Foster Mother!


Life is never dull when there are animals around and that is especially true when those animals are goats. My husband and I were to take a vacation and visit friends in Missouri. We started adding up all the goats and dogs that the neighbor was to take care of and decided that someone had to stay home. 120 does, due to kid and 20 dogs was a little much to expect someone else to take care of for 3 weeks. So my husband took off, in the truck, and the fun began.

The first day a dog chased a deer through the hot wire on one of the land clearing jobs and the fence was down and the goats were out. I got everyone in, staked the border collies out, and put the fence back up. The next morning I get a call and the goats are out again. I go back to the job and find two tree limbs had fallen during the storm the night before and knocked the fence down again. So I put everyone back in and the fence back up. I head for home hoping this is the last time I need to do this.

The next morning on my rounds I find the anatolian female has had her pups. Seven beautiful babies. However; one has managed to crawl through the fence and mom can't get to him. So I load mom and pups into the Geo and head for home.

At feeding time that night, on another job, I find two of the ewes have had lambs. My neighbor stops me as I'm going in the gate to see if any of the does have started to kid yet. I tell her no, but the ewes have new born lambs. I ask her if she would like to back out with me to see them. She hops in the car and we go back. When we get there one of the lambs is crying. We look all over the field but can't see him. Then I start to count and realize this is a new one because all the babies are accounted for. At that point the anatolian male, Monty, stands up and comes trotting towards us. And right at his side is the lamb. Well Julie holds Monty for me and I take the lamb back to the other sheep. I set him down and he crys and crys but no one claims him. It is now Sunday night, I have no milk in the freezer, no milk replacer, and the feed store is closed. Julie lets Monty loose and the lamb runs up to him and trys to nurse. We both look at each other. We catch the lamb up and Monty looks relieved. Julie says,"Why not take him home to Mo? He is attached to Monty and she has milk." I tell her it is worth a try.

We get back to the house and go out to the barn. We put the lamb on the ground and wait to see what will happen. He runs up to Mo and she sniffs at him and then gives him a big lick. His little tail starts wagging as he and the pups all share a meal. So now Lucky has a foster mother, Mo.

My neighbor is now very happy that I stayed home.



Printed with permission from PHIL & BONNY MARTIN,
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