Welcome to the farm! Lila had her babies

I’ll tell you what’s so beautiful about this video. The babies are nursing on the mama. They are bonding with her and doing exactly what goat kids and nanny goats do in the wild. 

This is actually VERY RARE. The life of a typical dairy goat is to produce litter after litter, year after year, sometimes more than one litter in a year, for her whole life so she will “stay in milk”. Each time having her babies stripped away from her immediately after giving birth. Not allowing her to clean, nurse, or bond with them  in any way. And when she becomes too old to produce babies anymore, she will be sent to auction or slaughter.

The lucky does will have adequate food, shelter, and medical care, and maybe some human affection perhaps being kept on a small homestead or as backyard pets, but again this is pretty rare.

Why? Dairy farmers do this so that humans can have all of the mother’s milk and make a profit. This kind of breaks my heart. Imaging after carrying her babies for 5 months, talking to them in her belly (yes, I saw Lila do this!) and then going through all the difficult labor, only to have your precious babies stolen away from you.

The life of boy goats is a far worse fate.. Since boys can’t produce milk and bucks are hard to control and they are smelly, baby bucklings like Lila’s triplets here are less desirable. The lucky bucks with good traits will be passed from farm to farm their whole lives to sire new babies, to get the females pregnant so they can keep producing more milk for humans.

The not so lucky bucks are turned into wethers. Wethers are male goats who are “neutered” so to speak so they can’t breed. A small number of wethers will be lucky enough to be sold as pets, companions, or weed eaters but mostly, farmers will keep wethers until they are big enough to be sold as meat goats.

After witnessing Lila give birth and see how immediately and instinctually she bonded with her babies, adored them, accepted them, became their supreme protector, and now as I observe everyday the parent child relationship between her and her kids evolve, I can’t imagine anything sadder.

Triplets

Fortunately for Lila and her kids they will always be together and will get to live their lives together on our farm sanctuary. What could be better than that?

Finlay.jpg

 

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