hooves

KIDDING LOG 2017

It has been an eventful fall and winter here at Reuel Dairy Goats.  I managed to take quite a fall in October.  I evidently wanted to practice my best superman impersonation.  Roxie had a habit of lying in the middle of the path to the barn and rolling on her back for a tummy rub when I headed out to the barn.  Well, she is very much a black dog and in October it gets dark before we do our evening chores. I was in a hurry and forgot about her routine. At any rate, I tripped over her and went flying...I landed a few feet from the dog on my face on the grass with a badly broken and dislocated arm.... LeRoy came and found me and helped me up and I went back to the house for an ice pack and he milked and finished chores.  Then we headed for the Urgent Care then to Spokane to the Emergency room and finally back home with a huge and awkward cast/splint and sling... A couple days later I saw a surgeon and soon had a plate installed in my right wrist with 10 screws.  It certainly made life interesting since I am right handed.  Lots of exercises and 6 weeks later my surgeon released me with orders not to lift any more than 5 pounds until the end of December.

I was good and everything healed really well and I had regained about 2/3 of my grip strength and was again helping with milking and chores.  On January 4 I was coming in from morning milking...It was pretty cold and the coffee and warm pellet stove were calling my name....  I had safely managed the icy path to and from the barn and was crossing our covered deck that was all clear ...except for a small (10 inch square) patch of ice where snow melt had dripped off the roof...You guessed it, I hit that ice and crashed.  This time I broke my left wrist.  Yep, messed it up nicely.  Off we headed to the emergency room again and this time they called my surgeon and he said not to bother setting the wrist so they wrapped me up in another cast that was slightly less cumbersome than the one on the first break had been.  I was to call the Surgeon the next day to make an appointment.  Saw him the next week and was scheduled for surgery 12 days later.  Thankfully they could move me up a couple days but apparently I was one of many who broke wrists the same week. Surgery went fine and the wrist is healing nicely. I have done my exercises and have full range of motion in both wrists but my left is still splinted most of the lime, has a 2 pound weight restriction and is still not doing anything to strengthen my grip yet.  I have to remember it is only 5 weeks since surgery and I need to let my body lay down bone to hold the plate and screws solidly in place.... Unfortunately, I didn't get to do any of my planned AI's last fall. Thankfully, my right hand and wrist are doing great and I expect my left will be fine as well.

I will do my best to keep this log up to date and to get pictures of the kids as they arrive.  Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions or comments that you might have. This winter we went to once a day milking for the first time ever and LeRoy has been holding down the fort.  I will be heading out to milk morning and night as soon as our first kids arrive.

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JUNO JUST DOES IT!

Feb 22, 2017

Good morning world!  Yes, Juno delivered her kids this morning at 7:00. She has been filling her new udder for the past couple days and last night she was up and down a lot and licking at her sides.  We expected to be awakened by her pushing in the middle of the night but like a good little girl, she waited until a very reasonable hour this morning...LeRoy as watching news and I was still sleeping when he heard her pushing. A quick look at the barn cam monitor and we both jumped into barn clothes and headed out. I quickly slicked slime away from the newly born doe kid's mouth and got busy getting her dried and covered so she would stay warm.

Juno stood back and watched while I worked.  Pretty quickly, Juno started pushing and very quickly delivered another nice kid.  She just plopped him out on his slimy little head on top of a nice soft pile of straw.  The kids weighed in at 6.5 pounds each and were standing and eager for food very soon after their arrival.  Off to the milk room we went for a session under the blow dryer, a close examination and their first meal. Juno came in for milking and quickly got on her stand and dug into her grain. I was thrilled to see how nice her udder looked and that she stood perfectly for milking.  Her teats were reasonably long and she quickly provided plenty of colostrum for two kids.  Her kids ate well and were tucked into the newborn kid tipi for a good nap.  Juno returned to the kidding pen where she promptly cleaned and took a well earned nap!  A perfect start to kidding season.  Her buck will soon be off to be raised for meat and her doeling will probably be offered for sale at a later date.

The girl
The boy

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SAMI SEIZES THE DAY

FEBRUARY 25, 2017

Sami was a most considerate doe. She let us sleep through the night and safely, very quietly, delivered her twins this morning and cleaned them up very nicely. It was a cold morning here with overnight temperatures dipping to about 11 degrees and heavy fog. Sami delivered her kids without fuss or drama. She cleaned promptly and came into the milk room, jumped on her stand and got busy eating her grain. Meanwhile I got the blow dryer out and got the boys warmed up and dried off. It looks as if Sami will have a nicely attached, productive udder. Milking her was a bit difficult as she has a little bit of swelling in her udder. Her boys got their bottles and were tucked safely into the warm Tipi for a good nap. Sami kidded between 7:00 and 7:30 this morning and had cleaned all before 8:30 AM. She welcomed her warm bucket of Blue Brew (YMCP for Goats), and returned to the milker pen without any problem. The boys weighed in at 7.1 and 6.9 pounds, the bigger one first. They will go off to be raised for meat very soon.

