'Little Rosie lost her mom': Victoria woman raises orphaned baby goat at home
Alexis was craving cuddles more than usual that night, which meant the pregnant goat’s babies were on their way.
“They just want us to be there to help,” Claudia explains. “They don’t want to be alone.”
Claudia — who’s the manager of the Beacon Hill Children’s farm — says that Alexis had five babies last time, and based on her size, possibly more this time.
After a long labour, Rosemary arrived first.
“They are little slimy goaties when they are born,” Claudia laughs. “They come out with lots of little goo that helps them come out.”
But within 10 minutes, little Rosemary was drying-off, standing-up and looking obviously healthy.
“Alexis was really relieved that the first one was out,” Claudia recalls. “Usually when the first one is out things go better.”
But this was not one of those times. There was only one more baby and he was too big to make it. Two days later, because of complications from the birth, Alexis also died.
“It was devastating,” Claudia cries. “Little Rosie lost her mom.”
Because a baby goat needs a mom, Claudia committed to becoming her surrogate and brought Rosemary home.
“It was a rather tough time too,” Claudia says of the touch-and-go first few weeks. “Little Rosie went through any health problem she could find.”
Claudia spent countless sleepless nights caring for the baby, and Rosemary found comfort cuddling close to her on the couch.
After eight weeks of bottle feeding and unconditional loving, Rosemary started flourishing.
The baby goat began bounding across the hardwood floors clad in a diaper and onsie before launching herself on to the couch.
“Rosie needed help but she also never gave up,” Claudia smiles. “She’s strong and she’s positive and she kept going.”
Rosemary didn’t like going to the farm during the day and struggled to connect with the others, instead she followed Claudia wherever she went.
Claudia spent time teaching the baby how to be a goat, and couldn’t have felt more proud when Rosemary finally made her first friend.
“Now I see she plays with others, she eats some hay, she sleeps here overnight,” Claudia smiles. “She’s growing up.”
But no matter how old Rosemary gets, it seems she’ll always see Claudia as her mom.
“It’s the way she looks at me and the ways she talks to me,” Claudia smiles, before making the baby goat sound. “She uses her little ‘You’re my mama voice!’”
When I ask how it feels to have Rosemary call her like that, Claudia inhales deep, before smiling huge.
“Goats know their babies by their voice,” she beams. “And I know Rosie by her voice,”
Although Rosemary lost her birth mom, she’s found her forever mom.