hopes that the assassin goat doesn’t have an opportunity to strike again.



When we did some additional paring down of the goats, Venada and her babies went up on the auction block.  We just couldn’t have murdering goats around, even if there was a good probability of twins every season.  Instead, my husband purchased Jirafa (Giraffe) and much to our delight, she presented us with twins.

Jirafa and one of the twin daughters. She takes after her dad I guess.

The other daughter–just like mom!



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Filed under Animal Husbandry, Death and all its trappings, Homesteading

Love is in the air

In the Spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love--Alfred Tennyson

No, it’s not our son that I’m referring too. Although being a foot taller than his classmates and sporting an impressive upper lip fuzz mustache has turned quite a few girls’ heads, he still is only 13 and not ready for dating yet. It is, however, definitely springtime in our barnyard critter neighborhood.

Our little chivitos (kids) have been jumping and leaping and growing devilish horns these past 2 months, which means that the moms have begun their first estrus cycle since giving birth. This hormonal change has turned Jason Boer into quite the Romeo.

Unfortunately, Romeo doesn’t sing very well. In fact, it’s an awful racket. And although his serenading is just as important for wooing the ladies as peeing on his face (yep), the noise is horrendous. As he likes to make his moves by moonlight, he has woken us up on several occasions. Groggy, it takes us several minutes to realize that no, an animal is not being tortured outside.

Much to our surprise, Junior, at the tender age of 2 months, has become a chorus boy in the love songs. The first time each of us heard his singing, we ran out to the corral in a panic, thinking one of the chivitos (kids) had become stuck and was dying. Nope. He’s just a Romeo in training.

None of the other little goats have the least interest in the fully grown mama goats, so we are astounded at Junior’s advanced development. Occasionally, father and son have been heard to sing duets. AHHHH!

My father-in-law’s macho goat sings in a lovely baritone. In fact, he sings so well, that on several occasions I went outside to see who was singing only to watch the herd pass by on their way up the hill. We should be so lucky.

Well, the good thing is that since all the kids were born within a 2 week period, the love fest concerts should also be finished within a 2 week period. Meanwhile, we’ll just cover our ears and endure.

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Filed under Animal Husbandry, Homesteading

New kids on the block

Our last chiva (goat) finally gave birth this week, and it is with pride that I announce our new kids’ arrivals. We have all sorts of genetic diversity this year. Jason Boer is the daddy to all, but the mommies are rather distinct, giving us a good mix. As a result, we have kids with little bitty ears, some with long ears and others with long, floppy ears. We have kids with campanitas (skin tags under the chin that look like bells) and kids without. We have white, brown, black and a variety of color combinations of the three. We have twins and singletons.


Los bandidos short ears, Carl and Mel.

In all, 14 kids were born during a month-long birthing extravaganza. The first chiva, Caramela, had twins. She was nearly a week ahead of the other goats because Joey had knocked her over when he was misbehaving, and the fall brought on an early labor. Both male kids, Carl and Mel, were fine, just a little small. We call them los bandidos (the bandits) collectively since we can’t tell the two apart.




Jason Boer

Shortie had an enormous male kid that is the spitting image of dear old dad, only with more brown. We’ve named him Junior. Moya (Blackie) had a huge female kid that is just like Jason Boer but in black and white, like a cow. We’ve named her Bessie.


Front to back–Bessie, Junior, Clyde, No name royalty, Spot

Queenie presented us with twins, a boy with campanitas and a girl without. No surprise there. Queenie is pretty predictable with her twin births. The boy seems to have something wrong with his front leg. It appears to be slightly longer than the other one, so he walks and jumps and runs with a limp. It hasn’t had much effect on his mobility though and certainly not his sunny disposition. We have yet to come up with fitting royal names for these two. We’ve already used Duke/Duchess, Lord/Lady, Prince/Princess, King/Queen combinations. Any suggestions?



Princess had some difficulty. This is her second baby, so we thought she would have less problems however, her baby boy’s head was too large to exit the birth canal unassisted. He’s got a striped tail like a raccoon, so he’s called Coon. He really is monstrous in size.

Princess’s daughter, Princesita surprised us by being pregnant as well. Well, like mother like daughter I suppose. Princess had Princesita when she was less than a year old, so Princesita started in early too. Her little guy, Whitey, is on the small side and tires easily, but otherwise healthy. Junior has taken the role of trainer upon himself and hustles Whitey around the corral to build up his strength and endurance.





La hija de Queenie (Queenie’s Daughter, she never did get a proper name) had a fluffy little girl Bunny. Brownie cloned herself and birthed Brownie 2. She’s become best buddies with Bunny.


Venada had twins, a boy and a girl. The boy has campanitas and girl doesn’t. These are the second set of los bandidos, Bonnie and Clyde. They are darker brown with floppy ears and like to play Olé with Bunny’s mom. She doesn’t want her daughter playing with the roughnecks and chases them away. Los bandidos think it’s great fun!

Nanny goat was the last to have her babies. She also had twins, a boy and a girl, Spot and Mancha. Mancha was positioned foot first, so delivery was assisted. Good thing my husband was home to lend a hand. They are bigger than all the other kids, but seem a little slow on the uptake, being so much younger.

Right now, when the parents are taken to pasture, the babies stay in the corral. It gives the moms a well-deserved break and allows them to eat without trying to keep track of offspring. The kids love “recess” time and play tag, hide and seek, butt heads, Ring around the Rosie and even tap-dance on an old chest lid. Of course, they all start to holler when the milk trucks come home.

With so many new residents, my husband had to make a new feeding trough. The new trough has become quite the place for our new kids to show their WWF Wrestling skills!

We did get way more machos (boys) than hembras (girls) in this batch. All 5 girls will be kept without question. The 9 boys will be traded or sold as they get bigger. My husband wants to hang on to Junior, Coon, and Spot–but I don’t see how that will be possible. One macho per herd is plenty. Guess we’ll just see what happens.


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Filed under Animal Husbandry, Homesteading