Candace The Tiny

I can recount many stories about the lives and experiences of the goats here at Fias Co Farm, but there are some that stand out as extraordinary. With these, I try to write the stories here so I can share them with more people than those who just happen to visit our farm when I am in particularly a chatty mood.

And so goes the remarkable story of Candace The Tiny….

I had invited my good friend Pete to come visit us and he timed his vacation to coincide with our kidding season in hopes of seeing a goat being born.

Myrtle, was due and we were keeping a close eye on her. Myrtle is not the sharpest tool in the shed by any means: her mother and father were half brother and sister. She has a good heart though, and is quite amusing, but is a bit dim. Because of this, we especially like to make sure to be around to help her when she kids because she forgets how to be a mom every year.

On April 29th, 2005, the last evening of Pete’s stay it was a long night for Larry and I as we monitored the progress of Myrtle’s labor using the audio and video monitors in our bedroom. Finaly, at 4:00 in the morning I woke up Pete and told him we were heading to the barn and to come along if he wished.

Myrtle & Bernie
“Proud Myrtle” photo by Pete Chapman

Myrtle delivered Bernie, a 7 pound boy with no problems. It actually went so quick and easy that Pete did not make it down to the barn in time to see the delivery. Pete stood next to the kidding stall and snapped some photos as we helped clean off Bernie and encouraged Myrtle to bond with him, which she was just a little slow to do.

I checked Myrtle to make sure she had no more babies in her with a technique called “Bouncing”. It is non-intrusive and entails feeling the new mom’s belly. I am really good at this and had 100% success through the years. I could feel no more babies. All was well, we could clean up the birth mess and concentrate on Bernie.

We continued to dry off Bernie. We were all happy, if not quite tired, and I think Pete was enjoying seeing the kidding process in all it’s realism and goo. Then, all of a sudden, Myrtle gave a sort of cough, and to everyone’s surprise, including Myrtle, a tiny thing fell out of her with a thud onto the floor. How ironic it was that in an entire kidding stall bedded well with straw, Myrtle managed to find the one place to stand where this tiny object fell from her onto the bare wood floor. She had hardly pushed and out came this teenie tiny baby. We were all so surprised and I grab the poor tiny creature and started drying and rubbing to stimulated it.

Candace arrives
Candace arrives with a thud – photo by Pete Chapman

Candace weighed two pounds. She was the smallest kid ever born at Fias Co Farm. She was so tiny and weak, but had spunk and a will to live. With Pete looking on, neither Larry, or I, said anything out loud in regards to the reality of the situation, but we both knew that this little girl might not make it. We just stayed positive, as we always try to be, and worked hard to help this tiny creature.

She could not stand on her own, she was too weak with her tiny legs, but had a desire to suckle, so I held her to her mother’s teat and helped her nurse. Once we were sure everyone was doing relatively ok and Candace had filled her belly well with milk, we left the family together to bond. Candace could not stand, but her mother was there to tend her and her brother to nestle with her. I checked back on her every hour or so to help her nurse.

Candace and Bernie
Bernie, 7 pounds ; Candace, 2 pounds
6 hours old; Candace standing for the first time.

6 hours after the birth, we were finally able to help her stand. She took tentative, weak steps and eventually was able to nurse on her own. We were surprised at her progress, but of course very pleased. With every hour she lived, the possibility increased that she would actually make it.

That day we received a contribution to the Fias Co Farm web site for $100 and in honor of the donor, we named Candace after her.

Candace improved every day, though she was so much smaller than the “regular” kids. She and her brother had a great relationship and he looked out for her.

Candace & Bernieandace &
Candace & Bernie

Of course Candace was especially endearing and we showered her with love and attention.

Odd goat with an odd man
An odd little goat with an odd little man.
Bernie on left. Candace in Larry’s lap.

At two months of age, Bernie went to live in West Virginia and Candace stayed here with us and her mother. I milked Myrtle and she continued to nurse Candace. There was plenty of milk for everyone.

We registered Candace’s full name as Candace The Tiny. She continued to be happy, healthy and thriving though she maintained � normal goat size for her age.

We awarded Candace the 2005 award of Fias Co Farm Goat of the Year Award, due solely to the fact that she not only survived, but thrived. She is the youngest ever to receive this prestigious award, usually only awarded to older star milkers.

