By: Jennifer Trevis, Animal Keeperpublished Sat June 01, 2013
If you haven’t been by the Petting Zoo lately you’re in for a big surprise! Just about three weeks ago two of our female Nigerian Dwarf Goats gave birth to not two but FIVE baby goats, and all of them are girls! Saturday, June 1st will be their debut in the Petting Zoo.
Baby goats, or kids if you will, are very playful and active and they love to climb and jump on things. Just minutes after being born they were already on their feet and walking around. It is crucial for them to walk as soon as possible in the wild so that they can get away from predators. Even though they don’t have to worry about predators here at the zoo it is still important so that they can get milk from their moms. Just a couple days after being born these five kids were already trying to find things to jump on, including their moms! They also love to head-butt each other and chase each other around.
Although they are not weaned until about 2-3 months of age you may see them chewing on the foods their mothers eat. Although they are not swallowing the food yet, just chewing on it is very important for future development. This behavior helps them stimulate their rumen so that when the time comes to actually start eating the food their stomachs can handle it. They love to chew on everything including shoelaces and shirts!
All of them have names of African origin. Zuri, meaning beautiful, is the name of the first born. With a striking half brown and half black coat this name certainly fits her well. Her sister Zina, which means secret spirit, is the most laid back of them all and she looks similar to her sister but is significantly bigger. Layla is the last of the triplets, her name meaning dark beauty suits her well as she is mostly black. Amara may not be the most graceful goat ever, which is what her name means, but she certainly tries to be. She is the most playful and rambunctious of the kids and is often head butting the others trying to get them to run around with her. Lastly, Shani, meaning marvelous, looks most like her mother, brown and white. She is also the one that was named by you, the public!
I am sure your kids and family members would enjoy seeing these five little kids. They are growing fast though so make sure to stop by soon to see them. Also be sure to bring your quarters so you can feed their moms who are working so hard to keep their growing kids healthy. You will be able to see all the goats daily and even get in with them to pet and brush them!