Thursday, May 7, 2009
All about Pete and Reggie
This is Pete:
and this is Reggie:
They are my almost 8-week-old Nigerian Dwarf goats:
As I mentioned in my last post, I brought them home on Saturday and we have spent the past few days settling in and getting to know one another.
Pete was one of three babies born to his mama and, because of this, is a bit smaller and more slender than Reggie, even though Pete is four days older. Pete is long and lean and easily able to jump onto and over things like a graceful gazelle...
He has recently scaled the top of the hay feeder (note Reggie underneath):
...the wooden fence in the goat house (this storage can has since been removed because he could have used it to springboard OUT of the goathouse entirely):
...my son, Aidan:
...and the wooden gate separating stall from storage area:
Pete clearly likes conquering anything taller than he is.
Reggie is my stocky little pudge:
He was one of just two babies born to his mama and is bigger because of this. His fur is fine and soft, almost downey, while Pete's is quite a bit coarser.
Reggie cries when Pete scales things in a single bound and leaves him behind. Whenever Pete goes over, therefore, Reggie now goes under or through:
I've clearly got two budding escape artists that will need to be watched very closely.
Both my little guys have been neutered. I did not plan on using them to breed and by not neutering them, they would have likely become very smelly and aggressive. In goat-speak, neutered goats are called wethers. The process for wethering is to place a small, tight band around their testicles. This cuts off circulation and, after a few weeks, the testicles fall off painlessly. Pete and Reggie had their bands put on about a week and a half ago. Here's Pete's:
You would think this would be uncomfortable, but neither one seems to mind:
Even though the boys are just as different from one another personality-wise as they are physically, they really like each other. They are virtually inseparable. Where one goes, the other follows:
They sleep together:
Eat their hay together:
Drink their water together:
and eat their grain together:
Here's breakfast yesterday:
And speaking of grain....every morning, they each get 1/2 a cup of grain. As they get bigger, I will increase this amount to maybe a cup each per day. As babies, they need this grain to finish growing. When they are fully grown though, at about one year of age, I'll discontinue the grain and they will eat only grass hay and whatever browse they get in my pastures. Concentrate diets can create an imbalance that causes them to get urinary calculi (stones) which will kill them.
Because I am such a new goat mama, I am very mindful of the amount of this goat chow they get. Their health and well-being is of great concern to me and my learning curve is very steep right now. I, therefore, reserve the right to stop feeding them this feed even before they reach a year old, should I become convinced that they don't need it for healthy growth. :-)
Good girl, Roxy: