Buddy the "baby" goat is a 7/8s Boer and 1/8 Kiko goat so if he was a normal baby he would be around 200 lbs full grown but buddy didn't have a normal childhood. Buddy was born on the first morning of the snowstorm in February. His mother was a first-time mom and she had him in the snow and left him, she later had 2 more in the barn that she loved and nurtured but buddy was left forgotten in the snow outside. When the family found him about an hour later they took him inside and wrapped him in a heating pad and blankets they gave him milk (but he never got his colostrum) and took his temperature and thermometer just said low.
That is where we came in I emailed the farm in hopes of finding a bottle baby for my doe who had gone into premature labor losing both her babies. The man emailed back and said he had a special case and that normally he never sold bottle baby aged kids but that one of his does had rejected one of her kids and he didn't have the time to bottle feed this guy. We bought buddy for $50 with the intention of selling him after he was weaned. The only problem was our doe rejected him too, she could tell that there was something wrong with him even when we couldn't see it. So I took on the job of mothering buddy and until weaning he didn't seem like he had any of the common problems associated with kids that never got their colostrum.
After weaning we noticed that not only was he not growing but he was eating constantly and never seemed to be getting any more meat on his bones. He was thin to the bone everywhere except his extra big belly. He also kept getting sick, just one thing after another and we had 2 different vets out who couldn't tell us what was wrong with him but then the pieces fell into place and the state vet told us that most goats that never got colostrum don't see there 3rd month of life and that he was impressed that he was still doing as good as he was. We started looking into lots of different ways to help start his rumen upright, but nothing seemed to work and he hadn't gained a single pound in almost 2 months so we decided to give him the best life we could and hope for the best. After a few more months of nothing thinking, he was done growing and would have a shorter life he started to grow at an alarming rate!
Buddy was weighed on July 19th, 2019 and he weighed 35 pounds but when we weighed him on September 8th he was 50 pounds! that's a better rate of growth then your average market goat! Buddy is still growing and loving his life and we hope he lives a long one!
Update - 11/6/19 - Buddy has stayed right around 50 pounds but he has lost a lot of the fat around his belly and has started to make muscle on his shoulders and his butt. He has been in a cat collar his whole life and only recently did he upgrade to a small dog collar (I still kept the bell though)
Update - 1/1/20 - Buddy hit 75lbs! he is really growing like a normal goat should (although still slowly) and not like a Nigerian dwarf that is being overfed! he is so pleased with himself!!
Update - 3/20/20 - Buddy gave us a bit of a scare, he lost 6 pounds and was refusing to eat but after he started stealing the bottle babies bottles we started to offer him milk. He drank about a gallon twice a day and started to gain weight again. He is no back on his slow track and is eating normally. we think he may have been depressed that the bottle kids where getting extra attention but who knows what was going on.
Update - 8/10/2020 - Buddy is still doing great, he his 104lbs and much more proportionately filled out. He likes to get his head stuck in fences just to get attention. He likes wrestling with our dogs and hopping through the pasture with almost a skip in his step.
Update 4/26/21 - Buddy jumped into our kid creep feeder and got his leg caught in the wire. We has a spiral fracture in his lest hind leg above the hock and a low chance of making a full recover. His quality of live was actually predicted to be so poor if the cast alone wasn't enough to help him heal properly, we decided to have him put down. After a few hours at the vet we left him to have his "surgery" and hopefully pick him up the following morning. I will he honest I didn't expect to get to see my buddy again but he pulled through once again and is now fully out of his cast and working on rebuilding the muscle on his leg. Thanks to Bend Animal Hospital for being able to reset his bone and casting it up for him to make a full recovery for such a reasonable price considering he had to be brought in as an emergency and put under an anesthetic and have an over night stay I was worried about what the total would come out to be but it was significantly less then expected ($392)
Final Update 9/10/21 - I am finally ready to right this, and even as I do it brings tears to my eyes because he was my baby but I made the decision to put Buddy down this summer. After getting his cast off we realized he had another fracture that hadn't healed properly and at first we thought he was coping but it didn't take long to see that something was very wrong. The vet confirmed our suspicion that his hoove was self amputating. We were given the option of having his foot amputated but with goats it would only buy him a little time and he would end up with arthritis in all his joints very quickly. I had already been talking with my dad about that buddy probably wouldn't see another spring with all the health issues we had noticed developing. He has some really messed up teeth that only got worse as he got older, he had a horrible appietied and often had to be drenched with a nutrient solution to keep weight on him. He also appeared to be developing arthritis in the joints of the 3 unbroken legs. So I made the decision to let him go while he still had some quality of life.
It was so hard letting him go even if I knew it was right but he was ready to go. After the vet gave him the meds leaned his head in my lap with a stupid little smile on his face and went to sleep still with that smile on his face. I wish I had gotten pictures of that stupid smile he would give. The closet one I have is the one of him looking up at the camera in the snow.
The difference between a breeder and a multiplier is that one breeds for specific traits that improve their animals whether that be to make a better animal through their own or show standards. While the other just keeps making more babies with no care for improving what they have or what genetic issues they may be creating. We choose to be breeders.
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