One of the guilty pleasures of raising animals, is the opportunity to just sit and watch them eat, play, and interact with each other. Anyone who likes to go to the park and just "people watch" will understand. While we enjoy watching all of our animals, during kidding and lambing season it is especially entertaining to watch the mommas and babies. I could watch the babies play king of the mountain on old tree stumps all day; sometimes you get to be part of the fun when they try and use you as their stump! But what is even more interesting to watch, is how they communicate with each other. This leads me to the Naaaaaas and the Baaaaaaas, because as you may not know, there is a difference between the sounds of sheep and goats. Or maybe you do know, and you have had the pleasure of naaaaaing or baaaaaing at one. Well, not every Naaaaa (goat), nor every Baaaaa (sheep), are the same!
How do we know? After all, to us, they all sound the same.... one consonant followed by a list of vowels. But if you sit and watch, you will see one nanny call, and only one baby, her baby, will answer from across the pen. Sometimes it is an obvious dinner call, evidenced by when the baby comes running and immediately starts nursing. Sometimes it's a call of warning to come closer because of danger. Danger Will Robinson, Danger!!! We have a newer nanny, Snow Queen, who is very protective of her doeling, Cinderella. She does not trust us yet, so when we come near Snow Queen starts calling. Naaaaaa! Naaaaaa! Most times Cinderella responds by running back to mommy, but occasionally if she is having fun romping with the other babies, she ignores her mom as growing kids exercising their independence sometimes do. Either way, it's very entertaining!
So be careful the next time you try to talk to a sheep or goat by doing your best Naaaaa or Baaaaa imitation. Don't be surprised if they look at you like you're crazy. Who knows what you may have just told them!