Thursday, June 7, 2012

Odin & Vada

Remember those cute babies that I posted about earlier in April?  It is now time for a formal introduction.  I don't go to church anymore but that doesn't make me a less spiritual person.  In fact, (because I know everyone is just DYING for me to go into my own spirituality.  Enjoy this.  This is for you.) I have always felt more spiritually alive in the fields of my family farm, overgrown back roads forests, and scrambling blackberry thickets than any church I've had the opportunity to attend.  That said, it's no surprise that I've ended up with hobbies that require me to constantly be outside and in the brush.  I do hold to some habits that would be perceived as superstitions and introduction is one of them.

Many cultures have ceremonies and rituals that include a waiting period for giving a baby a name.  The Jewish ceremony of naming a baby occurs 8 days after or at the first Sabbath (for girls).  Ghana culture also dictates waiting for 8 days until naming a child.  Hmong have a ceremony called "Hu Plig" or soul calling which takes place 3 days after birth in which the name of the child is officially conferred.  Until then, "a baby was not considered to be fully a member of the human race," (Anne Fadiman, "The Spirit catches you and you fall down"1997)  All of these stem from the practical aspect that you "don't count chickens until they hatch" and even then some.  Infant mortalities these days in humans are not what they used to be, at least in this country.  Animal husbandry is still a tricky business so I am superstitious and usually keep quiet on any new venture until I'm satisfied that things have settled into a normal rhythm of existence.

Meet Odin!  He's the little brown boy who is going to knock around with Legend when we aren't there.  I wanted to keep his horns and they are growing at a much faster rate than his sister's.  At first, I chose his name because we had just seen the movie Thor and found Norse mythology that I know nothing about to be exotic and interesting.  I can't wait to start painting 8 legged horses.  Anyway, Odin is living up to his name sake because his cry is piercing and people in Waynesboro could probably identify Odin by now.  I think he will be known as "Odin Broketail" because his little tail is turned to the side.  It was probably broken at birth because the photos of him when he was a day old show his tail cocked to the side like that and I can feel a knot in the bones.  It doesn't seem to bother him and he'll wag it all the same. Though we left his horns intact other things were not to be . . .

Here's a picture of us hanging out on the porch swing after he got neutered.  He's a 20 lb. chunk and was still groggy when we got back from the vet.  I didn't have the heart to toss him back in the pasture while he was stumbling around so we sat on the porch for a while to sleep off the anesthesia.

The staff at the vet's office were intrigued by his little "horn-staches" as I call them.  He still has little tufts of hair growing from the tips of his horns.  They will fall off eventually but the staff said they've never seen that before.

Odin was so knocked out that he drooled on my arm on the way home.  After a while, he was back to his old springy self and was bouncing around in the pen with his sister.

His ears still turn up like little tacos and we call him "taco ear" sometimes.  He's growing fast and I'm sure soon we'll have trouble picking him up like this.  He never would drink the bottle after we got him.  His sister started off well but he didn't want to have a thing to do with the bottle.  It was frustrating and one of the reasons I didn't want to post about my new goats because if one wasn't eating there would be trouble fast.  He's gotten fat and growing tall and fighting with Legend over the grain bucket.  The vet said he was doing well too so my fears have subsided.

Meet Vada!  She looks very similar to her mama.  I chose my grandmother's middle name for her.  It is germanic for "ruler" in the feminine.  She is not as boisterous as her brother and not as big but she's proven to be more of a climber and jumper.  If I'm trying to keep Odin out of Legend's grain and vice versa, she'll try to hop up on my back or shoulders for attention.  It's really a goat rodeo.  Maybe it's the Kirin in her.

We initially started out with plastic soda bottles.  Because they were young we were starting out with Pritchard Nipples.  These had threads that you screw on to a plastic soda bottle.  I don't really like to use plastic anything very much but we wanted to give it a try.  Needless to say, we got milk everywhere but in the goats.  It was a mess.  I had gotten some black rubber nipples just in case and thank goodness for that.  Pat got some beer bottles down from out beer making kit and I laughed because they were Kirin beers.  They work great and heat up nicely in a water bath.  

Vada all but mows you down for her bottle now.  We usually have a towel around because she gets a milk foam around her mouth that she'll shake everywhere and wipe onto you.

She's gotten into the bad habit of running through the electric fence wires because she is small enough to fit through the gaps.  That is the only time she will try to get out of the fence.  If she sees the bright color striped bag we carry her bottle in coming down the path, all bets are off and out she'll pop through the fence.  Bad baby, Vada!

We will probably have to widen their area soon because the little (and big) munch machines have cleared their area out pretty well.  By next year it probably will be a pasture instead of an overgrown brush.  I thought we would end this story with a shot of everyone together but when everyone got lined up, of course, they were all facing me with the tail end.  Typical goat.


  1. My three need to meet your three soon. We took them to a farm exhibition near here last month, and they had a blast. They got to feed the big goats and sheep corn. It was a lot of fun. Michele

  2. Yeah, before I know it they will be "big goats" and yours will be getting drivers licenses! Where does time go?