One of my favourite things is to wander into the goat shed and just watch all my lovely goatie girls. I am always particularly interested to see who has a special friend, who cuddles up next to whom and who prefers to be alone. It never fails to amuse and fascinate me .. why do certain goats become special friends?
Some team up when they are very small kids and continue to stay with their friends all through their lives. Our current goatlings all tend to sit together in the same area of the barn:
Most sisters will always stay together, although our dear old Betty and Wilma never used to sit together. But there was still a bond there which became very clear on the night Wilma died. Having sat holding her for a few hours while she slipped peacefully away, I became aware of a goat standing behind me - Betty. And Betty spent the rest of the night lying right next to the gate where Wilma's body lay overnight before we moved her in the morning.
Girls who have joined our herd from outside generally stay together - safety in numbers I think! Witness our beautiful big Nubians, Lara and Zenobia ..
Although it is interesting to note that when Zenobia has been feeling a bit under the weather, she does not want to be anywhere near Lara. She takes up position on completely the opposite side of the barn and just stays alone until she feels better ... then she returns to her friend.
Incidentally, Zenobia is getting much braver at coming into the milking parlour on her own and happily leaves her friend behind. Lara was being particularly lazy yesterday and didn't even bother to get out of bed for her dinner ..
The group of Mary goats generally all stay together in the same area ..
And of course, sisters Truffle and Mocha are totally inseparable .. the Chocolate Frogs!
Almost like they are joined by a piece of string .. Where one goes, so does the other!
You may remember that our lovely JoJo (our first Anglo-Nubian) used to settle down with her daughter Cleo. Sadly, Cleo died earlier this year and JoJo has been a bit lost without her. Even Mel who helps us with morning milking was heard to remark that JoJo looked sad and hadn't been the same since she lost Cleo.
And so I was overjoyed to come across this pair earlier this afternoon:
To the left is JoJo and the younger goat in front of her is Pakora, one of her triplet daughters born a couple of years ago. Lovely to see! Hopefully this means that JoJo won't be on her own any more.
Of course, there are always a few goaties who just prefer their own company. The most notable is our oldest girl Tammy who is not really a people person at all. Loves humans, hates other goats! If you ever hear a grumpy growling noise in the goat shed, it is generally Tammy complaining that someone else is invading her personal space! Although she did allow Betty to share her bucket at feeding time ..
I suppose you're allowed to be a bit grumpy if you're over 14 years old!