Nearly four weeks ago now, just 10 days before Martha and Rufus were due to move in, a terrible accident happened at Canon Frome Court, their current home. Along with the herd of older goats, Martha and Rufus escaped from their yard and they all got into their feed bin. It is very dangerous for goats to overeat on their rich concentrated food and they were all very poorly indeed. All the older goats and Rufus responded to treatment and pulled through, but very sadly Martha passed away the next day.
It was all terribly upsetting and sudden. And to make matters worse, I had been there in the morning of the accident, milking and looking after them all, so it was almost certainly my responsibility for not closing a bolt properly. Everyone at Canon Frome was so lovely but you can imagine the guilt and the grief.
Well, since then some decisions have had to be made. Firstly we delayed Rufus coming here on his own, it wouldn't have been fair on him. And then we set about finding him a new companion. Initially I looked for another female goatling (last year's kid, like Rufus) but they are few and far between, then I looked at older milking nannies but decided I wasn't ready for the twice-daily milking commitment yet. So in the end I settled on a little kid, one of this years. But as little kids are so, well, little it wouldn't be wise to put such a baby in with Rufus straight away (even though he is a gentle, neutered and not-very-big 10 month old boy). So - upshot is I am having two little girl kids. And Rufus.
As I write Mike is busy transforming the goat shed into something that will house the two kids in one pen, and Rufus in the next. They will 'run together' (goat speak) in the yard / fields when I am around to supervise, and hopefully they will all share a pen one day when the kids are bigger.
The two kids are just a few weeks old and very lovely. They are Anglo-Nubian goats which means they have long floppy ears. (They are sometimes called 'rabbit goats' - perfect!)
They are all arriving on Thursday. First we drive down to Wales to pick up the girls (a box in the car will be fine for them), then come home via Canon Frome Court to hook up a stock trailer for Rufus. So we should be arriving with all three of them around teatime Thursday.
It's been a quite a journey, these last few weeks, and I am so looking forward to them all arriving. At last.
Rufus and me