Dog Gives Birth to Goat


Nutmeg, Fanta, and Sprite have all been due to deliver any time now, so yesterday afternoon when I thought I heard a tiny cry from the direction of the goat house, I walked out enough to take a better look, see if I could find my mamas. Yep, there they were, all happily munching hay. I didn’t hear anything else, so I figured I’d imagined it.

Then the next time I was outside, I heard it again, louder.

I was getting ready to go out there anyway to shut up the calf for the night to milk Glory Bee in the morning, so I decided to give the goat house a look-see just in case.

And what do you know but Chloe had a baby! Coco was busy cleaning up the afterbirth.
Chloe proudly showed me her new charge.
Which was avidly attempting to nurse on her.
The baby showed evidence of not having been cleaned up, other than by Chloe, and I went looking for mama. I checked Nutmeg and Fanta just to be sure, but I knew who it was…. And yes, indeedy, it was Sprite, who was already headed for a bar to party on the town. This mothering thing isn’t for her.

If you’ve been around here for awhile, you might remember that Sprite has done this before.

Eventually, I convinced Sprite to be a mother. Fanta had had babies the same night as Sprite, and I was able to push the baby on Fanta at first, enough to get some colostrum the first night, then afterward, I held down Sprite for over a week to let the baby nurse and she finally accepted the baby.

So I had to make a decision–was I forcing Sprite into corners and holding her down or was I taking this baby to the house? Inside the house, I had another problem looming. The lamb wasn’t doing well. It had taken every feeding just fine until early afternoon. By late afternoon, it was refusing to eat and acting lethargic. I brought the goat baby inside, hoping a playmate would encourage the lamb. The baby is a girl.
I was getting ready to go out to get some colostrum for the goat when I started getting even more worried about the lamb. Lambs are born looking for a way to die.

A true saying, I tell ya. I’ve had a lot of experience with it. And why? Who knows. Lambs can be touchy creatures, often not very strong, and often there’s nothing you can do and it’s no one’s fault.

I called Woolweaver Farms. Lisa, Morgan’s teacher, was home from school by then. I packed the lamb in the car and met her halfway between our farms and she administered a vitamin drench and another supplement to help boost the lamb’s energy. When I got back home with the lamb, Morgan was here:
“I FED A GOAT BABY!” She sounded annoyed and yet….
“We’re keeping her,” she said. “I think she’s magical and she needs a magical name. Her name is Maia.”

Morgan has never attached herself like that to a goat before.

I said, “She’s a Fainter. I give them soda pop names.”

“Her name is Maia.”


And the end of the sad part of this story is that the lamb refused to take any more milk last night. I took him to my room, along with the goat baby, which I put in a box, taking the lamb into my bed with me, towels down on the bed and wrapped around him. He brought up the medicine he’d been given, along with the little bit of milk he’d taken in the afternoon, and I rubbed on him and petted him until he died around 10 last night.

And I got up this morning and fed Maia, who is chasing Gwennie into corners trying to suckle from her, and that is life on a farm. The good, the bad, the heartbreaking.

Comments Leave a Comment
Share: |    Subscribe to my feed Subscribe
Posted by Suzanne McMinn on February 7, 2013  

More posts you might enjoy:

Sign up for the Chickens in the Road Newsletter


39 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 2-7

    Aww, poor thing. I hope Maia is stronger.. enjoy her! I like the name btw.

  2. 2-7

    We are kindred spirits, how many times I have slept with babies I knew were not going to make it. You are a true farmer Suzanne I love ya for what you are.

  3. 2-7

    :cry: sorry about the lamb. He was a doll. Morgan’s face gives her away completely. Love this pic.

  4. 2-7

    You are a farmer Suzanne. A caretaker of the earth-blessings to you – your family and all the animals in your care- they are fortunate to be with you- if only for a short while.
    Fondly, Rain

  5. 2-7

    Sorry to hear about the baby. Losing animals is so hard. We went through that last summer. Learned a lot, but sad for the loss. You gave it a chance, more than its mamma did.

