Over the last two weeks, my life was unexpectedly blessed with two baby mini-Nubian goats. Their dad was neutered, or so we thought. Some months ago, he figured out a way to escape the pasture regularly. As instinctual male goats do, he went to town, so to speak. This seemed harmless because his parts were purportedly banded off. Somehow, a third part survived, and this biological anomaly resulted in an abundance of goat kids (possibly more on the way) a season later.
My family has owned a farm my whole life, and taking care of baby goats in my house is not my first rodeo. However, navigating raising goats in my kitchen while also attending college remotely during a pandemic has been a bit challenging. I am doubling being a goat mom as well as a student with a job, extracurriculars, and internships. While currently writing this article, one of my babies is curled up in a blanket on my lap. The freezing temperatures are not survivable, and we’ve lost a few goat kids from the cold winter already. So, I get to play goat mom and keep them warm!
A big indoor playpen occupies my kitchen with all of their goat needs, and I get to attend my Zoom classes with them 5ft away. Their names are Milo and Maisie. Milo (pictured below) is a spaz who loves to jump around my house and cuddle. Maisie (pictured above) is younger and smaller than Milo, she sleeps a lot, and has just started to gain her balance. They both refuse to be left alone and love to sleep in their blanket. I’ve finally started to find a good rhythm with them, and their daily routine is as follows:
- Morning bottle feeding, play time, bath time, and cleaning their pen.
- Afternoon bottle feeding, nap time, play time, and cuddles (cleaning their pen throughout the day).
- Evening bottle feeding, more play time, cuddles, then bed time.
Their schedule intertwines with mine, and occasionally, it can get stressful. But they bring such a light into my life that the stress is very worthwhile. There have been many times during class where I have to bottle feed them, supervise them while they hop around, and hold them close so they feel safe. Luckily, my professors have not minded the interruptions and understand my responsibility as a working goat mom. My babies attend class with me, study with me, and keep me sane while completing my college education at home.
They are a huge commitment and part of my day, but not the kind you get to put on a resume. Sometimes the responsibility isn’t so pretty, like when I am covered shoulder-to-toe in poop, constantly cleaning up after them, or have to step away from class to tend to their needs. Although, I would not trade them for the world. Getting to love them and help them grow is a blessing. I am so grateful to have this unique experience because they are such a gift and bring so much happiness.