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I'm kidding!

Kidding is in full swing. We have fourteen kids and about the same still to come. So far the kids are happy and healthy and as they grow they have very distinct personalities. They also have very distinct voices.

Does recognise their kids using scent and sound rather than sight. When looking for their own kids they sniff every kid they can find while calling out. The kids hear their mothers and call back and they work their way towards each other calling and responding until they meet in the middle. At least that's how it works when the kids are awake. For the first few days they sleep for hours at a time and the sound of their mother's call doesn't wake them....which means it gets very noisy at times with up to a dozen goats calling more and more frantically while their kids sleep soundly.

We move our new mums into the shed and keep them there for the first hours after kidding. The paddocks are steep and until the kids are confident on their feet a vigourous clean-up by mum can send the kids tumbling downhill so we move them into the shed and give them time to bond while supporting the doe with extra feed. The result is that once the kids are on their feet, they tend to stay in the shed while mum goes out for a few hours to feed in the paddock.

The shed has many kid-friendly places to sleep but every year the kids decide the ideal place is behind a length of plyboard which is actually used as a shearing board. The ply leans up against the wall and the small gap behind it is a kid magnet. The gap is only wide enough for one kid so they sleep nose to tail in a long line. It's at once very cute, although almost impossible to photograph, and hugely frustrating for the mums as they can't see or sniff the kids behind the ply.

It will all reverse in a few weeks when the mums start ignoring the kids' calls. It's common to see a kid calling out for mum and the mum to be standing a metre or two away and watching the kid...then she carries on eating without responding. What goes around, comes around, even in the goat world.

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