<VIDEO> New kids in Farmyard Friends!
Keepers are thrilled to welcome two beautiful goat kids to the 'Farmyard Friends' animals living in the Foot Safari. Scroll down for the video!
Morgan the goat goes into labour
On Friday afternoon staff noticed Morgan was showing signs of going into labour, and her waters broke around 2pm. Keepers were regularly checking on her until around 7pm, when they became concerned that the labour wasn’t progressing as it should.
A trip to the vet surgery
After a conversation with the vet, it was decided that Morgan should be taken to the local surgery to be examined and monitored. After reaching the veterinary centre at around 8.30pm, the vet examined Morgan, could feel that one of the kids was breech, and was firmly stuck. With Morgan tiring, the vet gave her a light epidural and helped to free the stuck kid, and a handsome young billy (male) kid was born, with his sister following shortly after.
Keepers were concerned about Morgan’s initial reaction to the kids after the birth; as two years ago, she rejected her last newborn, Rocco and keepers had to step in and hand rear him. Rocco is a familiar face in Farmyard Friends in the Foot Safari, where he lives happily with the rest of the goats, including Morgan.
Undeniably, this was a difficult labour and in unfamiliar surroundings, which only serves to increase the chances that Morgan would reject these two as well. Initial signs were positive when Morgan started licking and cleaning both kids.
The bonding process begins
To aid the bonding process the three goats were brought back to the Safari Park where in the comfort of familiar surroundings it was hoped that the bonding process would continue.
Keepers stayed throughout the night to monitor this process from a respectful distance. In the early hours the kids had found their feet and looking for their first feed; but Morgan would not stand still for long enough for them to latch on and was looking uncomfortable and nervous around them.
Keepers help out at feeding times
Around 1am the keepers entered the enclosure to offer reassurance to Morgan, and gently position the kids so they were able to suckle. Morgan was by no means a natural throughout this process! She was obviously unsure but is a very good natured goat so we were hopeful that she may come to accept them.
The keepers came back in at dawn to assist Morgan feeding them, and this process continued on a regular feed schedule every day for the next two days. At each feed, Morgan was more relaxed with the kids, and in turn the kids became more confident in latching on.
Early on the following Monday morning, keepers checked on them and the kids were already up and feeding from mum on their own! Keepers are delighted Morgan is now successfully feeding her newborns on her own, and they are going from strength to strength.
Thanks to dedicated keepers
Head of Section, Hayley Potter said “The commitment and dedication shown by the animal keepers, tending to Morgan day and night allowed her the time she needed to bond with her kids after a stressful start in life. Although prepared to hand rear again if necessary, it was heart-warming to see Morgan finally accept them. With a great mum and a wonderful keeping team to support them, I know they will go from strength to strength.”