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RENEE RINGS EARLY

March 22, 2017

We had been watching Renee very closely as she slowly prepared for kidding.  First her udder began to fill, then her vulva became swollen and very “relaxed”. Her tail flopped to one side and her ligaments were so relaxed that they couldn't be found....still she didn't deliver her kids.  We put her in the kidding stall overnight so we could watch her closely.  She curled up in a lovely nest and promptly went to sleep.  The following day she again came in for her grain and we turned her out to enjoy the rare sunshine and some exercise.  That night she again retired to the kidding stall and looked for all the world like she would deliver any minute .... NOPE not yet...There were some subtle changes happening that were only evident with close  observation...First her udder was growing ever so slowly and her teats began to fill but still no kids. Her shape was slowly changing as the babies dropped into position. The next morning she was really “walking lumpy”.  Her teats were only partially full and had  fluid that was the color and consistency of honey.  She continued to hold out on us and at the evening milking I noticed that her teats were much fuller now and the fluid had changed from honey-like to an opaque yellowish colostrum.  We watched her until about midnight and then headed to bed while she continued to make preparations for her delivery.

At 2:00AM the intercom picked up the sweet sound of “mamma talking” (the quiet nickers and murmuring of a doe talking to her newborns).  A quick check of the monitor and yep it was baby time and Renee had already silently delivered a lively kid.  We climbed into our coveralls, jackets and hats and made our sleepy way out to welcome the new arrivals.  LeRoy quickly got out a pad and put the first boy on it and covered him with a towel. I pulled clean gloves on clean hands and covered my right hand with Lube and put three fingers in the vaginal canal to check for more kids and on the position. I found a couple of feet and a nose right at the door awaiting an exit... a light tug and another boy sputtered into the world.

He was slicked off, quickly covered with the towel and snuggled next to his brother.  Another quick check revealed a third set of feet and a nose ready for splash down... yet another buck kid ...he too was slicked off and deposited with his brothers.  Number three was tended to and tucked in under a new towel.  A final check to confirm that Renee was done and yet another foot and a nose knocking at the door, again a light tug and the final kid slid into a very wet and sloppy world. This time it was a very pretty little girl who was ready to take on the boys in a race to get to her feet. 

LeRoy grabbed up the corners of the kidding pad and lugged the little herd off to the milk room for their first meal.  Renee received her hard earned bucket of warm “Blue Brew”  I got busy pulling the last of the slime off the newborns and getting them dried off.  As each kid was dried and settled into the kid basket he or she was checked thoroughly for signs of  any problems.   At birth I check each kid carefully for the following: Entopic eyelids  where the eyelids are turned under putting the eyelashes against the eye, Atresia where the rectum doesn't have an opening, umbilical hernia which shows up as a lump near the umbilicus, Signs of Hermaphrodites, proper range of motion in all joints, proper bite and proper number of teats.  Our little barn hair dryer makes short work of getting the kids dry, the umbilical cord is trimmed to about an inch in length,  and each doe kid or reserved buck kid is tagged with a tyvec collar that is marked with the date of birth, the assigned tattoo number and the mother's name... While I was working on getting the kids dry and warm LeRoy was cleaning the slimy wet  bedding  out of the kidding stall.

He brought in a bottle of heat treated colostrum for the doe kid and I miked colostrum from Renee for the boys.  She had plenty and the excess was quickly stored for heat treating.  The regular 8:30 AM milking would be added to the colostrum bucket, heat treated and stored in the freezer for future kids.

Renee came in to be milked and was moving a bit slowly and very “lumpy” as her ligaments were still very loose.  She needed a little help to get up on her stand but was fine and stood for milking.  The boys were fed raw colostrum and the little girl got her first meal of heat treated colostrum.  The little girl was bright and starving and was also the first to get up on her feet.  The healthy and happy foursome was finally tucked into the warm Kid Tipi for a good nap and we trudged into the house, scrubbed the left over slime off and crawled into bed at about 3:30 AM.

Renee ate some hay and promptly curled up and went sound asleep. 8:30 AM found Renee again eating hay, her bucket of Blue Brew all but empty and her udder again filling nicely.  The kids were eager eaters for the most part... Renee was no longer “walking Lumpy”, she jumped up on her stand easily and had cleaned.  Renee took her time preparing for the delivery and her preparation time was well spent.

Her kids were lined up nose to tail and very close together.  Her delivery was not long and drawn out. She really didn't need any help but giving the kids a little help in arriving enabled us to get back to bed and made it easier on Renee in the long run.  In short it was a perfect delivery and the quads are all thriving.  The three boys will be off to the wether woman soon.  The kids weighed in at 6.9, 5.8, 8.7 and 5.5 pounds.  As you can well imagine, Renee looks considerably slimmer and is moving much more easily.

The first born - a buck
Second born - also a buck
Third born - ANOTHER buck
Fourth born - A DOE!

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TWILL TRIES HARD

March 28, 2017

On Sunday I would have sworn that Twill was no where near ready to kid. Her udder was soft and empty and her ligaments were tight.  I remarked to LeRoy that she would probably go another week before delivering. On Monday morning Twill came in for her grain with a rapidly growing and firm udder. Her ligaments were pretty soft but there, and she had no interest in her grain.  I was concerned that she may have developed mastitis.  We put her into the kidding stall so we could keep an close eye on her and went about our normal Monday routine.  

Twill was enormous and we marveled  at how nicely she was getting around while carrying all that extra weight.  Her feet and legs are wonderful and she carried her load gracefully with very strong pasterns and beautiful feet.  Twill spent Monday chasing the barn cats out of her kidding stall and lying down and getting up and standing dozing.  There were some bouts of pawing and fluffing the straw and creating a nest but generally she was just trying to get comfortable.  By late afternoon she was stringing a thin string of pre birthing goo but not appearing to be ready yet to deliver.  Evening milking found her again not interested in her grain and her udder was now filling normally so we knew that she indeed was going to deliver within the next 24 hours... Following evening chores she was returned to the kidding stall and we watched her as she explored every corner of the pen apparently seeking a comfortable spot to rest...

