Saturday, March 29, 2014

Maternal Instincts in the Goat Herd

I've been making the most amazing observations this year regarding the mothering of the goat kids.  The first is that the does have "Nanny Shifts".  When I walk out, one doe will be hanging with all the kids while the other four does are clear across the property browsing.  When I go out to the field again later, a different doe will be with all the kids.  I am amazed at the teamwork involved in setting this up.  Not only that, but I appreciate that the goats look out for each other and give each other breaks.

The other observation I made recently is that during feeding time, when the does are eating, the kids will come attach to any available teat.  I'm not sure if it is a result of the does not paying attention at the moment, or a herd teamwork thing; but, I have definitely seen kids nursing from does that are not their mother.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you have a little community family there. Everyone watching out for the other. Goats are very social animals, so this does not surprise me, though I have never seen it myself. Usually, then one kid goes to another mother, the kid get a good bashing.