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Newborn 'kids' are three of a kind — times two

When Halifax County Circuit Deputy Court Clerk Laura Jones bought her goats, Spotts and Doris, from Clifford Blackwelder of Charlotte County, she never thought they would both give birth to two sets of triplets in the same week.

She was very surprised when it happened last month on her farm in Nelson.

“We knew they were due to kid soon, but we expected them to have twins, which is typical of mothers who have kidded before,” Jones said.

The first set of triplets was born Feb. 27, and the second set was born a day later on Feb. 28, Jones said.

According to Jones, all the goats were in pretty good health except for one named Clovis.

“All with the exception of one, Clovis was very weak.  We had to bring her in the house and bottle feed her and warm her.  Now she is doing great…although a little smaller than the others, she is strong and healthy. Her mom will not accept her, so we are still bottle feeding her, but she stays with her brothers and sisters and mother and aunts,” Jones said.

The sick baby was the first to be named, Jones said.  Clovis’ siblings are named Dot and Delores.

The second set of triplets has yet to be named, she added.

Jones said she takes care of the goats herself, but she gets help from her family from time to time.

“For the most part, I take care of them myself, but my husband and kids helped me fix the stalls for them and make them ‘kid proof,’” Jones said. “I go out in the morning and feed and water them and bottle feed the baby, then I go out in the evening and feed and water them again and bottle feed the baby. I also give them some sweet feed out my hand and pet them and play with the babies.”

All the babies nurse from their mothers with the exception of Clovis, who must be bottle-fed.

“We tried to tie the mother and help her to nurse, but the mother will not allow it,” Jones explained.

All of the goats including the triplets are kept in the barn.

“Right now, I am keeping them in the barn, where it is warm and dry. I am trying to get them accustomed to me and trying to keep an eye on the babies too. The mamas and babies are in one stall, and the Billy and other nannies are in another stall,” Jones said.

For Jones, the experience of having two sets of goat triplets at the same time has been great.

“It’s quite fun having babies on the farm of any kind, but they are so helpful and playful, and their long ears make them absolutely adorable. Except for having to bottle feed Clovis, the mothers have done all the work,” Jones said.

For the Nelson goat owner, the best part of having triplets is watching them sleep.

“I love seeing them all huddle up together taking a nap. They are just the sweetest things or when they come nibble on my boots, and when Clovis gives me little goat kisses on my chin. She may be small, but she has a big heart full of love,” Jones said.

The hardest thing about having two sets of goat triplets at the same time, Jones said, was naming them all.

Although Jones has enjoyed her experience having two sets of goat triplets, she doesn’t plan to keep them all.

“I would love to keep all of them, but unfortunately between the two sets of triplets and the one single birth, we have four buck kids, so we will eventually sell those off,” Jones said.

Jones said she has always loved goats but between working full time and raising four children, the goats have required a lot of work.

“Now that the kids are bigger. I decided to have a herd of goats, something I can do on my own,” Jones said.

She has been farming ever since she married in 1993, and her husband has been farming all his life.

Jones said her husband has experienced a set of triplets while raising goats during his childhood years, but this was her first experience.

The Jones farm is home to other animals as well.

“Besides the goats, we raise beef cattle, hogs, horses, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, mules, ponies, cats, dogs and one very spoiled sheep,” Jones said.

She has found the experience of farming to be very educational and rewarding for her and her family.

“Farming is a dying breed.  Kids need to be outside away from the TV, cell phones and video games.  It’s healthy for them to learn about plants and animals.  I encourage children to get involved in a local 4-H program or have a pet rabbit, a few chickens or even plant a few garden seeds.

“It’s not only educational, but it’s also very rewarding.  There may come a time when we all need to know how to farm again,” Jones said.