Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Dream Gift Has Landed

Thursday we picked them up – my big birthday gift that I’d wanted so long:
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Meet our two wee Nigerian Dwarf doelings! On the left is Camanna COC Sarabi Saffron and to the right is Camanna AYW Selkie Santolina. They are both less than a month old and are bottle babies. Our barnlet isn’t quite finished yet, although getting close, so we created a temporary space for them on our screen porch.
015 Laid plastic sheeting, anchored with buckets

016 Rigid plastic cup protects an electric outlet

018 A couple of blankets from Goodwill, since the plastic was far too slick for hooves. Used the big staple gun to anchor them safely down.

023 Straw on top nice and deep

006 The little girls decorated a couple of boxes that we made into a cozy bed.

010Aww

We hadn’t told Tarquin at all, not wanting to hear incessant “is it time yet” sort of questioning. A year ago we visited a goat farm for an entire day with Tarquin, Lucinda, and Araminta to make sure they were safe for goats and straw and hay, and they did great, but ever since then Tarquin has been longing to return. A kind goat owner who was transporting other goats brought them up our way and I took Clara to help with the pick-up off I-5, then we brought the does home. Sophia had the rest of them in a circle waiting:
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They’ve been doing very well in their temporary housing, and it’s actually pretty convenient right off the kitchen to warm bottles. I also want to be close during the night at first to make sure they weren’t yelling loudly! They do stay up quite late, wanting company right around midnight for some reason, but in the morning they stay curled up in their box until someone comes out to feed them. Hoping they get over the former, as midnight hangouts in the barn might get a little old!
We’ve been so enjoying them in their babyhood, but their purpose is to be backyard dairy goats. Nigerians are tiny, does being no more than 21 inches tall at adult size, and produce lovely milk high in butterfat. We’ll only ever keep two, and since they can breed more year-round than other breeds, we’ll stagger their births eventually. We’re hoping to be in milk in time to use some for next Thanksgiving’s dinner.
I’ve been asked about their names – they have herb names that go with their colors. “Sarabi” is the mama in the Disney “Lion King” since her coloring struck us as so leonine. Selkie also got her name from her coloring. Her color is called “blue roan”. There is an older movie all of us love called “Roan Inish”, so we played around with variations on that title for awhile, but nothing was sticking until we thought of using the name of the mythological character featured in the film – the Selkie. Selkies are found in Irish, Scottish, and other folklores and are seals which can shed their skin to become humans, or back again the other way. This does give us a whole lot of the letter “S” in our barn!
I’ll post pictures of the barnlet soon, as the Patriarch and his friend are planning a work day Monday.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

Closing comments for this post - a spambot is hitting it every couple of hours so I'm spending far too much of my day reporting spam.