At 11:00PM I headed to bed fully expecting to be out in the barn long before morning.  We slept fitfully listening for the sounds of hard labor and checking the monitor several times during the night.  LeRoy brought coffee and we were watching the news.  This morning we were to be tested for milk production so we were moving a little earlier than usual to be sure everything was in order... LeRoy checked the barn cam again and said, “I think we have kids!”  We dressed very quickly and headed out only to find that indeed we did have kids.  One big and beautiful 8 pound doe and a 6.8 pound buckling. Both were dead...Apparently Twill had delivered them without a sound and they aspirated fluid and died either at or during birth.  She was working hard at cleaning them but we were too late. A quick check and I found another kid just beyond the cervix.  The kid had her nose tucked down and caught on the rim of the pelvis, I lifted her head up and searched out a front leg and Twill pushed her out very quickly and together we worked to clean her off. She weighed in at a respectable 6.2 pounds.  LeRoy quickly removed the two dead kids and soon I had the last little girl bundled up in a warm towel and off to the milk room.  A slimy little bundle she was too.  Twill had turned her nice clean dry kidding pen into a slimy swamp and the little girl was well covered too.

A few minutes with dry towels and a hair dryer and she was cleaned up and tucked into the basket to work on standing. Her colostrum thawed and warmed in a two gallon bucket of hot water, while I milked.  Twill gave me a generous supply of rich colostrum to be heat treated and frozen for future babies.  She returned to the kidding pen for a well earned rest and gratefully curled up in the dry, clean straw that LeRoy supplied (after he removed the swamp).  Twill is doing well and will return to the doe pen this afternoon she is considerably thinner than she was.  I am really bummed that we lost those two very pretty kids.  I am very grateful that we have a  doe to add to our keeper pen and that Twill seems to be OK.

Twill's third born - a doe
Twill's third born showing off her long legs

UPDATE: Twill is doing very well and her daughter is quickly learning how to manage her very long legs...

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TUCKER TRIES TO GO IT ALONE

March 30, 2017

Tucker appeared to be filling up a bit last night at milking time.  Her ligaments were still there but very faint.  I had LeRoy put her into the kidding stall so we could watch her because her mother had just surprised us and delivered sooner than I had expected.  Well, it certainly proved to be a good thing. 

This morning at about 3:30 a blurry-eyed check of the monitor found Tucker very quietly licking off a 6.8 pound buck!  We hurried into our barn clothes and headed out to find a newly delivered tiny 4.2 pound, very wet, and slimy baby girl.... Tucker had managed to deliver both of her babies silently and quickly and was busy licking her boy while I tended to her daughter.  She seemed quite proud of herself.  A quick bear hug and vaginal check found that Tucker was indeed finished and we lugged the lively kids off to the milk room for their welcome party.

The kids were quickly dried, fluffed and properly warmed and Tucker  came in for milking.  She gave ample colostrum for 2 kids and soon was returned to the kidding stall to clean.  We thawed out a bottle of heat treated colostrum for the girl and gave the boy a good feed of his mom's raw colostrum.  Both kids ate vigorously and were tucked into the Tipi with Twill's doe kid. 

We headed back to the house at 4:15 to try and get a couple hours more sleep before morning chores.  As we were leaving the barn Tucker cleaned so LeRoy removed the afterbirth and we trudged through the early morning dampness to the house.  Tucker was milked again at morning chores (8:30AM) and returned to the doe pen with the rest of the herd.  Twill thoroughly checked over her grand children and gave them the lick of approval.  Both kids ate again and should finish their  colostrum at their lunch this afternoon.  Well done, Tucker!

Tucker's boy
Tucker's girl

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ZACARI ZIPS ON THROUGH

April 6, 2017

Zacari has been working on preparations for her delivery. She had been spending her nights in the kidding stall but this morning her udder was obviously larger and her teats had colostrum in them. Her ligaments were gone and she was restless. She ate her grain quickly and was returned to the kidding stall so we could watch her closely. She spent the day lying down in each corner of her pen, digging at the straw and eating...She was acting really hungry and chowing down on her hay. She appeared to have some sessions of very light contractions.

At 4:00PM I started getting dinner ready and watched her as she seemed to be progressing and it looked like she would deliver in the middle of supper. At 5:00PM LeRoy went out to see if there was evidence of birthing goo and there was not so we sat down to dinner and watched her on the monitor. She began pushing harder at about 5:20. We headed out after I carefully washed my hands and arms. I put on clean gloves and slathered generous amounts of OB Lube on my arm and hand and quickly checked on the position of the kids.

I found her cervix open and very soft. I worked my hand in and through the cervix and found a foot and head engaged. I lifted the kid's chin up and straightened out the kid's leg. The second foot was right there and a tug straightened out that leg giving room for a large buck head to make its way out into the world. Zacari pushed and we soon had a beautiful large and long buck kid on the pad. I cleared away the slime from his face and returned to check for more kids. I found a second kid in perfect position and ready to be delivered. Zacari pushed her out and she was soon breathing well and trying to stand next to her brother on the pad.

Zacari was checked to be sure she was finished and LeRoy mixed up a bucket of warm Blue Brew for her while she and I deslimed her beautiful twins... I gathered up the corners of the pad and lugged the kids into the milkroom where they were dried, examined, collared and fed. Zacari came in and gave me 2+ pints of thick yellow colostrum. The kids finished over 12 oz of colostrum, worked hard at mastering gravity and their very long legs and were tucked into their warm kid house for the night. LeRoy and I got busy and did our evening chores and headed in for the night.

