It is kidding season at Fairview, with more baby goats arriving every day. But we also have another little animal who has taken up residence in one of our kidding sheds. This baby steenbok ewe was found in one of the Fairview vineyards.

The Steenbok is a small buck, only growing to around 50cm high at the shoulder. Being quite small, they are adept at hiding in low foliage and have been known to shelter in other animals burrows (Wikipedia). So when you see one on the farm, it is usually just for a moment. We have seen increasing numbers in the vineyards and open areas of the farm over the past few years. Although they have a taste for newly planted vine leaves, it is encouraging to see their populations seemingly growing after they had become very rare in the area.

It seems as though this steenbok was either separated from, or abandoned by her mother and was following one of our vineyard teams around. The teams that work in the vineyard are used to seeing bokkies darting in amongst the vineyards, and didn’t think much of it until it became clear that the baby was following them and it was on its own and looking quite lost.

They gave the farm manager a call, and he brought the little steenbok back to our sheds. It was clearly hungry and a bit afraid, but quickly took to a bottle of milk from one of the ladies who works with the goat kids. Baby goats play and bite and butt heads a lot – they are very playful and inquisitive. This was all too much for this little lady, and it seemed that they were picking on her a bit, so she now has her own pad in our sheds and gets personal attention.

For now we are focussed on making sure that she is healthy and that she gets stronger and have not yet decided on the best plan for her. We have a wildlife camp on the farm, with other buck in it, but of course we would ideally like to see her back into the wild. We’ll keep you up to date as things unfold.

And we don’t have a name for her yet, any suggestions?

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4 Comments on A kid of another kind

  1. marlize volschenk says:

    So cool! Thanks you are great!

  2. What a darling! I hope she continues to do well…how about Stella for a name? I’m biased b/c I have a dog named Stella, but Stella the steenbok is awfully cute ;)

  3. Tara says:

    A name? Hmmm….. How about Bokjie?
    What type of grapes were growing where she was found? That might be a nice idea?

  4. The ladies looking after her have named her Choliwe, which means ‘a child who was left behind by their mother’.

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