I’m all the time getting requests. The goats just never give it a rest and it gets even more interesting during kidding, because the kids have their requests, too. Oh, sure, goat customers call up and put in requests too, such as they want a buck or a doe or a red or a correct color or a paint or a kid or a mature goat. A couple of times I even had requests for a goat that would only have twins, would always be polite at feeding time, easy keepers on bad browse, would never ever need worming or shots or get sick, would always come when called, and would never need their feet trimmed. I said if they ever found any like that, that I wanted several, too. But, now the goats are requesting something all the time.
Normal goat requests are: “Hey! You call this food?! Get us something else!” Or, “Don’t you have more food than this?” “It’s pretty good, what there was of it!” “Did I ask for a diet? What do you mean I’m getting too fat! I’m suppose to have big rolls of fat behind my elbows and my cheeks are suppose to look like a stuffed chipmunks!” (This is the goat speaking, not me.) “How about skipping the worming this time, say until forever?” “Where’s the hay? Naw, I mean the good stuff, I need to lay down in it.”
Now, those are normal goat requests, the bucks get a little more X rated and this is a G rated story, but basically they usually shout at the does: “Hubba Bubbba Baby! My you look fine! Hey, Connie, get that cutie out of the herd and bring her here. Oh, forget that. Bring the whole herd here, that’ll do!”
The kidding does are a little irrational at times, but you can understand that. One first time doe had kidded two beautiful kids and I had the heat lamp set up and put the kids under it. She was so proud of her two kids, but when the afterbirth started coming out, she got this stressed look and started pushing the kids out from under the heat lamp. Soon as they were pushed aside, she hurriedly laid down under the lamp herself and got this very worried look as she concentrated. I got her up and pushed her aside and put her babies back under the heat lamp. She repeated the same thing over again and she laid down under the lamp again. I made her move again and she got this very frantic look as if to say, “But, I need this lamp! I’m having a baby!” Leave me aloooooone!” I finally had to give in and as soon as the afterbirth passed and she saw she wasn‘t kidding, she allowed the babies back under the heat lamp.
Another doe thought either me or Lee had to be there when she was kidding. She kept calling to either of us, looking over the stall. When one of us was there, she was fine. But, she was not near kidding yet, just getting started in the “Oh dear, this doesn’t feel right,” stage, so we kept checking in on her while we did our chores. This was not acceptable to her. Finally, I thought she could be getting close enough and I got my sitting bucket and went in the stall with her, soon she popped out a big handsome boy. Between the doe and I, we got him cleaned up, I iodined his belly button, she licked it off, I iodined the belly button again and again she licked it off again, finally I decided to do it when she wasn’t looking. I heard another doe and went to check on her, but this doe hollered, “No, no, no, you are not suppose to leave!”
I came back in minutes and watched her getting ready for her next kid, but she couldn’t get settled. She couldn’t figure out what to do with the first kid. She couldn’t just leave him all by himself and she fretted and fretted. Finally, I picked the boy up, wrapped him in a towel and sat him in my lap. She checked this situation over and approved it, and promptly laid down on my feet and started kidding. This way she had me fixed in one place and had her kid in an approved location. Her requests had been fulfilled.
Now, one new baby had a different request. Her mother was an older doe and when her udder filled up, it hung low. The new kids of this doe had to learn to get on their knees and dive under her and pick the teats up to suck, they were just so close to the ground. Well, this hour old little girl just didn’t get it. There was no way she was going to get down on her knees she had decided, but yet there that teat was, very close to the ground. Her brother was down on his knees on the other side, sucking up a storm, but not this picky little girl.
So, she stood and angrily hollered at that teat. I bent over and lifted the teat up to her mouth level and she latched on and sucked up a storm. After that, there was no living with her. Every time I walked by, she hollered at me and then at the teat. Being very well trained, I would bend over and lift her mother’s teat up for her and she would get her fill. This went on for two days, until she decided I wasn’t quick enough and I saw her down on her knees, with her brother, both sucking up a storm.
One little red girl put her request in a quiet but unusual way. Being a bottle baby because her mother had four kids, and she loved her bottle, but sometimes she would get so full at bottle time and she didn’t know what to do. It never occurred to her to simply pull away and refuse the bottle, she would keep trying to soldier on and suck it all down. But, she had one little trick when she was full, she hung her tiny little tongue out of the right side of her mouth and somehow continued sucking. You’d look down and see this gallant little kid doing her best to finish her bottle, but that little tongue would be hanging out of the side of her mouth, flapping in the wind.
I would quickly take the bottle away and this look of relief would come over the kid’s face, “Oh, thank you, thank you. I didn’t want to hurt your feelings, but I just couldn’t finish that huge bottle.” Soon as I caught on to how she was wording her request, things went very well after that.
Requests, we all get them, but the goat farmer gets more than their fair share from an unexpected location. Either screaming goats at feed time, kidding mothers, lewd bucks, or tiny baby kids have a multitude of requests. Some are reasonable and some are, wait a minute, I hear a first time mother hollering for me to come and hold her collar so her babies can nurse. She doesn’t realize yet that I don’t need to hold that collar, but in her goat mind, she thinks it’s a rule. She’s a smart girl and should soon learn I am not a necessary part of her kids’ feeding, but if not, just another request goat farmers find themselves facing every day.