It was a very nice kidding and the timing was perfect and Zacari did a great job. She helped deslime the kids and seemed perfectly content to have us take them off her hands. She was returned to the kidding stall to clean and was soon curled up in a contented ball for a hard earned nap. Congratulations to Lauri and Dave Robertson on your beautiful boy! And congratulations Kerri Hendrix on your new baby girl!

A beautiful buck
A lovely Lady

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JOSEE JOINS THE MILKING STRING

April 19, 2017

Josee had been growing ever more ready to deliver as she approached her April 18 due date.  Her udder was growing, her teats starting to fill and her tail head was raising.  On Tuesday evening I checked and found that her teats now contained a thick and sticky clear substance that looked a lot like honey.  She went into the kidding stall for the night and we watched her as she started mothering the cats that insisted on joining her.  She seemed to welcome their company and settled in for the night.

Wednesday morning found her still loving on those cats and eager for her breakfast.  She jumped on the milk stand and revealed a nicely full udder. Her teats were full and this time it was colostrum. Rarely do our does show a tight and shinny udder before delivery. She ate her breakfast and walked around to the loafing pen. We put her in the kidding stall and figured on kids by the afternoon.  Josee lounged in the fresh straw and quietly prepared for delivery.  At about noon she started having light contractions and instead of welcoming the cats she started chasing them from the stall. 

At 2:00 the contractions became stronger and she became more serious.  We headed out to the barn at 2:20 to assist in the delivery of a very large 9.4 pound buckling.  Josee had him in perfect position.  I tugged his left front foot out straight and left the right front retracted slightly back so that the left foot was 3-4 inches ahead of the right.  I carefully checked to be sure the head was in proper position and it was...Josee started pushing hard so I tugged on the legs while maintaining the position. Very quickly I had a strapping big boy on the pad.  He soon was breathing nicely and I checked again to see how the next kid was positioned.  He was in good position with one leg forward and his head fully engaged.  Josee was pushing hard and it was a good thing I was ready because she quite literally SHOT the second 7.7 pound buck kid out.  Had I not been there to catch him he would have slammed into the wall...The boys were quickly breathing on their own. The second born was trying to stand while the firstborn was a bit lethargic and still.

The first kid was quite large and had a very wide head and chest and shoulders so he was difficult for the doe to deliver easily.  When I assisted her I pulled one leg forward in order to off set the shoulders so that one came through the pelvis slightly ahead of the other thus the kid was streamlined for delivery.  The second kid came with one leg forward and the second was flattened back along side his body.  I have found over the years that kids can quite easily be born with one leg forward and often large kids present this way.  Because experience has shown that they can comfortably be born this way I don't generally pull the second leg forward but allow the doe to deliver with one leg forward.  The only drawback to the one front leg  presentation is that if you need to help and pull the kid you will be putting a lot of stress on that one front leg.  If you are careful and grasp the leg up as close to the elbow as you can and grasp the kid's neck as well you can deliver the kid without injury to the leg or shoulder.  Sometimes pulling to the left and then the right can free a stuck kid and safely deliver the baby.  If the kid is still stuck after trying those tricks then having the doe either get up or lie down, depending on her position, can unstick a kid.  I have also, rolled a doe over on her back or on over to her other side in order to deliver a big kid. 

The first born boy was a much slower starter than his brother. He was slow to stand up and very slow to suck but the boys finished their colostrum in 12 hours and were running around the milk room in short order. They have headed off to be raised for meat and I have had a serious talk with Josee requesting that she have does since she has done the twin buck thing  the past two years! We rejoice in a very nice safe delivery and are very happy to have Josee back in the milking string.  She added 2 quarts of rich colostrum to out frozen stores and we are most grateful.

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ZEFFERA SAILS THROUGH LIKE A PRO

April 24, 2017

For the past couple of days Zeffera has been reluctant to jump up on the milk stand for her grain. She has started to act skittish and nervous. Tuesday morning she had an udder that was slack and faint ligaments, by evening milking she had a fuller but still soft udder, no ligaments and a limp tail. I checked the contents of her udder and found that she had colostrum. LeRoy filled up the water bucket and put some fresh bedding in the waiting pen.

Zeffera was remarkably quiet and content in the pen. At 8:45PM she started pawing and lying down and getting up again. She very soon started some serious pushing. We headed out and before 9:00PM she had delivered her first very flashy 5.4 pound buck followed quickly by a very flashy 5.4 pound doeling. She was a bit shell shocked and certainly couldn't figure out what the heck was going on. She soon decided that the new arrivals were indeed hers and started cleaning everyone off. The babies were strong, feisty and starving.

They were quickly dried, fed and tucked in for the night. Zeffera apparently thought that milking was somehow a very bad thing. It took a little convincing but I soon had a bottle of colostrum for her boy. This morning the kids were starving and each of them slurped down 8-9 more oz of their life giving colostrum and tried out their long legs. The buck will soon be off to be raised for meat and the doeling will meet the rest of her new friends. It was a very nice kidding. Zeffera pushed really nicely and had done her homework well. Both kids were in the perfect position and the perfect size for a yearling. We are very pleased with both momma and kids. We had her due date as April 22 and her kids looked to be full term but not over.

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ZAYNAH COMES THROUGH!

