Milk for the Little Guy


Our little motherless baby hides in the corner of the goat house crying for milk every morning. I get him out of the corner, get Sprite, get him fed. She feeds Fanta’s babies while she’s at it. Then I get some milk to put in the bottle for him for later.

By then, Sprite’s out of milk.

Sprite: “Did I not just feed three gruesome creatures against my will? Now you want to milk me?”

I say, “Who is the dairy goat here anyway? NUTMEG!”

I get my little goat milk pail and stick it under Nutmeg. Nutmeg is a short goat, even for a Nigerian Dwarf (she’s much shorter than Clover), and getting even that little pail under her is no small feat. Then she sits on the pail. We stand her up. She sits on the pail again.

Short goat. Pail sitter. PAIL SITTER!

Seriously, milking Nutmeg is like trying to milk a rug. I cross her off the list for milking. EVER.

All right, which one of you goats had a CAT?

I think I’m back to Clover as far as a dairy goat is concerned. And I’ve even thought about getting Clover and tying her up, down, sideways, and backwards since I saw the other day that she is still milking her two six-month-olds. But I’m just not sure I have that much rope on hand.


Fanta and Sprite are Fainting goats, which is a meat breed. They have plenty of milk for their babies, but they aren’t bred to be dairy producers. Still, her udder is full since Sprite just fed her babies so I milk Fanta.

Somebody has to give this baby loves and cuddles while he’s drinking milk and I guess that somebody has to be me. It’s a hard job, but somebody’s got to do it.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on January 23, 2011  

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38 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 1-23

    Oh he is just so gorgeous! It sounds like they have made an awful lot of extra work for you, but I’m still glad he was born at your farm. At least he’s being well cared for.

  2. 1-23

    umm I hate to ask, but how long will the intense bottle feeding go on for? Yep, that last one is certainly lucky he wasn’t born on an industrial farm.

  3. 1-23

    The cat comment and pic was great !!

  4. 1-23

    I am so glad you are such a good moma for the newest baby!!

  5. 1-23

    I had a goat who would not nurse her babies. My daughter and I helped the situation. One of us would put the goats head between our knees and the other would hold the back legs, this would allow the babies to nurse. It took about a week of doing this for each nursing, but after that time, the goat pretty much took care of her own babies. Barbara Jean was a first time mommy. The boys are 7 months old now and doing great!

  6. 1-23

    Lucky baby! He’s going to be such a sweetie!

  7. 1-23

    How many times a day do kids nurse? This could get to be a job!
    We are lucky with baby calves; they can get by on twice a day.

    I keep hoping Sprite will get used to the nursing……

    Do you think Fanta’s babies are taking too much of Sprite’s milk? Is Fanta not giving enough for them? Just random questions keep popping into my head.

  8. 1-23

    Suzanne, it looks like you’re on the porch rocking the little guy!! :) Gotta get the Grandma time in!

  9. 1-23

    You go girl, you’re getting practice for later when it is the other (kids) you will be rocking. I’m with the others I wish you rest. You weren’t getting much before the little one and I know he takes precious time now. Try to get some rest. BLESSINGS

  10. 1-23

    Right now, he needs to eat three or four times a day for sure, so I go to the goat house and hold Sprite to let him eat. Some days, not every day, I’ll milk, too, and take some for bottle use just because when I give him milk from a bottle, I know how much he’s getting and it makes me feel better. Goats are often weaned by 8-10 weeks. I’ve never done that. I just let them nurse as long as they want. After a week, they start playing at nibbling hay. The mother kicks them off eventually. Clover is still nursing Sailor and Pirate, but not very much. I was surprised the other day when I saw them get under her. I haven’t seen them get under her in months, so she’s not doing it very often or I would have seen it.

    But, with him, if Sprite is still not willingly nursing him after two months, he doesn’t have to keep nursing, so we’ll see where we are at two months. It’s not forever!

  11. 1-23

    Happy milking :ladybug:

  12. 1-23

    Aw… that’s still a sad story about Sprite not taking care of her baby..
    Your comment about the cat made me laugh this morning!

  13. 1-23

    Until you showed the pic with the cat, I never realized how small the babies are! All those mamas and you are the one who’s taking care of that little one. Good thing you’ve had lots of practice!

  14. 1-23

    Whenever you talk about Fainting goats, I always think of George Clooney in that movie “Men Who Stare At Goats”. :)

  15. 1-23

    Sprite looks like I might look if I ever had children. Poor Goat.

  16. 1-23

    Baby goats must grow really fast if they can be weaned at 8 weeks. How long before they mature?

  17. 1-23

    “milking a rug” ?? HA. I’m visualizing shag of course. Hang in there goat-woman.

  18. 1-23

    That little goat is so lucky to have you. Some people wouldn’t bother with all the other work on the farm.

