AKA The “Rogue Goat”
Two years ago we adopted a pair of female goats from the SPCA who, due to neglect and poor living conditions, were seized along with several other animals from a farm on eastern Long Island. Unbeknown to us at the time, both girls were pregnant and five months later, we had FOUR new baby goats on our hands!
“Big”, born to Adeleide and brother to “Blaze”, was one of those four baby goats whose unexpected arrival certainly brought some excitement (and a bit of chaos!) to the barn.
Adding to that chaos, was the fact that both Big and Blaze had to be bottle fed around the clock since their their mom was unable to nurse them due to a virus in her udder. It was a demanding job for our volunteers and one that was wrought with worry. They were so tiny and fragile in the beginning, we constantly monitored their progress, recorded their food intake and watched for any signs of illness that could have posed a serious threat to them. Happily, after just a couple of minor setbacks here and there, both babies thrived and grew healthier and stronger each day.
All of the hard work we put into caring for Big and his brother has been returned to us tenfold through the love and affection they give back to us each and every day. Afterall, goats are curious and friendly by nature and bottle fed goats exceptionally so! Big, with his puppy-like demeanor and sweet disposition, really proves this to be true.
He is the first to greet us when we enter the barn and will follow us around wanting nothing more than to be pet and cuddled. He also loves to be brushed and can’t resist nibbling on the ends of our clothes.
Big’s affection and love for humans was never more apparent than the time he surprised a couple of visitors (as well as himself! ) when he suddenly launched himself from a log he was standing on, up and over the fence and almost straight into their arms. With no one else around to help them and being unsure what to do with this escapee, the visitors called 911 and the story made its way into the local papers’ police report section. Our favorite, was Northport Patch’s coverage who headlined Big as a “Rogue Goat” Fortunately, one of our volunteers happened to come by for the evening shift just as Big had made his way over the fence and was able to return him to the safety.
In addition to his love for humans, Big is naturally bonded to his mom and brother as well as to his extended goat family. What’s even more interesting and endearing to observe, is the bond that seems to exist between him and Annabelle the cow. The two will often pair off and graze side by side in the pasture. With his black and white coat standing alongside her, he looks more calf than goat!
What’s in a name?
Big got his name quite by accident. He was the bigger of the two bottle babies and in the beginning, before we formally named the goats, we simply referred to him as “the big one” as a way to distinguish the two during feeding sessions. The name stuck and it couldn’t be more fitting since he really is a BIG mush with a BIG personality and a great BIG heart!
PS. And in case you have never noticed, he also happens to be the only goat on the farm who has BIG ears which he loves to flaunt by shaking his head and making them flap loudly in the breeze…come by and listen for yourself!