April 26, 2017

We expected Zaynah would kid on or near the 24th and had been watching her closely as she appeared to be doing good preparation for the big event. Zaynah is one of the nicest does we have ever bred so we were anxiously awaiting her delivery. Her udder was filling well and she was looking beautiful despite her advancing pregnancy. On the evening of the 25th her teats were full and she preferred to eat her grain while standing on the floor. LeRoy prepared the kidding stall for her and removed most of the old straw giving her a nice fresh bed to paw around in. I watched her on the barn camera, expecting that we would be summoned by her pushing sometime during the night.

We slept with “one ear open” checking the monitor throughout the night. Morning found her very hungry and eager for her grain. Her udder was growing steadily and she was very content to be in the kidding stall. Throughout the morning I watched and at about 1:40 LeRoy said, “It is dry out now and who knows when I will have another chance to mow the lawn. Call me if she starts to do anything.” Off he went to mow while I watched. I swear he wasn't gone more than 3 minutes when Zaynah started pushing hard. Of course he couldn't hear me calling him because of the loud mower...

I headed out and gathered the towels and pad and began to tend to Zaynah... Now Zaynah, and her mom and her sisters are a very very quiet bunch... 364 days a year you never hear a peep out of them. However, when it comes to delivering their kids they all want the entire county to hear them. She was hollering like someone was attacking her. I quickly checked and found the baby almost out and in perfect position. I wiped his face and nose and Zaynah gave a huge bellow and a mighty push and delivered a beautiful 7.5 pound buck.

I tended to the baby and Zaynah rested. As soon as boy #1 was breathing well I checked to see if the next kid was in position, Zaynah yelled and began to push and quickly delivered front feet and head of the next kid, I wiped his face and another mighty push delivered a beautiful strong 7.8 pound buckling. This time Zaynah got up and started licking the boys and me while I tried to remove as much slime as possible. I gave Zaynah a bear hug and thought I felt another kid so I carefully inserted my well lubed hand and arm. I finally found another “kid bubble” and noted that the kid inside was wadded up like a Pill bug. Apparently her brothers had been pushing her down so she was curled up with her feet up under her and her head tucked down. I quickly raised her head up and searched out one front leg. Meanwhile Zaynah was walking in circles around the pen and I was walking along with her. I finally got her to stand relatively still while I pulled the kid up for delivery. I got one front leg out along with the head and Zaynah pushed while I pulled and after working the kid's shoulders through the pelvis we delivered a beautiful 7.3 pound, long and feisty doe.

Zaynah was an eager mom and got right busy helping me slick the slime off the beautiful trio. LeRoy finally heard me calling him and he came quickly and helped carry the new arrivals to the milk room. Zaynah delivered her kids at the wonderful hour of 2:45 PM in the afternoon. Gotta love that! Seems like quite a nice hour to deliver kids. The triplets were on their feet quickly and searching for food even before we got them dry! Each of them drank down 8-10 oz of colostrum and they were tucked into the newborn Tipi. They were eager explorers but soon settled down for a good nap. Food comas will do that to you. We headed in to get supper ready. The doe will be retained and we are very excited about her. Kerri your buckling is going to be stunning when he grows up. Congratulations!

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JOANIE JUMPS ON BOARD

April 28, 2017

Joanie spent the past 2 nights in the kidding stall as well as all day on Thursday. She was doing a whole lot of standing around, rearranging her bedding and generally being quite uncomfortable.  Her udder was nicely and softly full and her ligaments were fading very fast.  At evening milking she hopped up on her stand and devoured her grain with gusto.  I checked the contents of her udder and there was colostrum.  After evening chores were done, all the babies fed and the rest of the critters all were taken care of, we headed in  for the night fully expecting to be summoned in the middle of the night to deliver babies.  As I left I said, “Joanie, about 9:30 would be a good time to deliver those kids.”... I doubted she would wait that long. 

We settled down for the evening watching some TV and watching her on GOATV. At about 5 mins to nine I watched her as she appeared to be doing some pushing...At nine PM she was most definitely pushing and hard!  We hurried out to help.  I had slipped my shoes on while LeRoy needed to get his boots laced on so he was a few minutes behind me...Joanie looked at me and seemed to be looking past me until LeRoy arrived then she began pushing again and quickly delivered a strapping big 7.8 pound beautiful girl!  Soon after a second doe kid slid into the cold world. The second doe kid weighed in at a healthy 6.9 lbs.

Both girls were well covered in a whole lot of slime.  The first born had meconium in her sack but seems just fine. It took quite a bit of work to get the twins de-slimed and dried off.  They both ate like they were starving and were quickly snuggled into the newborn Ti Pi with Zaynah's triplets.  Joanie came in and stood quietly eating her grain while I milked her out and returned her to the kidding pen to clean. We managed to get back in with everyone taken care of and tucked in by 10PM. 

Joanie cleaned during the night and drank almost a full 10 qt, bucket of Blue Brew.  This morning the kids were up and eager for their breakfast and Joanie was ready to be milked again and she returned to the milker's pen.

The girls are pictured at 13 hours old after a big breakfast....They need to unfold a bit more before they will be looking their best.


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JODI JOINS UP

May 2, 2017

Jodi is a first freshener and we expected she would take her own sweet time delivering her kids. She came in for grain and hopped up on her stand easily and ate all her grain quickly. She headed back to the kidding stall with a nicely full udder and begged for her share of the cookies. She was restless as we headed in to grab some breakfast and relax for a bit.

