When one farms, one must be flexible. It's an undeniable fact that no matter what is planned, it is subject to change at a moments notice. This is true not only with the crops and the weather, but also (and maybe especially) with the animals as well.
I wrote just two days ago of Emmy Lou and introduced her to my readers. I never dreamed at that time that Emmy Lou might have different plans than the humans.
Emmy is not a young doe. She's not terribly old. Just not young anymore. And, as any middle age woman can appreciate, she is confident of who she is and what she wants and she is not afraid to do what it takes to get it. When Emmy arrived she was very sweet but very reserved. Typically when getting together for the first time, a new goat in the herd will either establish dominance or become subservient to the herd queen. It usually takes some time to work out the details and involving a lot of head butting, shoving and pushing among the herd. There was none of that with Emmy Lou, whom I had been sure was going to be my new Herd Queen. Instead, she sadly went off by herself and did not interact with the other goats at all. Even though I put hay around in various places so she would not have to compete with the others for food, she simply picked at the hay. When I brought her in to milk her, she was not happy with the arrangement and would not eat the grain I put before her. Thinking she just was not familiar with our home ration of grain, I went out and bought some textured feed like what she was use to eating. Still, she would not touch it.
Her eyes remained bright, she remained friendly to me, her "berries" (manure) looked normal, she did not seem to have a fever or any illness or injury. She simply seemed to be sad. Since she had been at her former home so long and since she had left her two recently weaned kids behind, I began to suspect she was depressed.
This did not appear to be a matter of the battle of the wills between farmer and goat because Emmy simple didn't seem to have a will other than to go back home. It didn't appear that anything I could do would be of comfort to her. She began quickly drying off from not eating and she began to lose weight in just two short days.
Thank goodness for a fabulous breeder whose main concern is the animals she raises. When I spoke to Sally from Awee Farm, she immediately suggested making the two hour drive herself to come and get Emmy Lou to take her home. This just added to the respect that I already had for Sally and true to her word, she came mid morning bringing with her Obi and Buckaroo. Obi is here on a trial basis to see if she works out and does well with us. Her little buckling, Buckaroo, came along to keep momma company and to help her not to fret. Buckaroo already has a home when he is weaned and we are thankful that he was able to come along for a couple months. We get enjoy his antics and undeniable goaty cuteness! So far, Obi seems to be doing well. She is already eating hay and has "made aquaintance" with the other girls. She is a little cautious of this new human, but comes around for a graham cracker and is very curious. We are sure she will settle in nicely and be a great addition to our herd.
Awee Farm Obi is a 1st generation Miniature Nubian.