  6. 2-7

    A tapestry is being woven. Beauty, sadness, laughter, joy and endurance.

  7. 2-7

    We used to have sheep. I feel for you. Fingers crossed that Maia is stronger.

  8. 2-7


    So heart-breaking

  9. 2-7

    Hugs to replace those you gave away so lovingly.

  10. 2-7

    We’ve had mares before that were reluctant to nurse new babies. A shot of Ace helped them relax. I wonder if it would work for goats?

  11. 2-7

    So sorry for your loss. I am glad the lamb had the comfort of your love and warmth. Maia and Morgan are going to have so much fun.have a blessed day.

  12. 2-7

    Such a moving heartfelt story. I’m feeling for ya, Suzanne.

  13. 2-7

    I am sorry about the lamb. It is nice to know it was warm, and safe, and loved while it was alive, and that is the point, you know? As for the baby goat…well you have had a lamb that thought it was a puppy. Now it looks like you have a goat that thinks it is a puppy – or at least thinks that anything big/white/fluffy must be momma! I know she will hate it, but tell Morgan she is ADORABLE with that goat baby, but not to get any ideas ;).

  14. 2-7

    I’m so sorry the little guy didn’t make it. I am glad, however, that new little lambs are so dang cute to help ease the transition.

  15. 2-7

    Oops! Not lamb…goat! Cute goat! Forgive me I am a city girl.

  16. 2-7

    Awe,,poor little guy,,,well he was a cutie: to bad,such a shame:: looks like Morgan has a new friend.

  17. 2-7

    What interesting markings on baby goat Maia. I agree with Morgan that she is magical. Maybe you’ve acquired a baby goat tender in Morgan….or at least this baby goat.

  18. 2-7

    Sorry to hear about the little lamb boy. Congrats on the baby goat. Tell Morgan that she’s the farmer’s daughter and feeding goat babies is part of the job.

  19. 2-7

    I am so sorry to hear about your lamb. :hug:
    Yes, please tell Morgan she looks so cute with that baby goat!

  20. 2-7

    Sometimes Mother Nature does know best…makes you wonder why the Momma rejected the baby in the first place. Sorry for the loss of the wee one. That part of farming I hate the most.

  21. 2-7

    Sorry to hear about your little lamb….. you did what you could. You will have 2 more of the same sheep coming soon and hopefully, one will give you a ram for your breeding goals.

  22. 2-7

    So sad but so true. Life on a farm is sometimes not fun. I am so proud of that girl of yours! She’s gonne be a farmgirl yet.

  23. 2-7

    Sadness. And the frustration that so often there is just no knowing why.

    It seems as though being a true steward of animals means opening up your heart to them, even knowing there will be heartbreak again and again. And the tradeoff for all that heartbreak is that you live your life with an open, loving heart.

    I once had a cat that was the kind of mother Sprite is. She had two litters of kittens and both times I had to hold her down and plug the kittens in to get her to nurse. Our dog took over all the other parenting duties. When we found homes for her kittens, that cat didn’t mourn, she just kicked up her heels and said “Thank goodness, I’d thought they’d never leave.”

  24. 2-7

    I am so sorry for your loss Suzanne. He was loved in his short little life. I once visited a sheep farmer to buy a stanchion to work on my goats. I was admiring her sheep. She cautioned me not to get into sheep unless I handle losses well. She said, “Sheep are born looking for a place to die.” She told me that they do not have a strong will to live and do not fight sickness like goats. That was warning enough.

    Your Maia is a sweet thing. I wish I had a black fainter but mine are mostly white. I can’t add any new ones because the emus do not treat new animals kindly. They share a pasture with the goats. With only five acres and serious health issues, I am where I should be animal-wise right now anyway. I will live with sheep vicariously though you. Feel free to do the same with my emus!


  25. 2-7

    Agree with cabynfevr, makes you wonder if mama sheep knew something was not right. Even so, sorry he’s gone. You made him comfortable whist he was here and for that you surely are building karma points. Re: Sprite. . . some folks are just not meant for motherhood. Luckily the little kid has you—and now Morgan, too.