Jodi was quite happy in the kidding stall and she seemed very relaxed. We got our breakfasts and LeRoy started to eat his eggs when Jodi started pushing hard. I told him to eat his breakfast and headed out to deliver some very nice, good sized kids. Jodi handled the whole process like an experienced pro...Well almost, like a seasoned pro... The kids were strong and healthy and Jodi wasn't exactly sure about being milked. She finally settled down but not before she had raked the back of my hand with her hoof and finally stamped emphatically on my right wrist.

By the time we had everyone fed and Jodi milked and returned to the kidding stall to clean, my hand and wrist were pretty sore and a bit swollen but all is fine and Jodi has since learned all about milking and milking machines. She is very pretty and will join our show string for some shows this year.

The kids weighed in at : 7.2 and 6.4 pounds.


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GALEN GIVES UP HER LOAD

May 3, 2017

Galen spent the night in her kidding stall and was very content there. She sipped water and ate her hay content to relax and allow her body to ready itself for delivering her kids. On Wednesday morning she needed encouragement to get her to jump up on her stand to eat her grain. She enjoyed her grain and returned to the kidding stall where she spent the day getting up and down while I watched her and made cream cheese and blueberry Danish and cut up fresh fruit and finally got BBQ beef warming on the stove for dinner.

Galen had been getting up and down very frequently all day long and just as I was going to put dinner on she finally started stringing and was pushing. We headed out to the barn to deliver kids. Galen had a big rope of goo. Her pushes weren't very hard and they were not producing kid parts so I lubed up my battered right hand and cleaned her off and carefully slid my fingers in to see if she had a kid through the cervix. She didn't so I searched farther and found two heads at the beginning of the cervix...No one was going to give way and let the other pass through first so I quickly found two front legs and traced them back to be sure they were both attached to the same head. They were so I cupped my hand over the feet and brought them forward into the birth canal one at a time. The head followed along very nicely and Galen quickly pushed out her big buckling. He was feisty and looking for food before we could even get his face cleaned off.

Galen soon started pushing again and a quick check found one foot and the head in the birth canal, soon the kid's head and foot were out and Galen paused for a moment while I wiped the head clear. Galen pushed once again and the doeling arrived amidst plenty of slime.

Galen delivered her kids by 5:00 and they were dried and tucked in to the Newborn TiPi by 5:30. Our buddy LaNette arrived just as we were beginning the process and she finished up toasting the rolls for our BBQ beef sandwiches and heating up the vegies. We ate quickly and returned to the barn to feed the newborns a bit more colostrum and to milk everyone. We arrived a little late for Bible Study but not by a lot. Needless to say we slept well that night!

The kids weighed in at: 8.9 and 9.2 pounds. Galen is doing great! I was concerned about Galen because we had such a difficult time delivering her kids last year. Her fluid had leaked away before I intervened. She had copious amounts of slime this year and did great!

Galen's Doe
Galen's buck


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ZARA MAKES IT LOOK EASY

May 4, 2017

Zara is a very well grown yearling. She was a fast growing kid and she is close to the size of the two year olds. She has always been shy and tends to freak out if anything startles her. Getting her trained to the milk stand has been a real challenge but this morning she finally seemed to have seen the light. She not only walked over from her pen nicely but she came right in and hopped up on the empty stand and started chowing on her grain...In fact all the yearlings did. It was quite amazing and my back was quite thankful.

Zara's udder was quite firm and full and her ligaments were certainly gone so LeRoy got the kidding stall ready for a new inhabitant and then put Zara in there. She paced around a little and looked longingly at her buddies in the yearling pen. We got everyone milked and fed and headed in to have breakfast.

It is a beautiful day today and very warm. Zana paced around a bit then lay down for a nap. We watched her on the monitor and by about 12:15 she started pushing hard and silently. Not a peep out of her as she pushed and started stringing first a pencil sized string of nice clear goo and then a nice sized rope of pre birthing goo. A quick 3 finger check revealed that she was really nicely open and ready for delivery. She pushed nicely and soon delivered the big and very flashy buck kid.

She lay in the corner....she had first laid down in the corner with her butt up tight against the fence and was pushing hard... LeRoy slid her out and she got to her feet and tried her best to return to that corner but we finally convinced her that that was a bad idea. As soon as she delivered her boy she looked at him with wide eyed disbelief....What the heck was THAT! I worked on clearing his face and slicking slime off him and Zara was again pushing. This time the kid had one leg up and with a helping tug she was quickly delivered... Again the wide eyed stare....I set to work slicking the little girl off... She soon was breathing well and talking.

Pretty soon curiosity over came the shock and and Zara approached her now actively talking and moving kids and started licking them. Eventually we removed the kids to the milk room and Roxie helped us finish cleaning them up. Zara came in to be milked and stood nicely. She has some edema in her udder but that should soon be gone. She returned to the kidding stall to clean and was back in with her yearling buddies by 4:00 PM... She did a great job and looks like she will be a very nice addition to the milking string.

Her babies weighed in at 6.9 and 5.0 pounds of healthy and hungry kids.

Zara's twins...
Or are they Roxie's twins?

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SHENA STRIKES GOLD

May 18, 2017

Shena has been a sneak since we decided to breed her....She spent a month living with Falcon and we never saw her bred...We had her CAE test done and requested a pregnancy test from Biopryn with the same sample. The answer came back that she was pregnant..No date to put on the calendar but we figured she must have been bred around when her fellow yearlings were so we have been bringing her in for grain along with the other 2 yearlings. Last night I noticed that her udder seemed fuller and her ligaments were a bit softer but her teats weren't full and it looked like she had another 24 hours or more to go...Just goes to show that looks can be deceiving....

