Meet the Goats

 

Rastus (rescue)
Meet "Rastus the Fastest." This great big Nubian goat is a farm favorite. He has been here since he was just a few weeks old.

Many years ago, when our off-track thoroughbred horse Sassie was a "lonely only" and needed companionship, we set out to find her a goat friend. We chose doeling, Sonia Begonia, (now passed) from a local Nubian breeder. When we learned that her handsome coal-black brother was going to be sold for meat, we couldn't leave him behind. He was our first Rescue goat.

This once bottle-fed wether is considered the mayor of Tomten. He's very social and always in the thick of the action . Rastus loves visitors, bananas, apples, horse treats and, well, just about everything and everyone. We love him too.

He can almost always be found with his goat friend, Remus. But has a extra-special relationship with Abnerita the goose, Cinder Lou the barn cat and two of our horses, Sassie and Mary Matilda.

Want to help take care of Rastus?
Click here to see how!


 

Remus (resident)
Meet "Remus the Squeamish." Remus is another one of our wethers. His beautiful brown and black markings are characteristic of the Oberhasli breed and he matches our off-track thoroughbred, Sassie, perfectly!  An inquisitive yet cautious guy, Remus depends upon his wise friend Rastus to pave the way down every path. We bought Remus as a weaned yearling (not a kid like Rastus), which may explain his lower confidence level.

You may notice Remus has a partial horn... the result of a botched dehorning job that was done long before we purchased him. (Most goats will grow horns unless they are dehorned as kids, but some are born hornless.) Every now and then our vet must make a farm visit to trim it back.

Remus' friends are Rastus' friends... Abnerita the goose, Cinder Lou the barn cat, and Sassie and Mary Matilda whom they bunk with many nights.


 

Nana (rescue)
Meet "Nana LaMancha." We went to the New Holland (PA) auction looking to rescue a few goats out of the hundreds that were there, all destined for slaughter. We knew what we wanted. The goats could be any breed but could not have horns that could unintentionally injure our horses, no one could be small enough to fit through the fence boards and preferably, no buck goats. No open sores, no cough. It was scary how easy it was to narrow down the options on health alone.

Nana picked us. Truly she did. A fawn LaMancha doe who loudly called out to us, climbing on the fence and pushing through the crowd when we approached. And she did this not once, not twice but each and every time we went back to the pen, to check to be sure and we were. So, it was decided, instantly that she would come with us.

A few days later, rescued from her seemingly certain fate and safe at Tomten, Nana had a new fight ahead. She suddenly began displaying symptoms of meningeal worm in her system, an internal parasite that affects the spinal cord. Although we had quarantined and wormed her immediately after arrival, it is likely it had already taken its invisible hold before being sent to auction. With the help of our amazing veterinarian, prompt administration of the right medication and the monitoring provided by volunteers Laima and Aileen, against all odds, Nana pulled through! She does have a few lingering side effects (occasional unsteadiness and head shaking), but our gregarious tiny-earred LaMancha loves life at Tomten and we have promised her that we will  be here to get her through any and all future challenges that come her way.

Want to help take care of Nana?
Click here to see how!


 

LaLa LaMancha (rescue)
Meet "LaLa LaMancha." LaLa was with Nana at the New Holland auction the same day. Was she Nana's daughter? Her friend?  We will never know; but whatever the relationship, she was smart enough to let Nana do all the talking and benefitted from being in the right place at the right time. We took her home, too.

Both of our goats were sent to the auction with kids, their still-nursing babies. I could not get a good look at LaLa's... I saw him from behind nursing and then he was pushed away by other goats in the pen. I would have recognized Nana's kid, but he was split from the group and I had to choose who to keep my eyes on: the two does or him. I tried to find him as soon as I cast the winning bid on his mother, but he was gone. Our goats came home to Tomten with full udders, but no kids to nurse and nurture. They grieved as we "dried them up," so they could now dedicate their strength to restoring their health rather than producing milk for babies they no longer had.

Younger, slightly lighter and just a bit more shy, LaLa has since recovered from her loss and has such joie de vivre that it can only be interpreted as a daily expression of immense gratitude.

Want to help take care of LaLa?
Click here to see how!



Did You Know...


Rastus and Remus are both wethers (castrated males). Wethers have marvelous dispositions and do not project the strong musty odor of breeding bucks (uncastrated males). Wethers make great companions for high-strung thoroughbred race horses or any equine who needs a friend. They can also be trained to pull a wagon.

Nana and LaLa are does (female goats) with tiny little ears that give them a kind of Alpaca appearance. We have not bred them, so they will not give birth to kids and produce milk. Goats are smart, entertaining and love attention. And contrary to what you may have heard, they do not eat tin cans.


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