This morning, I went inside the pen to distribute some morning petties (Paolo would be bringing the food in a bit) and ended up having a major breakthrough with Carmelina, at least from my point of view.
We didn’t get Carmelina as a young kid; she was already a few months old by the time she came to us. Needless to say, most people around here don’t handle their goats the way we do, certainly not the way I raised Pasqualina — with a bottle and lots of caresses.
So Carmelina has always been, while not exactly skittish, just a bit standoffish when it comes to prolonged petties. She’ll stay for hours at the fence if I’m scratching her face — as I stand on the *outside* of the pen. But when I’m inside, she’ll only hold still for a few face strokes; she’s not much into the full body massage. In fact, touching the back of her is grounds for a head butt in Carmelina’s world.
Yes, she worries me for kidding and milking time. I have a sneaking suspicion this one is going to be a kicker.
But today I was pleasantly surprised when Carmelina stood still for several minutes and let me pull some burrs out of the fur of her hind quarters. The new hay we got seems to have a lot of these little guys whereas the old hay didn’t have them at all. As Carmelina’s fur resembles that of a mountain goat, thick and long, these tend to get caught up in her fur more than they do in Pasqualina’s or Margherita’s.
It was wonderful to share some early morning bonding time with Carmelina. Does tend to get more affectionate as they approach delivery time, I’ve read.
I’m hoping this is Carmelina’s way of starting to let me in.
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