Anyhow, Leah and Lena were kept apart from the goat herd because they were too young to fend for themselves without the care of a mother. My sheep and goats go to pasture which is partially in a bush. The livestock guardian dogs, Mike and Joe, go out with the herd in the morning to check around but sneak back later for their much deserved mid day nap. Sometimes those dogs work most of the night, so daytime is a relaxation time. Leah and Lena were just too young to be out there without a mother though, especially since they did not know the rest of the herd either.
As a result, they became very friendly due to daily handling. Lena is shy and not so friendly, but Leah is great. Leah did not get bred for quite some time and I assumed she was still going to stay unbred, but Stevie Wonder had different ideas and would not give up. So Stevie went to the ram pen where he spends the summer, but Leah definitely got bred. She was later than the rest of the herd by a month and a bit, but three other goats also were cycling at the same time and were bred.
I was watching closely for Leah. She is a first time mother and is only a year old. Sometimes a first time mother is clueless and needs help with the delivery and after care, as well as to get started with nursing, but Leah was a perfect mom. She birthed the baby on her own, cleaned him completely, and nursed him. Thank goodness. There was a thunderstorm the day before she birthed and since the mothers had babies in the last two storms, I was sort of worried that Leah would too. She didn't.
Little Ben is very much like his sire, Stevie Wonder, who was a delight as a young fellow himself. When I first met little Ben, he looked at me, said, "Nyeah" and leapt into the air. Such an attitude at a few hours old!
Ben will stay on the farm as a breeding buck. He is only a quarter Nubian, but has a Nubian face and ears. He is stocky and sturdy and has beautiful blue eyes. Bred to another first generation cross Nigerian Dwarf and Nubian doeling, I am quite positive the babies will be stunning.
Thus begins the mini Nubian herd at the Fat Ewe Farm. Mini Nubians are smaller than Nubians, larger than Nigerians, but not by much, and have the hardiness of the Nigerians that Nubians do not. Next year I will likely part with my beloved Nigerian Dwarf goats, but that will be hard. In the move to downsize, I simply cannot keep them all.
Welcome, little Ben!