I finished milking and washing up the machine this morning and turned around to see how the 3 yearlings and Zamar were progressing. They all were eating with gusto and Zamar looked like the Goodyear Blimp on steroids....as usual. She finished her grain and I let her out then checked on the yearlings. They all looked OK and I turned back to finish cleaning up...LeRoy just looked and said, “Is she discharging?” Shena had snorted and was in fact discharging. I checked her udder and it was soft … I was afraid I was seeing an abortion in progress...Then the light dawned and I said to LeRoy, “Is there a kid in the yearling pen?” He said that he didn't think so but went to check...He returned very quickly with a beautiful and very cute 6 pound black doeling with a wide white belt and a very cute white chin... She was dry and had a nice round tummy and was mostly clean...What a wonderful surprise!

We tucked her into the newborn tipi for the day and I milked about 3 tablespoons out of Shena....No wonder the little girl's tummy was round! She was very happy curled up and resting with her full tummy so she hadn't made a sound even when everyone else left the pen. We found evidence that Shena had cleaned and she was very happily going about her day as if nothing had happened...What a nice Birthday surprise for LeRoy and a perfect kidding. We think the kid arrived around 6:30 this morning... 3 more does to go this round and then our last doe will kid around June 25....

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ZAMAR PUTS US THROUGH OUR PACES

May 21, 2017

Zamar had been preparing for the big event for several days. Her udder was full as were her teats so she had spent the past 2 days in the kidding stall. After bringing in the last 3 goats for their pre delivery grain I decided to leave Zamar in with the herd for a little exercise and some time in the nice green pasture and sunshine, I thought I would keep a close eye on her on GOATV. After I finished cleaning up the milk room I spent a few minutes just watching the herd and quickly noticed that Zamar was being quite cranky with the herd and that she was quite obviously trying to clear all the does out of her favorite spot in the barn... I went into the pen and led her out and she hurried me to the kidding stall. I checked for discharge and found that she was stringing a little bit of clear goo. Change of plans. She would stay in the kidding stall.

We returned to the house and got busy with stuff that needed doing. I watched her closely. At about 1:00 PM she was stringing pre birthing goo and started some light pushing. Now Zamar is the only doe in the herd that needs a few months in the Jenny Craig Corral. She is a very easy keeper and the second cutting very fine stemmed alfalfa managed to pack on the extra pounds...They didn't do her any favors and she didn't seem to be making any progress. She appeared to be in trouble so I scrubbed my hands, donned Nitril gloves, slathered on the OB Lube and slowly worked my hand in to check on the position of her kids.

She was open and the babies were at the entrance to the cervix but both of the kids' amnionic sacks had broken. Most of the lubricating fluid had leaked away and the kids were well tangled. I found two front legs and a head and pulled the legs out. The only problem was that the head wasn't moving when I pulled on the legs...Finally I pushed the feet back inside and tugged the head into the birth canal. I found a front leg and carefully pulled it up into position. The kid was in position for delivery now but wasn't moving much with Zamar's contractions. I finally applied a hand full of OB Lube to the kid and with Zamars pushing and my pulling the 6.5 pound buckling arrived and was breathing well. I checked to see if I could deliver the second kid....The baby was deep in the uterus and not very interested in venturing into the cold world. It took awhile to find the head and front legs and longer to get them into position. Again I applied a good hand full of lube and pulled while Zamar pushed like a trooper. Together we got the second buckling delivered and breathing on his own.

Zamar was tired and sore but she began tending to the kids with me. LeRoy brought her bucket of Blue Brew which she quickly drained...2 gallons down the hatch. I lugged her twin boys to the milkroom after carefully checking to be sure there wasn't another in there! Zamar had been storing her extra groceries as internal fat and that meant that there wasn't as much room for her babies as there could have been. Because she had leaked away the amniotic fluid, the delivery was much harder on her and on the boys. Zamar came in and I milked her colostrum and fed the boys for her and returned her to the kidding stall to clean. She cleaned before three in the afternoon and then was returned to the doe pen where she promptly curled up and took a hard earned nap.

At 7:00PM we started our evening chores and fed the boys again. Zamar was acting very sore and was swollen so I gave her a shot of Banamine. This morning at 8:30 I started milking and we brought Zamar in with the last group. She was not interested in eating and had a hard time getting up on her stand she seemed to be moving very slowly and she was a bit shaky, I gave her 125cc of CalDex divided into 8 different injection sites. I give CalDex sub-Q. I could give it in an IV but when I give it Sub Q it is much less likely to cause the heart to beat irregularly or even stop. With the sub-q administration it is absorbed more slowly. There is a chance of shot site abscesses but those are pretty easy to deal with.

I watched as Zamar made her way back around from the exit door to the loafing pen. She was moving very slowly and was shuffling her back feet. She had gotten a second dose of Banamine but as still pretty sore. By the time I finished cleaning up and headed in for breakfast Zamar was obviously feeling better and she was standing at the feeder eating. At two this afternoon she was wandering around the pasture enjoying the sweet spring grass and sunshine. Tonight when she came in to be milked she was very steady on her feet and she jumped up on the stand easily. She had much more milk as well. I gave her some more Banamine and 30cc more CalDex .She was walking normally as she left the milkroom and seems to be doing fine this evening.

Her boys weighed in at 6.5 pounds each. Both of them are having a bit of a hard time with their legs but are getting stronger by the day.

