Oh Juliet! If there is one single goat who takes the prize for “Most Stories About Me” it’s Juliet by a landslide. No other goat even comes close to having caused as much mischief as she has. Her escapades alone could fill a small novel, but we love her dearly, and at this point, she is our most senior doe and has been with us the longest. She will always have a place with us, no matter how many shenanigans she gets up to.
It’s tough to decide which of Juliet’s story is the best, but I do know which was the most amusing – and the most popular! The story of not only Juliet’s illegitimate child, but her theft of someone else’s kid as well!
After Juliet produced the beautiful Moonstone, I was satisfied and decided to experiment a little bit with her genetics. I paired her with The CCF5 William the Conqueror and she was hand bred. She did not cycle again, always one to easily settle and become pregnant, and five months later, I expected to see some lovely little Nigerian Dwarf kids. Perhaps they would finally be the same beautiful blue as their dam – a color that still eludes me. Perhaps they would be cream like their sire. Part of the fun with Nigerian Dwarves is never knowing what one might get.
However, I honestly did not expect what I got.
It was a sunny morning when I went out to the barn for my first morning check. As usual, I located and scanned the kidding records, looking to see who had kidded in the hours I had slept after my late night shift. Seeing Juliet’s name, I was a little disappointed to see she had a single buckling, but since I already had a nice doeling from her, it wasn’t a big deal.
I made my rounds, inspecting each of the kids and dams to ensure all was well, and eventually found Juliet in one of the kidding stalls, snoozing next to her newborn. I picked him up, and then frowned.
This was not a Nigerian Dwarf kid.
He was a Mini La Mancha!
I was gobsmacked – how in the world had she managed to get in with Aslan? Because there was simply no denying it. The buckling was his spitting image, yet had his dam’s blue eyes. This was not a case of mistaken identity! Aslan, a purebred mature La Mancha buck, was so large Juliet could run beneath his belly with ease. How in the world had they managed this – especially since they lived in different pastures!
Well – in the end, still not a big deal. A fun story. I scratched Juliet’s head and moved on. A week later, her little buckling went home with a wonderful family who fell in love with his cute little face and friendly nature.
As the does often are, Juliet was distressed at the loss of her kid and called for him. This is one of the more unfortunate parts of my job, but reality means it has to happen. The majority of does forget about their kids by the next day, their attention turned instead to their now full time gig at the Dairy, and are just fine. Knowing Juliet would follow the same path, as she had before, I went to bed without concern.
The next morning, I followed my routine. Kidding season was coming to a close, and now I was focused on selling and teaching the first fresheners what it meant to have a job. All was well and I was feeling content when I noticed Juliet standing, chewing her cud pleasantly – with a kid busily nursing beneath her belly.
I admit it took me aback for a moment – hadn’t I sold him? Yes – I certainly had! I wasn’t going crazy quite yet. At least not that kind of crazy, as far as I know. I walked over and picked the buckling up. He looked extremely similar to Juliet’s original buckling – right down to the grey fur, the blue eyes, and the cute Mini Mancha elf ears.
It took me just a moment to place him – he was one of Panda’s three kids. She herself was a Mini Mancha and had been bred to Aslan (on purpose). One kid was a stunning orange and white doeling who would remain with our herd, and the other two were bucklings – both of which looked similar to Juliet’s.
I couldn’t believe it – she had gone and stolen someone else’s kid! While it was not unusual for them to share, and eventually even allow whoever pleases to nurse, they generally do not go out of their way to steal – at least not here! Why steal when you can barely escape the horde of kids running about? Amused, I gave the buckling back.
Panda was likely relieved to be left with just two kids, as she never attempted to reclaim the buckling. I allowed Juliet to keep him, as everyone seemed content.
However, there is just no room on the farm for extra bucklings, and he was eventually sold. Juliet seemed to accept this with good grace.
And started nursing her year old daughter again instead.