There are two new kids on the block at Columbia County Animal Care and Control.
At a place sometimes associated with the end of an animal's life, new life began with the Jan. 12 birth of two goats.
"We've had dogs that have had puppies before and we've had cats that have had kittens, but this is the first livestock," said Linda Fulmer, the manager of the facility on Columbia Road in Appling.
Fulmer said the kids' parents, Merlin and Myrtle, along with a horse and several dogs were confiscated from an Appling home after a report of a horse in poor condition. Magistrate Judge Bobby Christine ordered the animals to be taken into custody at a Dec. 27 hearing where he saw pictures and video of the inside and outside of Darlene Martin's home on Cottonwood Drive.
The kids - a male and a female - have not been named and were born at 4:30 p.m. Fulmer said she knew Myrtle was pregnant when she arrived. Myrtle and Merlin were kept in the same pen until a goat expert recommended they be separated so Merlin didn't harm the mother or the kids, Fulmer said.
She said she was checking on a pot-bellied pig in a nearby pen when she saw Myrtle lying down and giving birth to the first kid.
"That one came out, and he was doing fine and eating and all that. Then she laid down and proceeded to have another one," Fulmer said. "She was a good mama. She cleaned them off real good and then they proceeded to try to get up.
"One of them was laying on the ground; he hadn't got his sea legs underneath him good enough to walk. But he was laying on the ground still reaching up there nursing. That was cute."
Fulmer said she applied medicine to the kids' navel cords to avoid infection and made sure they were able to feed before leaving the rest up to Myrtle.
She said the kids' flagging tails are a sure sign all is good.
"As long as their tails are wagging back and forth - they call it flagging - then that means they are up and they are healthy and they are nursing. That means they are getting some nourishment," she said.
Fulmer said they provide hay and grain for Myrtle every day and shelter for the mother and kids in the form of a large hay-lined dog crate.
At nearly 2 weeks old, the kids seem happy and healthy, Fulmer said.
"They get out there and run and play," she said Tuesday. "In fact, they were out there earlier this morning. They almost look like they are on springs at times the way they are running and jumping.
"They'll climb up on her (Myrtle) when she's laying down and they'll jump up on her. They are real playful."
Like babies of all kinds, when playtime is done, the kids often curl up in the crate for a nap, Fulmer said.
At present, the goats are not up for adoption. As the result of a Dec. 27 hearing, all four goats and the horse will be returned to Martin when she has constructed the proper enclosures for them and paid the Animal Care and Control fees, which total more than $4,000, Fulmer said.
Martin is scheduled to appear at a status hearing in Magistrate Court on Feb. 1. If she has made no progress on the construction or fee payment, Judge Christine said an option is to terminate Martin's ownership interest in the animals. In that case, the animals would be put up for adoption.
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