A little over a year ago, Mimi Foxmorton and Miss Darla Rose Caprine found each other. One chilly New York day, the theatrical storyteller found the lost baby goat and an unlikely friendship began.
Mimi Foxmorton & Miss Darla Rose Caprine:
An Unlikely Friendship
Mimi is an event coordinator for her town of Clay, NY. As an avid performer and storyteller, she is a passionate individual who is not shy about asking for what she wants. Last January, she had her mind set on getting a pet goat.
"One day I decided I wanted a goat," Mimi said. "I was obsessed with having a goat. So I decided against all odds, I was going to get one."
The only problem was that she was living in her townhome at the time and did not know where she could find a goat or a nearby farm. So, in her determined spirit, she began to ask around at her events. As fate would have it, a lady at a senior citizen event recalled a man by the name of Lyle Young, that lived on a farm not too far away that had goats. Mimi was back in business.
Against All Odds
"I called Lyle and told him who I was and asked if I could come and visit his goats," Mimi said. "After the visit, I kept in contact with him. A couple months later, when all the babies were being born, he invited me to come see them."
Although a healthy group of baby goats was born on Lyle's farm that January, Mimi was more interested in one particular goat. While Mimi was at the farm, Lyle accidently stumbled upon a small and helpless newborn on the floor of his barn.
"When he found her, her mother had just given birth and walked away," Mimi said. "He found her all cold and splayed out on the floor. She was freezing cold, but she was still alive. Another 15 or 20 minutes later and she might not have been."
Against Lyle's advice, Mimi decided this was the goat she wanted. He warned her that the newborn probably would not survive and that a lot of challenges lay ahead.
"Lyle warned me that she may not make it and it would be a lot of work," Mimi said. "I knew if I left her at the farm that she was going to die; nobody wanted her, nobody liked her. I decided to take the chance. If she was going to die, I wanted it to be while I was taking care of her. So I brought her home to my townhome."
Against all odds, the newborn, lovingly named Miss Darla Rose Caprine, did not die. Not only did she survive, she flourished in her new home. Of course, there were a few minor details to attend to before Darla could adjust to her domestic life.
"When I brought Darla to my home, she had to wear a diaper in the house. I didn't know how to keep it on her because it was always flipping off so I got her a onesie like what babies wear," Mimi said. "Darla's wardrobe started out of necessity, then I just got carried away with the rest of it. I put her in a little dress, then a little bib, and then I started making clothes for her to wear to events."
Darla's wonderful temperament and affinity for clothes led her and her caretaker Mimi down an exciting and novel path.
"She was so friendly with people and other animals," Mimi said. "Lyle and I started a rural awareness program for the children in the community. We bring in the other animals on the farm, but they are more rural than Darla, so she gets to do the fun stuff. We talk about the animals, and we let the kids see and draw the animals."
Mimi enjoys educating others through performances and events that keep tradition, culture and diversity alive in the community. Darla inspired Mimi to celebrate a goat tradition that comes all the way from Romania.
"When I started looking up goat folklore for one of my stories, I ran into the tradition of dancing Capra," Mimi said. "Capra means 'goat' and it is a tradition in Romania, where they celebrate the rebirth of spring. They use these big clacking goat heads, covered in beautiful blankets. I decided to make a blanket like this so I got out my scraps and then I thought, 'why don't I ask people to send me scraps?'"
In addition to the friends and followers Mimi gathered in her community as a result of Darla, she also had gained quite a following in the online community as well.
"I've got a lot of blogging friends, so I decided to ask people to send me scraps of material," Mimi said. "I put it out there in the blogosphere, and the next thing you know, it just started coming and coming. All kinds of material came along with stories and pictures. I received materials for the blanket all the way from Istanbul, Turkey! I sewed them all together to make the traditional blanket. It was fantastic."
After finishing her Darla-inspired Romanian Capra blanket project, Mimi wanted to share the blanket with everyone who helped to create it.
"The next step in the project is to send the blanket around to the Sisterhood of Goats, which are all these farm girls all over the U.S. that have a positive outlook while raising their animals and farming," Mimi said. "We all support each other."
Mimi's plan is to send the blanket off with a journal, with the goal of collecting stories and pictures that represent people raising goats and sharing the rebirth of spring with each other. Although the Sisterhood of Goats is a far-spread group of individuals, they still feel closely connected by sharing their experiences with each other.
