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A Year (or Two) in the Life of Naya the Goat


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A biography of Naya the goat

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A Year (or Two) in the Life of Naya the Goat

  1. 1. Naya was born the first week of June, 2011 as one of three triplet doelings to new mom Ionia at the Goodwin Hill Goat Yard in Lexington, Massachusetts. On September 15, Ionia and her kids moved to their new home at the LexFarm Goat Yard, about 3 miles away on the other side of town. It took some time for the small herd of Nigerian Dwarf  goats to get used to their new surroundings, set up on a hill overlooking Busa Farm, with a view in the winter through the trees to the Arlington Reservoir. Also, because goats are very smart animals and also very social, they have their own hierarchy in the herd and treat their human caretakers as part of A Year (or two) in the life of Naya the Goat that social hierarchy.  So it also took some time for the humans to get to know them and vice versa. While Ionia's coloring is black and white, the three triplets were all brown and white. But we soon learned that Naya was the one without "waddles" - fat deposits that dangle below the chins of sisters Sapphire and Ella. Naya also seemed to have a special relationship with her mother, the "Queen" of the herd, Ionia. While the others, especially Sapphire, were more independent and typically butted heads with Ionia (literally...they're goats!), Naya always seemed to prefer to stay close to Ionia, her protector. But when Ionia had two new kids, Salt and Pepper in March, 2012, Naya's position in the herd as the Queen's favorite suddenly changed. There was a new doeling in town... and Salt was now the new darling of the herd, protected fiercely by Ionia, and favored by the humans as well. Throughout the summer of 2012, Naya learned to find her own special place in the yard, using her slightly larger size to literally push her weight around when branches of greens were brought into the yard, or when visitors sat with brush in hand ready to offer gentle strokes along the back of whichever goat got closest. Baby Naya - June, 2011 Naya takes her spot next to Ionia Salt makes herself known
  2. 2. And in the fall of 2012, Naya gained special status. In a dairy herd, all of the goats must be females, except any wethers (castrated males) that may stay with the females. Since the does are bred for the production of milk, once a doe has been bred, her standing in the herd is raised significantly. In November, 2012, Naya spent several weeks at a different farm where a buck named "Bucky" was resident. When Naya returned home, she began a special diet of 20% high protein grain mix and also moved from sharing a stall with her two sisters, Ella and Sapphire, to sharing a stall with her mother, Ionia, the only milking doe in the herd. As her pregnancy progressed through the winter, her social stature grew along with her physical size. Naya forages A pregnant Naya waits patiently
  3. 3. By the time she delivered three new kids on May 9, 2013, she appeared ready to assume her new role as a milking doe. Her three kids, two bucks and a doe all have her same coloring, and were named "John Snow" (lots of white on his back), "Snoopy" (has one brown spot on his back) and "Lilac" born when the lilacs were in bloom. Naya is a great milker...producing 16 - 20 oz each day. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), she is not quite as good a mother as a milker. She prefers to be away from her kids if at all possible, and often when they try to nurse, she just walks away. This isn't such a bad thing in a dairy operation: it means the kids are weaned sooner, which means more milk for the humans...which of course is the whole point of a dairy operation! On Monday, July 15, 2013, Naya and her two bucklings (soon to be wethers) , along with sister Sapphire and half-sister Salt – were sold and moved to a new farm. We at the LexFarm goat yard were sad to see our friends go, and sorry that we won't be able to continue to watch Naya grow into her next new role as Queen of her herd. But we know that she will be doing what she was bred for: providing delicious,nutritious fresh goats milk - high in fat and rich in protein - for many to enjoy for years to come! New Mom Naya with her kids: left to right, & top to bottom: Lilac, John Snow, Snoopy