So, Thursday afternoon I was looking through the local paper and find a listing for two bottle babies for $50. They were the smaller breed that I was wanting and who doesn’t love a bottle baby?
Sebron just happened to be home on lunch and I spent the entire time convincing him that I was a goat expert. I know everything there is to know on caring for goats. I grew up with them. I bred and raised dairy and pet goats. I convinced him to let me call the number. They were twin nanny goats. Just five days old. The lady was selling them cheap because she was already feeding baby birds that she raises as well as her golden retriever just had a litter of puppies. In her own words “You’re getting a deal on these because I’ve got babies coming out my eye balls and I can’t keep up with them all.”
So Thursday afternoon I piled the kids in the car and we went on our adventure to pick up the goats. The twins were adorable! A little matching set of white cuties. All my memories of being a kid and loving every moment of kidding season came back. The babies running around our playroom, the bottles and milk breath, the way they bond with you and follow you everywhere, the way they jump around….I was smitten. The 20 minutes we were there was spent adoring the cuteness of the twins, listening to the lady as she went over their feeding schedule, trying to keep Laughter from petting the little yippy dogs who were penned up barking at us, and keeping an eye on Jancsi as he went around checking out the husband’s hunting trophies. As the lady was walking around holding them, I noticed that one of the babies had a strange blue eye. I’d never seen a blue eye on a goat before and it wasn’t bright blue but a cloudy color. I thought it was strange but that was about as far as my thought went what with the goats, the dogs, kids, and birds.
I should have left the kids in the car. I should have inspected the twin’s strange blue eye when I first noticed it. I should have really looked them over. The goat expert I claimed to be would have. But instead the girl who loves baby animals and thinks they are the cutest things came out and took over and I wasn’t thinking straight. I paid the lady and piled every kid (human and non human) back in the car and drove home. It was then that I really got the chance to examine the goats.
When I let them walk around the living room, one just sort of stood there and the other ran around with it’s head cocked to one side. I picked them up and went over each of them. The bigger one (that just stood there) had two eyes that mysterious blue color that I had noticed when I picked them up. However now in the better lighting I saw that they were not blue, but clouded over with a dull film. The smaller twin also had one eye that was the same, her other looked normal and bright. Blind. The goats are blind. How could I be so stupid and not pick up on that before I brought them home? I'm not sure if it was a genetic thing that maybe happend if the buck was related to the Mama or something else.
I was so embarrassed and seriously had to eat humble pie when Sebron got home that night. “Hi Hun, I’m a goat expert and you know those twins I begged you to let me get? Yeah they’re blind!” I was mad at myself. Why did I let that girl who loves animals over ride the ag lady who knows the difference between a healthy and sick animal? I’d brought them into my home and let my children get attached. How could I have spent our money on blind goats?
I can’t have blind goats. It’s a safety issue first. They can’t see predators. Then there’s the food and water issue. How does this even work. Yes if they were you’re only pets you could lead them around and make a way, but not on a working ranch. I’m not being heartless, I’m being honest.
I called the lady up and explained what I had seen and asked if she had noticed. She was so apologetic. She confessed that she had not really spent time with them other then feeding them because of all she had going on so she hadn’t noticed. She felt horrible. She didn’t want them back because she didn’t know what to do with blind goats. So she told me just to keep them and she’d give me another set next week when the snow clears.
So, I told Sebron- the good news is that we now have 4 goats for the cheap price of two. The bad news is that half our herd in blind and I’m not sure if they’ll survive.
But, little Mud-Pie and Splash (as the kids have called them) have won a special place in our hearts. So we’ve decided to keep them and we’ll see how this goes. I’m not sure it will work, but we’ll see. We may end up haveing to sell them, they may work out great and be just fine. But for now, they have a warm cozy corner in my laundry room and a couple of kids who think they are the greatest, cutest things.