|Katie lying with "her" two boys in front of her|
So anytime people tell me that goats don’t think or have feeling or anything like that I might bring this story up.
Katie is a beloved member of the herd. All but one of the full lamanchas born this year originated with her. In many ways she really is the herd matriarch for a good portion of the herd. However, she doesn’t usually make it on our show string. When we have lovely up-and-coming yearlings we want to take out, she usually stays at home. As a result, when a friend of ours asked to borrow a goat she was an easy choice. We thought of it as a 10 day vacation for Katie.
Katie did not feel this way. Outside of her herd she refused to eat and in a matter of 5 days lost almost 20 lbs. Poor Katie was so upset being away from her friends and most importantly away from “her boys”. After Argentina left to be a milker for someone else, we started putting Katie on the milkstand for Argentina’s two boys. Not the way we do it for the girls, but for the boys, it is not nearly as big of a deal. Soon the boys were so excited that they didn’t make it to the milk stand before nursing Katie out. Most does have a big problem with this, but not Katie, she just stood there waiting for them to finish. Then one day, I just opened the kid gate and they went running over to her (you could almost hear them calling in their high pitched voices “Grandma! Grandma!”) and like a perfect angel, Katie just stood there in the pasture letting them eat. Well that was that. The boys just stayed out with her from then on and “magically” her udder was completely empty.
Once she came home Katie was so glad to see those boys – I think she has gotten quite attached to them. Right away she took them back and went running over to the feeder. Within just a few days she had gain most of the weight back and was back to mothering the boys.