"We have not all met, but we keep hoping that one of these days we will all get together," Mimi said. "There's so much that's happened in this last year. Darla's brought me to so many places and connected me to so many new friends."
Good nutrition, good health and sound management are essential to ensuring a healthy kid. Check out the following tips for the safe birth of your new goat.
Before breeding your goat you need to begin thinking about nutrition. A doe should be neither underweight nor overweight at the time of breeding. By feeding her a nutritious diet such as Purina® Goat Chow® or Show Chow® Goat Ration along with natural forage, you help ensure that she won't need to overcome any nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy and you can be sure that she's getting the proper balance of vitamins and minerals she needs to produce healthy kids.
Five months, or 150 days, is the gestation period for goats. During the first three months, you can feed the doe as usual and allow her to maintain her normal healthy exercise routine of walking and grazing. Healthy exercise is important because she's going to need strength at the end of her pregnancy to carry the extra weight of a fetus or fetuses.
In the last two months of pregnancy, the feeding routine may need to change. During these final weeks, the unborn baby or babies are growing at a tremendous rate in preparation for birth. Depending on the size of the unborn kids, a doe may not have enough rumen capacity to eat as much as she usually does. Without proper nutrition, she's more likely to have smaller, weaker kids, yet she simply cannot consume enough foodstuffs to get the nutrition she needs (especially if they're of poor quality).
Now is the time to increase the concentrate (grain) portion of her diet and reduce the hay portion (it's very important to do this gradually so as not to change the rumen pH too fast). A small amount of fat added to the feed is another way to increase her energy intake. Providing smaller, more frequent meals will also allow her to consume more energy.
Water is the major component of amniotic fluid and milk and should be made freely available at all times throughout the pregnancy and lactation.
Pregnancy toxemia is a disease often seen in goats, most often in dairy goats. During late-term pregnancy, especially when carrying multiple kids, a doe may be unable to derive all the energy she needs from feed. As a result, the doe's body begins to extract energy from its fat reserves. The breakdown of large amounts of fat results in compounds called ketones floating around in the blood. In large concentrations these ketones have a toxic effect and the animal can develop acidosis of the blood. Symptoms include apathy, a rough coat and disorientation. Your vet will need to administer glucose and electrolytes to help your goat get well.
By getting more energy into the later-term pregnant doe you can prevent ketosis or pregnancy toxemia. Simply increase the grain portion of her diet and add fat as needed, as described previously.
In addition, about 30 days before the due date, vaccinate against Clostridium perfringes Types C & D and tetanus. By vaccinating in advance, you will give the doe's immune system time to produce antibodies that can be passed along to her newborn kids through the colostrum.
It is important during the final two months of pregnancy to keep unnecessary stress to a minimum. Avoid transporting the doe for long distances and don't perform any routine management activities such as foot trimming.
As the delivery date approaches, you may notice signs that your doe is preparing to go into labor. About two weeks prior to kidding, you may want to consider moving your doe to a kidding pen where you can observe her more carefully.
One of the first signals that the big day is near is a drop in appetite. Some does may paw the ground, become cranky or even vocalize. In fact, any behavior that is out of the ordinary can be an indicator that she is getting ready to give birth.
When the time comes to go into labor, she will probably look for a secluded spot to deliver her babies. At this point, it's best to allow nature to take its course. Kidding normally takes about 20 minutes. If the doe is straining longer than that, it could indicate an abnormal presentation and she may need your help. Always keep the phone number of your veterinarian close at hand.
Noble Goat® Range Cube 20 is a large pelleted supplement formulated for the optimum growth, development and maintenance of goats. It is designed to meet the needs of goats on range or pasture and delivers the nutrition and performance you expect. The ingredients found in all Noble Goat® products are carefully selected based on Purina's expert research, so you know that you're getting quality, productivity and value in each bag.
Getting to Know Purina® Noble Goat® Range Cube 20
Remember that feed consumption will vary with life stage, environment and activity. Also, be sure adequate amounts of fresh, clean water are always available. This product is available regionally, so check with your Purina dealer for ordering details.
- Nutritionally balanced—Provides high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to enhance performance on range or pasture
- Goat-specific mineral fortification—Balanced calcium-to-phosphorus ratio helps to meet the exacting needs of goats
- Palatable—high quality ingredients assure top performance and acceptability to goats
- "Cube" feed form—easy to handle and manage with large acreage or large herds