New kids and lambs are joining the nursery, with great celebration. Naturally, some new-borns don’t survive. The mature goats also don’t live for ever. Two weeks ago great-grandmother Yonit passed away after passing the age of 12 (a very old age for a goat) and raising a glorious dynasty. Yonit retired long ago and was loved by Ariella Palner, who has been volunteering in the pen for 11 years and got to know her from a young age. ‘Yonit had a special personality. Sometimes she’d put her head out for a pat. She stood out in the herd because of her grey coat. We both had grey hair’, she laughs, and relates that Yonit’s progeny are also grey and bear a strong resemblance to her.
Not all the goats in the pen have names, but one of them was given the nickname ‘the volunteer’. ‘She always jumped ahead before going out to graze to get the GPS collar, and loved the role’, relates Najah, who reminds us that the herd at Ramat Hanadiv grazes in the Nature Park according to an organized grazing program and is movements are monitored.
The lamb will return to its mother
The herd goes out to graze each day for four hours (8:00 am to 12:00 pm), after the morning milking and before the afternoon milking. On the day we visited the pen, Gerry Haberman, the shepherdess, returned with the gang (about 200 individuals) after their daily nibble of the shrubs and immediately asked, ‘Nu, was there a birth?’ The positive answer brought both joy and relief, because when she went out in the morning she saw that the intended mother was not looking the best. Now she went to visit her in the nursery and treated her to fresh water and a loving caress.