Thursday, March 4, 2021

What's in a Name?

One of the most common questions we get asked is some variant of "Do all the goats have names?" in a suitably surprised tone. Followed by, "How do you remember them all?"

The short answer is. Yes. They do. All of them. And, we remember them because we develop love for each one. On our family farm, we are there for nearly every birth and death. After nearly 12 years, we know their parents and grandparents and at this point, sometimes their great grandparents. 

So, who are they? Well, writing a post about 58+ goats in detail would get quite involved, but I thought I would share our herd queens with you. 

{I am including animals who may have [passed] or been //adopted//. Those are indicated with the symbols in the last sentence. :) }

Rachel- our first purchased female goat. She broke her horn when just a kid and it grew back curly. She's technically Sean's girl. Her twin, [Leah], was mine. Leah passed in the winter of 2019 at 11 1/2 years. Rachel is mother to: Karen Happuch (aka Quinn), Keziah, [Lydia], //Mason//, Honey, and a yet to be named son. Grand kids and Great Grand kids born to this line include: Piper, Isaac, Damaris, Martha, Brigitta, Comet, Hope and Nisan.

Abigail- first female kid born on our homestead. Her Mother was our beloved [Ellie]. Abby had a twin brother, [Asher]. Abigail is a hearty keeper and an easy milker of wonderfully, creamy milk. In her prime, Abby provided 90 ounces of milk to a milking. She is mother to Eleanor, Mitzpah and twins this year- they are still awaiting names.

[Leah]- Rachel's twin and my first female goat. She is the beginning of the naturally polled gene and perfect lamancha ears being introduced into our herd. She was a quiet, sweet soul who is still missed. Her young include: [Judah], [Elijah], Eve, Tierzah, //Rocket//. But every goat born here that is naturally polled can be traced back to her, though her sons and grandsons. 

Jemimah- My anniversay gift and one of the sweetest girls you want to meet. Quiet in disposition, but oh so vocal, with a distinctive gait from breaking her front leg years ago and striking eye stripes. She came from a farm in Houlton, and was worth every mile. Her perfect Lamancha ears and creamy milk make her invaluable to our creamery plans and breeding program. Her children include: Iscah, Milcah, Bathsheba, Daniel, Tamar & Ezri. She became a grandmother for the first time two season's ago when [Keturah] was born and again this year with the addition of Ja'el. 

Naomi- came to us from a neighboring farm who purchased her at an auction house. She didn't fit in at their homestead because of her bad attitude towards people and bullying of bigger goats. She is a beautiful red Nigerian Dwarf. Though Naomi doesn't seek out our company, even after many years here, we have an understanding and she has a permanent home with us. Naomi does not appreciate being milked, despite our best coaxing, so we respect that choice and leave her be. She has given us beautiful, friendly, hearty offspring: //Anna//, //Jareth//, //Tobey//, Neptune, [Myra]. And includes grand kids and great grand kids: Julia, //Leisl//, [Peta], //Gunter//, //Kinder//, //Margo//, & //Elliott//.

Lily and her sister, [Bailey] came to us from a devoted goat keeper who could not continue to care for them because circumstances in their life changed. These ladies have been loved since the moment they met Reva and her family and have a home here as long as they live. Lily has a genetic abnormality or scar tissue which prevents her from nursing her kids. She is a fantastic, protective mother and we help her out by offering bottles of goat's milk to her kids so they have the nutrition they need to grow. Between the sisters, we have welcomed our beloved goats: [Chloe], Becca & Tabitha, //Jacob//, [Freddie], Kestrel & Hawk, Hannah, Quark, Riker, & Jake.

When Quinn and her newborn kid, Piper were adopted along with Jesse many years ago, they began their own herd living with a loving family in Bucksport. Life changes over the years, and when circumstances for the family changed, the entire herd came back here. We got reacquainted with some and introduced to others: Piper, Ruby, Penny, Hope, Copper, Ginger, Henry, Pat, and Nellie.

Phoebe is the daughter of [Jane] and brother to Jesse (our gentle giant with stunning horns). With her mother's passing many years ago, Phoebe has become this line's matriarch. She is part Boer and part French Alpine and is one of our best milk providers. This line includes [Salome], //Hadassah//, //Moses//, //MacKenzie// & //Bryce//, Jay, Ross, Ruth, Elizabeth and her newborn son. Phoebe is due this year once more. We can't wait to meet her kid(s). 

With 16 kids born to us this season, we have more names to bestow. Each year we choose a theme to name those kids who will eventually be available for adoption as yearlings. Themes from previous years have included: ER, Star Trek OS, birds, solar system, The Sound of Music, and this year we are using Star Trek: TNG and DS9. (When we have time to watch TV as a family, we rely on old science fiction shows. :) ) This year we have named Riker, Quark, Ezri, & Jake with that in mind. While goats who will live here permanently will be named from people in the Bible: Isaac, Damaris, Ja'el, and Tamar are named thus. We have 8 kids in need of names. As we watch them over the coming weeks, we'll get a feel for them and name them appropriately. We love suggestions, too. (You can comment them below.) 

As the children, grandchildren, and great grand children grow and spend time with us, we learn about their individual personalities, their goofy quirks, and preferences. We live in harmony with these animals. Kids stay with their Mothers until they are weaned. The girls stay with their mothers all the time. At weaning, boys move to young buck housing together. We only milk once per day, in the mornings, leaving the rest of the milk to be available to nurse kids as they choose. Those goats who want to be loved on and snuggled with have lots of opportunities for that kind of affection. We go hiking with those who enjoy that activity. And, for those goats who prefer the company of their herdmates to people, we respect that decision, providing food, water, shelter and caring for any medical needs. 

We did not host any Hiking with Goats Activities for 2020 because, well, 2020 should say it all. But, we are looking forward to 2021 and offering Hiking with Goats for you once again. We are looking at dates and times for kid snuggling, too. If you haven't visited us yet, 2021 is the perfect year to make that happen. If you have, it's a great time to come again and see how we've grown!

Thanks for visiting with us, Friends. We are happy for your company! 
Sean & Sonja 

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