The next year, when Myrtle kidded, she had one big boy named Jaunty. Most new mother’s push the older kids away, amtionally as well as physically. when the new kids are born, but Myrtle continued to have a very close relationship with Candace, and Candace befriended Jaunty.

Myrtle family
“Little brother” Jaunty, nestled between sis Cadace and mommy Myrtle.
It’s rare to find family of different ages snuggled together, so I was touched when I saw this as I visited the barn in the middle of the night to aid in another doe’s kidding.

Candace and Jaunty
Candace, 15 months old, with her “little brother” Jaunty, 4.5 months old.

Candace is smart…. much smarter than her mother and always stays with her. As an adult, she now watches out for her mom.

Candace gave birth to her first kid on March 31, 2007 at 9 pm. Her daughter, Constance was an extremely healthy and normal sized kid. She weighed 6 pounds at birth… 3 times more than her mother when she was born.

Candace is showing herself to be a wonderful and loving mother. Her daughter is smart, cute and a real sweetie.

[Check back, I’m going to add a photo of Candace and Constance here very soon]

29 thoughts on “Candace The Tiny

  1. Emily says:

    Thanks for the great success story. I’ve been looking forward to it for the last few days.

  2. actlsze says:

    that is such a great story Moll. Thanks for taking the time to share it.

  3. Anna says:

    Yes, that was a great story, Molly. I bought a very small doe (I raise nubians, BTW) that was about like Candace, started out small but grew at a normal rate, it was just the fact she didnt start out normal. Anyways, she is getting ready to kid for the first time, and I pray everything goes well with her too. Thanks, and I loved the photo of her and her little brother. They looked like twins in size!

  4. sherri samson says:

    i have a baby goat, her name is lilly and she was so very tiny her two sisters kept pushing her off her mama so i bought her and she has been in the house since she was two weeks old. She is potty trained to a littler box that is topped off with hay. I love this little thing beyond reason and want to take the best care of her possible…my question is, have you ever known a goat to be this tame? I have never had a goat. We are building her a pin as she runs with our six dogs around the yard….in the forest on a lake in charlotte, north carolina…..i would appreciate any help you can give me….thank you so much,

  5. Molly says:

    “My question is, have you ever known a goat to be this tame?”

    Oh yes, absolutely. Our goats are extremely tame and very loving, though they are not potty trained since they live in the barn.

    Keep reading my site, you’ll find all the information you need there :)

  6. John and Betsy Chapman says:

    Molly—Agreat story. Something new after all your years in goat husbandry. Thanks for sharing it. John

  7. Larry Hodgkins says:

    Wonderful story of Candace.Made me think of oour own Feather who we thought would never make it and remained the smallest Shetland of our herd, but who is a great mother and very pretty and the most firendly of all our flock.
    You tell a wonderful story….

  8. Carmen says:

    We had the same thing happen last year, doe kid 7 pounds, buck kid 2 pounds, and almost the same story. I thought mom was done and was trying to get her to the milk stand, as we bottle feed. Mom is very stubborn and will drop to her knees if she doesn’t want to go, this is what she was doing then stood up and out popped this little thing. He ate more then his sis at first feeding. He had an overbite and scoliosis. He lived in the house for 2 months and was like one of our dogs. Unfortunately 3 days after being weened from bottle and eating only grain and hay, he developed bloat and before the vet could get here he pasted away. But he’ll live forever in our hearts as “Little Man”

  9. Sara says:

    Oh this is an adorable story, and I was delighted to see Constance was born the day I turned 15. Thanks for the cute story and your wonderfull website which has taught me all I know about goats, and I will soon be getting my own two wetherlings, Sven and Thomas, a Saanen and a Boer/Togg Cross.


  10. Rita says:

    That’s a great story.
    We have a doe that did about the same thing this year.
    First she had a big 7 pound buck, then a little 1 pound buck . We did not think he would make it because he could not stand or hold his head up. We had to feed him with a preemie bottle, he only took one oz .
    We named him Lucky because he was born on ST Pattricks day at 3 in the morning.
    He is doing very well now.