  26. 2-7

    It’s hard to lose an animal, even if you’ve done it many times. I’m sorry about the lamb. But I’m happy about the kid! Maia looks healthy and loved and that’s a blessing. :)

  27. 2-7

    Oh I am so sorry about the lamb….. that’s sad. You’ve got a big heart, proven by your actions…

    Thank you for this. Beautifully written, as always, Suzanne.

  28. 2-7

    The cycle of life. Maia is going to have a fun personality. I feel it. you will have lots to write about with her.

  29. 2-7

    I was raised on a sheep farm and your story sure brought back the memories. So many wee lambs in the house till they survived, or like yours, died. Part of life, but still sad.

  30. 2-7

    I’m sorry too that you have lost your beautiful little lamb :cry: . I have to thank you though for writing so beautifully, from the heart as always Suzanne. Little Maia is SO gorgeous!

  31. 2-7

    That is a purty goat ! Sorry about the lamb , its so sad.

    Getting my soap making supplies together. :)

  32. 2-7

    Poor little lamb.

    You had no choice but to take the baby goat inside. Don’t you see her side? It very clearly says IN. IN THE HOUSE she goes.

  33. 2-7

    Sorry that Lamb Baby died! :cry: I did not know that about Lambs born and not wanting to live!! Take Care and Enjoy new Baby Goat! You done Everything You could! Next one will be Different!

  34. 2-7

    So sorry to hear about the little guy’s fate, but I’m sure his last moments were calm and peaceful, snuggled in your arms. I know how hard that it, and I think it’s wonderful that you are so devoted to your animals. So hard for you…but so fabulous for them. Baby Maia is adorable and I hope the coming days are much easier for you and your family.

  35. 2-7

    Aww Susan, that is such a sad story. I am so sorry for your loss. While I was reading the last part of your post I just couldn’t help but feel for the little lamb. I never knew they born with the feeling of wanting to die, that’s just sad. I hope you’ll soon have another little lamb on the way. The way you petted and kept it company was just very sweet. I’m sure he/she knew that you were there for it. Tons of hugs your way! xx

  36. 2-8

    I’m really sorry you lost the lamb :( He looked like such a sweetheart. I’m sure you made him happy and comfortable in his last moments.

    Maia is adorable!

  37. 2-9

    You have such a huge heart and are a good person. I’m sorry you lost the lamb- the baby goat is adorable!

  38. 2-10

    Suzanne you run a hard life sometimes(everyone does). I’m so glad you tell us all about it. HUGS, LOVE, AND BEST WISHES for the times ahead. :)
    Your friend always!
    Maiya (age 10) (funny how close Maia is to Maiya) :shroom:

  39. 2-22

    I’m really sorry to hear about your lamb. I’m glad Maia is going well and that Chloe seems to be doing pretty good for her first lambing/kidding season. :) Btw, I’m not sure what all kinds of sheep you have {I need to look over your site more :)} but if North Country Cheviot is added to the mix it seems to strengthen them up a bit. :)

Leave a Reply

Registration is required to leave a comment on this site. You may register here. (You can use this same username on the forum as well.) Already registered? Login here.

Discussion is encouraged, and differing opinions are welcome. However, please don't say anything your grandmother would be ashamed to read. If you see an objectionable comment, you may flag it for moderation. If you write an objectionable comment, be aware that it may be flagged--and deleted. I'm glad you're here. Welcome to our community!

Daily Farm

If you would like to help support the overhead costs of this website, you may donate. Thank you!

Sign up for the
Chickens in the Road Newsletter

The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

Today on Chickens in the Road

Join the Community in the Forum

Search This Blog


October 2020

Out My Window

I Love Your Comments

I Have a Cow

And she's ornery. Read my barnyard stories!

Entire Contents © Copyright 2004-2020 Chickens in the Road, Inc.
Text and photographs may not be published, broadcast, redistributed or aggregated without express permission. Thank you.

Privacy Policy, Disclosure, Disclaimer, and Terms of Use