    As for the fainters being a meat breed, I wouldn’t let that stop me from milking. I know people who have even used boer goats as milkers because they had a doe who was so good on the milk stand and her milk was good. I say if your fainters do OK on the stand and their milk tastes good, go ahead and milk them.

  19. 1-23

    Isn’t little Junior old enough to have some BP milk in his bottles?

  20. 1-23

    Those little guys are so precious! I loved the cat pic! Ha! You are doing such a good job loving on that little fella. Prayers for rest and easy milking coming your way!

  21. 1-23

    Who does all the rest of the “mothering”? Do goats not clean their babies like BP does to Glory Bee? I guess they’re not like kittens, needing their bottoms wiped to make them “go”, etc. I mean those videos show they’re not nearly so helpless. I just wondered if the other mothers were paying him any attention at all.

  22. 1-23

    Too bad you couldn’t elevate Nutmeg’s front and back legs somehow so you could get a pail under her. If you left a space between her legs, you could set the pail under her without her being able to sit on it because she’s elevated above it. Maybe two sturdy boxes or platforms for front and back with a foot or so drop between them. That should give you some room to milk. Just a thought.

  23. 1-23

    Oh me!!! Pick me!!! I want to cuddle that sweet little baby! I don’t think I could get anything else done having to hold that little guy all day long. :heart:

  24. 1-23

    He is going to be the best goat ever! He has the best of both worlds. We had two bottle fed goats and they were so in love with people! They followed us around like dogs! Good for you Suzanne for making sure he’s fed and happy!

  25. 1-23

    That is so nice that you take such great care of the baby. I often wonder if the baby goats like to be cuddled and hugged because if I were there I would not be able to keep my hands off that one. He’s so darn cute. And Nutmeg I think I could hug all the time. She is just the cutest.

  26. 1-23

    You are such a good mamma! Thank goodness he has you!

  27. 1-23

    I am currently feeding 5 babies. I only have one nanny who lost a baby this year and she is feeding two of the orphans against her will. LOL The other 3 get whole cow’s milk twice a day.

    I found this video on Youtube when I was looking for an easier way to milk our goats – who are mostly Boer and can be difficult to milk. Have ordered all the parts, just need to put them together. Thought I would share the idea with you.

  28. 1-23

    Sprite looks absolutely terrified in that first picture. I just don’t think she understands what it is all about yet. Yeah, I agree with the others, I’d just be cuddling that baby all day long.

    What about Glory Bee? Is she ever going to grow out of nursing?

  29. 1-23

    I can just hear Little saying “Did someone mention milk?” Smart kitty; he knows where the action is.

  30. 1-23

    an unwanted motherless child is heartbreaking. I know you’ll give the baby all that he needs and more Suzanne. does this experience cause you to pause and question whether or not you would breed Sprite again? if this is her first pregnancy it may not be a sign of things to come, but I find myself wondering about it. the baby is so adorable! :heart: :heart: :heart:

  31. 1-23

    I love looking at the goat photos and reading about them…..maybe its because they are so adorable or maybe I just want some for myself. Well for now I will stick with yours….they are so dog gone cute!

  32. 1-23

    I love the goat stories, but all of these babies wear me kidding…and in the winter of all seasons..Suzanne you are a patient Mommy :lol:

  33. 1-23

    Oh man, I would LOVE to milk a cow or a goat. Just once. But we are fortunate to get our milk from a local creamery, delivered to our house in glass bottles!
    I’m glad you give him cuddles when he’s eating, he’s so adorable!

  34. 1-23

    I have read this post at least three times today, and it makes me LOL each time…”like milking a rug” and “which one of you goats had a cat” totally cracked me up! Plus all the cuteness of that little, adorable mommy-less baby. You’ve got to keep that one, being a part-time bottle baby and all of the extra care you have to provide him, how could you ever part with him? ANY NAMES YET???

  35. 1-24

    Well I’m still hoping she figures it out and let’s him nurse.

  36. 1-24

    In my 20+ years of having goats, I’ve had a couple that rejected their babies. They are usually 1st time mothers, and every time it happened, the babies thrived. I had to help for awhile, just like you are, wrestling the mama and holding her, supplementing with bottles and tlc. The babies are very resourceful though, and soon they will be running with all the other goats, sneaking milk from any mama that stands still for a few seconds, even his own mother. Once they get to where they are eating hay and grass (soon please God), you are home free. And–when you bottle feed, they become verry, verry attached to you–even more than usual. When I was feeding my last babie, we had a family week planned at our cabin. I just took the baby along, with my supplies. She hung out on the cabin porch, always within close range, and we just kept up our regular routine. People laugh about me taking my goat on vacation, but she was special.
    Usually, the young mothers do fine with their next baby.
    Keep up the great work.
    –from another WV goat mama

  37. 1-28

    YAY! I knew she could do it!

  38. 1-29

    That poor baby is so lucky to have you to love him!

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