  11. Tami A says:

    I was enjoying reading your story about Candace The Tiny! We are experiencing our first kidding season this year with Nigerian Dwarfs. We had a first time mom deliver quads! The first 2 were small but strong, the third was a little smaller (2 pounds when we weighed her) and the last one stillborn. I took the weak girl in the house with me and slept the night with her bundled in towels. At 5am she was calling for food. Of course the mother rejected her so we started bottle feeding her. She is like a puppy. I want to litter box train her but am not having success yet? I have heard that it is possible? I noticed that there was a comment from a Sherri Sampson from Charlotte, NC that said she had a litter box trained goat, Lilly. I am wondering if you could pass my e-mail address on to her so I can get some info and tips!
    Thank You!

  12. Molly says:

    I have never tried to litter train a goat…. we feel they belong in the barn with their herd, even if their mother rejects them. We get them back to the barn and their siblings, as soon as they are strong enough. This way, even though they may be being bottle fed, they can learn to be goats.. play with other kids and learn what solid food to eat and how to browse.

    I do not have the email addresses of people who leave comments.

    Good luck.

  13. Abby says:

    I love this story, and your site. It has helped me so many times. I am 16 and have only been in the goats for 2 yrs, this year being my first yr with kids. Yesterday morning my first lamancha kids (and my 2nd kids ever born here) were born at about 2 am. I got out there in the nick of time to find my doe laboring – I had been watching her all day. She popped out an itsy bitsy doe who couldn’t stand or even hold her head up. Next was a big buck, 7 lbs. I thought she was done, so I did your “bouncing” method, and sure enough there was another in there. One more push and pop came another tiny doe in the same condition as the first. I was definitely not expecting triplets from this doe, especially this being her first time! I had read the story about Candace a while ago, but I came in to read it again to see what you did. The girls had a rough start but seem to be doing dandy now. If it wasn’t for your site, I would be a nervous wreck! Thank you so much for putting all this information out there!

  14. Jennifer Raven says:

    Hello! My mother and I have a story close to yours. We have a dairy ranch in which we have no income! hopefully soon that will change. We feed the babies with the milk we get from our milking girls.. we have all kinds of breeds Nubies, Lamancha, Saanen, Alpine, Tolgenberg, ( I probably Spelt all of those wrong) anyways my mom has been doing this for 3 years now and I about one so I still have a lot of learnig to do… But we had our first set of premies… Jan 30 2007. Tinkerbell and Piddles… U see their mother Wiggles has 3 other does like her were not possitive if they are related but they are very close! Anyways two of the girls decided to go into labor around the same time Fawn and Pepper. Fawn had 2 boys Popeye and Bubba. Both healthy except Bubba he has Parrot mouth… But is doing great. Pepper 2 girls. Ebany and Sasha. Beautiful! All purebred Nubies. NO PAPERS ahhh. and then you have Wiggles who sees her Friends having babies and decided to join no Bag no mucus notta. Just a plop and another. shes done… We got what we could for colosterum and had to take some from the other moms. That night was the longest night i think i have had with these darn goats…I got up every hour or anytime they would squeek or move any noise id sit up and give them their milk. Now 4 1/2 months later. SPOILED ROTTEN! Well we just recently lost Tinkerbell to annemia.. We are both just tore up about it but we have pictures and her sis… Which is happy and healthy if we could just get passed coccidia. and now Lupis. AHHH it never ends but we love it and its a challenge all of the way…. They are our babies we will do anything for them!!! Even if we go into Debt its something we enjoy!

  15. Emily Bettio says:

    We have 4 boar goats, i am writting this comment next to my new born baby goat ‘Beutey’ she just got born today i live in victoria north/east my parents on a winery
    and i loved your storey on Candace it was a rell lover by the way i am 10yrs old and in grade 4……

    can you please re-spond to my small letter!
    And i look forword to hereing your reply!
    Please can you send me your e-mail address so i can keep in touch with you and your husbend

    form you new friend Emily Bettio

  16. Lane cook says:

    I have a goat lik her and her nameis commet.

  17. Lea Dominique says:

    I love your story about Candace! I have raised Nubian goats with my brother and sister before, and my favorite was my baby Licorice. He was so tiny that I put him inside my coat on cold days to keep him warmer. He was from a litter of triplets. Well, keep up the stories!

  18. michelle beard says:

    What a wonderful story! I love reading about all your babies. You take very good care of them and inspire me when things get crazy! I have a question, though–Did Candace ever get full size? We have a tiny one too,(10 months old now ,Nigerian Dwarf and only 28 pounds), and she very much wants to go on dates like her sisters but I’m too afraid for her. What do you think?

