The goat with no name?

Every now and again something really special happens on the farm. I have to clarify that I mean REALLY special, because special is normal around here (yes, we are THAT lucky).

Last Friday both my husband and I were exhausted, as usual by the end of the week. Our planned 9:30pm milking and barn check slipped to 10:10pm. This isn’t a problem because I’m milking two other times during the day, so at worst it shortens the time between night and morning milking.

At 10:10pm we walked in the barn and heard the high pitched meeeeh of a baby goat. Our pace quickened and we both arrived at the only pen that had a pregnant doe in it. Sure enough there were two wet babies on the ground. The new momma was just starting to figure out that she was supposed to be cleaning and drying them off. Since her instincts seemed to be kicking in, we helped dry them off and put them under her nose to care for while we milked the 5 does that needed milking.

After milking the doe kid was still not up and standing. Too long. Too cold. Too listless. We heated the bathroom in the barn and brought the siblings in there and took care of our new baby duties (weights, belly buttons, etc.)

The little girl was still cold and listless, not holding her head up and too cold to digest food and certainly not interested in nursing. We agreed she probably wasn’t going to make it. It had been a rough, emotional week on the farm, although my brain said she wasn’t going to make it, my heart just couldn’t accept it.

By 10:30pm, the little girl and her lively brother were up in our house, by 10:32pm she was immersed in a warm water bath, then a warm blow dry and a bit of colostrum tubed into her belly. No improvement. Midnight came and went I knew I should give up, but I couldn’t.  My husband took care of the other babies and went to bed. I resigned myself a night of keeping her company until she died… or improved.

Tucked in tightly to my chest, under my clothes, under my robe, her listless body absorbed my heat. At 2:30am I tubed a bit more colostrum, hopeful she would be warm enough to digest and make use of it. Still not holding her own head up for more than a bob or two, she just tucked back in while I watched recorded tv shows and hoped against hope.

At 6:00am, my husband came out to relieve me, somewhat in disbelief that I was still up and still with her.  He helped me tube another 2cc’s of warm colostrum into her belly, took her from me and sent me to bed. Knowing she was in his hands, I slept. About an hour and half after I fell asleep, still deliriously tired, I thought I heard my husband tell me to come see my baby girl. My heart raced, was he calling me because she was on her last breaths and I needed to say goodbye? I stumbled with bleary eyes to the bathroom where our house goats live. There she was trembling, but standing and holding her head up, and greedily asking for a bottle. My exhaustion dissipated instantly, replaced with joy.

I’ve been told I wear my heart on my sleeve. However, it seems this little girl, while tucked under my 2 sweaters, a robe and packed under a towel, stole my heart. Now she has the audacity to wear it on her back. What to name this little sweetheart? Any ideas?


Heart on my sleeve?

Here she is at a week old. Healthy and bounding with no sign of her rough start.

She won’t stand still for a picture, but here’s a better blur, with her heart showing:


Heart on my back, because I don't have sleeves!


About Chief Milkmaid

A former executive, now goatmilker and cheesemaker, I am the Chief Milkmaid of the Little Brown Farm.
This entry was posted in About the Farm, Critters, It's Personal, Oprah's Favorite Things - if my name was Oprah not Vicky and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The goat with no name?

  1. Anna-Marie Sibon says:

    You said she had a rough start, but boy, she had a rough start. She is so lucky to have a mama that does not give up. You know if you had not kept her warm and fed her through the night, she would not have made it. You are both very lucky.

    I have no idea why, but when I looked at her I thought “Rosieheart.” That would be an unusual name, but it just popped into my head as I looked at her picture, I wasn’t even thinking of a possible name. What ever her name will be, she is beautiful, special and, of course, loved.

  2. Wrenni says:

    She definitely looks like a keeper to me 😀

  3. suzanne says:

    Perhaps Tears of Joy, or TJ for short. Thats what I shed after reading your beautiful story. I too have slept sitting up with cold babies tucked in my pajamas, and it always seems to work. Never as long or as diligently as you did with this beautiful little girl. that heart will always be a reminder

  4. Corazon, spanish for heart, then you can call her cora. It’s so gratifying when all your efforts pay off and they actually make it.

  5. anita says:

    How about Sweetheart?

  6. Dori says:

    I just can’t stop thinking little Sweetheart.

  7. Icbrrrgal says:

    What a wonderful, touching story. she is precious. you did something amazing here and I know she will only add to the bountiful joy you are going to receive because of your good deed!! I love the name Corazon someone else picked, but whatever you name her, sheis definitely a miracle and I love the heart on her went right through your sweater and imprinted on her to save her life. Amazing!!

  8. What a delightful, ‘heart-lifting’ read! Thanks for making my day!

  9. As I mentioned on your FB page, I vote for the name “Valentina” (val-en-TEEN-a) 🙂 LOVE this story, and she sure is a sweetheart xx

  10. Charity says:

    Loved your story. And LOVE the heart!!!! I like suggestion of Sweetheart as her name (-:

  11. Sandy E. says:

    I’d call her Hope.

  12. Frances D says:

    Valentina. You are quite the goat mama. Shedding a happy tear in NYC.

  13. Deb South says:

    Two years ago I had the same experience. Sitting in front of the wood stove in a rocking chair with a chilled newborn baby goat, that I later named Roscoe, wrapped in a towel, next to my chest under my heavy terrycloth bathrobe with a heating pad on top of all that with a blanket across me.

  14. Pingback: What will 2013 bring? | LittleBrownFarm

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