Thursday, January 10, 2013

Marigold’s Babies

You likely recall my story about Gary and me tugging and pulling trying to get a very resistant pregnant goat transferred from my brother’s barnyard to ours.  Hoping to beat the arrival of her babies, I've worked diligently to get her trained to get on the stanchion to eat.  I’ll tell you, she’s not a stupid cookie!  She maneuvered every which way trying to get to the treat waiting for her without having to get up on that stanchion!  We nailed a sheet of metal to the side of the stanchion so that she wouldn't go around it for the treat.  We nailed another sheet of metal to the front of the stanchion so that she had to put her head through the proper opening in order to get to the snack.  Little by little she learned that if she really wanted that treat, she’d have to find a way to get those wide horns through the narrow head-stall.  One day she’d do it.  The next day she’d balk.  As she came to understand that I had no intention of hurting her, she did it more and more without hesitation.  At first I allowed her to eat without locking her in.  Then I began to lock her in extending the time period each day.  Once she was used to the head-stall, I began to touch, rub and tug on her utter until she was willing to allow me to do it without resistance.  As the days went by she and I became friends.

I had read that goats like to eat Marigolds and here at Marigold Meadows we have lots of them.  So I gathered up some dried flower heads one day and took them to her as a gift.  I explained to her that she and I would soon spend time together milking every day and that she would be providing a very important need for us at Marigold Meadows.  I asked her if she would mind if I called her “Marigold”.  While she obviously didn't verbally respond, twice a day Marigold hears me coming and makes sure that she is in the barnyard to greet me with her gentle bleating.

As the days went by Marigold’s tummy got so big that I swore she had a truck-load of goaties in there.  Her udder got so full that she could barely walk, but she was always there to greet me.  Until one day, not only didn't I see her when I came across the meadow, I didn't hear her either.  My heart leaped with anticipation. 

I came around the corner of the barn
and there she was with twins
 that were still moist from the delivery!

I must have just missed it because shortly after I arrived, she delivered the placenta.  I was so excited I could hardly talk.  I went into the barn where they were and asked Marigold if I could see her babies.  She had no problem with my presence.  In fact, as I picked her babies up into my arms to welcome them to our farm, Marigold looked at me as if to say, “ Aren't they just precious?”  I couldn't agree more.


P.S.  Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at:  You may also contact me at:
             Bonnie Jaeckle
             In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
             Diagonal Progress
             505 Jefferson St.
             Diagonal, IA 50845

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