  19. Molly says:

    Candice is still slightly on the small side, but she is large enough to breed and this year have birth to a healthy, full size daughter.

  20. Rachel says:

    Hey, I thought this story was really cute! My boer goats are due any day, I’m so excited this is our 2nd year to have goats and last year we only had 1 born. I hope yall have a good birthing season this year.

    Rachel age 13 from KY

  21. Donna says:

    Love the story: 2 years ago when we got our first goats.. we started with 2 full size baby girls.. one at a day old and the the at 2 day

    a few mo. later I decided I wanted a pygym and new the guy I could get one from.. He called when the first babies were born and we went and brought home Cody a 5 lb pygmy boy… compared to the girls at the time we got them he was so small- the girls were about 8 or 9 lbs when they came home… we were so amazed at his size.. then a few days later the guy calls me and says hay my other doe just had 3 babies the biggest was born first and was dead- the second was a little smaller and doing great ( it was about 4 or 5 lbs) but the smallest one was not doing well mom was not feeding him or he was too small to try and with his work schedual he could not take care of it and I would I try to help him make it.. Of course I told Hubby he would DIE without us and he just said OK… LOVE THE MAN!

    I went right away to get him and he was small I went to a friends house to get some goats milk and wieght him he weighted 1 lb 14 oz.. he could fit in one hand… I really did not think he would make it but held out hope.. Looked names up on the internet and found Renny (Small but Mighty) well I fed him small amounts with a dropper for 3 days till he could take the bottle… my husband come home from work on day 3 and asked if he could even walk.. because he the short time he was home he never seen him get up.. he was either in the shoe box or in hubby recliner… I said yes i got Renny up to prove he was doing GREAT.. by the time hubby got home at 7 or 8 Renny had played hard and was ready for bed..

    Renny lived in the house till he was 3 mo old and bottle fed goats milk or some time cows milk ( we live on a Dairy Farm) till he was 5mo old..

    then he was moved to the back porch only because we were going to Fair for a week and he would be in the barn with the other goats.. we kept trying to put him in with the other goat at home but he was so small he kept getting out we would take care of one spot and he would find another… he liked to ride in the car and loved people. He is now 1 1/2 and my girls tell me he is the brattest goat we have because I spoiled him… I say he is just living up to his Name Renny SMALL but MIGHTY.. he does’nt take anything from anyone.. he is still smaller then his 2 half brother, which we also have and his grandma which we just got at christmas time…

    Sorry for such a long story I just had to share

  22. Molly says:

    Thanks for sharing Donna.

  23. Christina says:

    This story reminds me of a kid that one of our first fresheners had. His big sister was born first and we thought that was all until we looked down at what we thought was the afterbirth and it began to move! We realized that we had another kid, still completely wrapped in his sac! We quickly cleaned the little guy up and I warned my children not to be disappointed if he didn’t make it. We fed him a couple of cc’s of coffee to jump-start his little weak body and then got some colostrum into him. He was so tiny that when he opened his mouth all that would come out was a tiny “beep”. We named him “Beep” and he turned out to be the sweetest wether ever, eventually growing into a big loving teddy bear. He now lives with some 4-H horses and two half brothers, but he will always have a special place in my heart.


  24. alexa says:

    wow! she lived and thrived!! good storie!. Mirclus do happen.

  25. lori says:

    Just wanted to let you know Candance and Constance are doing great. They are loving goats and so gorgeous. Thank you so much for letting them come into my life. I adore them. lori TN

  26. amber says:

    Hey Great story . I keep wondering how you potty train a goat ? thanks for the story . amber AR

  27. Lorie McConnell-Rutland says:

    My husband and I recently purchased a home with acreage…researching dairy goats and found your site. Loved the story…birth on March 31, 2007…OUR ANNIVERSARY

  28. Lorie McConnell-Rutland says:

    My husband and I recently purchased a home with acreage…researching dairy goats and found your site. Loved the story…birth on March 31, 2007…OUR ANNIVERSARY. Many special articles and info have lead me to believe that raising dairy goats, beginning with 2 may be in our future. Thanks for your knowlege and helping others like me. I am a Pre-K teacher and reading about goats already reminds me of children.
    Lorie & Chip

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