Brooding On

Nutmeg's Helicopter Parenting

I'm thinking that Razz and Izzy will both give birth next week, but until then the nursery is comprised of Honey and her Solo baby and Nutmeg and her twins.  It's been interesting to watch these two mothers and observe their VERY different mothering styles.  First, there's Honey.  She ascribes to a sort of laissez-faire  parenting style, and it turns out that "Solo" is an incredibly accurate name for her little one since she spends much of her time bounding around the pen alone.  When she approaches Honey in search of a little milk, it's as if Honey grudgingly acquiesces, "You again?  I was just about to take a nap." Luckily, Solo is spunky enough that she's unfazed by her mother's indifference.  Without her mother acting as protector, though, she has occasionally found herself drilled to the floor by Nutmeg, the helicopter mother in the nursery. 

If Solo gets too close to Nutmeg's offspring, she is considered a threat that must be removed.  In the above video, it's Honey who ventures a little too close to Momma Bear and her cubs.  

In stark contrast to Honey's laid back style, Nutmeg is constantly on guard.  Every little kitten or calf or dog that ventures by, even though on the other side of the fence, has her ears raised and making little protective you-don't-want-to-mess-with-me grunts, like the ones you can hear in the video below.   Nutmeg is the goat standing at the back with her two little ones. If you listen closely, you can hear the protective sniff sound, just before she moves her head each time. 

Their different personalities can be seen as they let their little ones eat, too.  Nutmeg never moves away while her young ones eat.  She stands very still until they lose interest and move on.  Honey, though,  usually only lets Solo get a few pulls in before high-stepping over her little head and moving on to do something else.  This is how Honey has always approached feeding her babies, so we always keep a close eye on their weight gain to be sure they are getting enough to eat.  Spunky Solo weighed in at 13 pounds at her 1-week weigh-in, which is a 4.5 lb. gain since birth.  I'd say she's figuring out how to work around her Momma's stand-offish nature and get the milk she needs!