5/23/17 Update on the trio: Zamar is back to her normal happy self. She is still a little sore but moving well and eating normally. She got a little extra TLC this morning but no Banamine and no CalDex. The news isn't so good with the kids. The black boy is eating and getting around very well. His knees have straightened out nicely and he is eating very well. The gold boy had some serious nerve damage to his spine resulting in his being unable to stand or manage his back legs. We put him down this morning. Had it been a doe we might have been more aggressive in treatment but I seriously doubt we could have helped him much in the long run. He was a pretty boy and it is too bad.

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GALE GIVES EVERYTHING

May 29, 2017

I have been mulling over this post for quite awhile. It is hard to know what to say but here goes.

Gale has been a baffling doe from the start. She was born to one of out very nice Senior does last year and seemed fine at birth. She was slated to go to a Dairy in the midwest and so needed a CVI (Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, a health certificate). When the vet examined her he found a very serious heart murmur and he was astonished that she was as well grown as she was. Needless to say we replaced her for the dairy and proceeded to go about the business of life on the farm and prepared for the fall fairs.

Gale bounced around the pen with the other kids and settled into a nice growth pattern. We were going to put her down but decided to keep her through the fairs as a buddy for one of the kids staying home. After fair we got things pretty well caught up and stored away for the winter and finally prepared to put Gale down. As a matter of curiosity I grabbed my stethascope and listened for her murmur. It was gone....I had several people listen and yep it was gone...Now sometimes a kid will outgrow a heart murmur but Gale's was so bad it seemed impossible that it had corrected itself. Well she had been growing well and was soon at breeding weight so we bred her. She did very well for about 4 months and then her pregnancy seemed to be taking its toll on her and a check of her heart discovered that the murmur was indeed back.

We continued to grain her and support her in anyway we could and she began again to gain condition. She successfully delivered an nice 7.9 pound buckling and joined the milk string. I again checked her heart and found that her murmur was again very loud and it would soon take it's toll on her. She was a sweet and willing little doe but the odds of her even surviving for another year or two were pretty slim. Of course we could not sell her nor could we in good faith even give her away to a pet home knowing that her condition was irreversible. So I quickly and humanely put her down. It is amazing that every year there seems to be something new or interesting or sometimes sad that happens. Something we haven't ever seen before. This was a very sad “new thing”. It always seems like it is the sweetest does that have bad luck . Part of life on the farm.

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JOJO JUMPS IN WITH ALL FOURS!

June 8, 2017

JoJo is one of our very promising yearlings who spent a month living with the buck last fall. She was well grown but a bit smaller than I like for breeding so we held her out until January. Well, she spent the winter growing nicely and we drew blood and found that she had in fact settled. Her breeding date was later than we first thought but we had been bringing her in for grain and watching as her body prepared for delivery. In the past 3 weeks she put on quite a growth spurt and looked like she was ready to deliver at any minute. Meanwhile we watched as she progressed. Yesterday morning when I checked her ligaments there were none to be felt and her udder was noticeably fuller. I had a feeling that she would deliver by evening milking.

She was starving as usual and hopped up on her stand effortlessly. When we went out to milk last night, I checked on her in the yearling pen and she was busy stuffing her face at the hay feeder... Humm I guess I was wrong after all. We got all the milkers done and Darrell went to bring JoJo in for her grain while I started the clean up process. He returned to say that JoJo wouldn't come and was busy having a baby! I had him move her to the kidding stall and LeRoy watched her while I finished the clean up and put stuff away. I got finished just as JoJo started pushing like mad...

A quick check earlier had reveled a nose and a foot. This time when I checked there were 2 feet and a very large head safely delivered...in fact the kid had it's elbows drawn up under it's chest and its head resting on the knees. This position presents a very large mass for delivery and usually makes it hard on the doe but here was little JoJo delivering her kid like an old pro. I extracted the boy as JoJo rested up after pushing him all but out on her own. We got JoJo up and checked for more kids. She had only one but what a kid it is! He weighed in at a strapping 8.2 pounds and immediately scarfed down 6 oz of colostrum and took a nap.

JoJo had a little more than a pint of beautiful colostrum for her boy and stood very well for her first ever milking. We returned her to the kidding stall with a bucket of Blue Brew for the night. She cleaned over night and drank the whole bucket of Blue Brew and this morning she dragged Darrell to the milk room and leaped up on her stand for grain. She and the 2 dry yearlings were moved into the big doe pen this morning and seem to be doing just fine. JoJo is a little swollen but not especially sore nor does she have raised dorsal processes. She is moving really well and looks like she is feeling great. Gotta love this kind of yearling.

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SUKEY PUTS US TO THE TEST

June 29, 2017

Sukey's udder has been growing softly and her body shape has been slowly changing over the past few days. She is such a deep bodied little doe with amazing capacity. Some mornings we weren't even sure she was pregnant and others we figured she had one kid...Thursday morning her udder was again slightly larger, and soft and had colostrum in the teats. I figured that she would deliver Thursday night. We did morning chores and then got busy doing some running around. I got ready and headed off to the gym where I chose to add some more weight to my conditioning program and LeRoy headed off to get some dog food. We finished up the chores in town came home and generally kept a close eye on Sukey as she started isolating herself. We moved her to the kidding stall where she was restlessly pacing and lying down and getting up and generally acting very uncomfortable. Late in the afternoon Sukey started stringing clear pre birthing goo. At evening chore time she lost her creamy plug and started stringing opaque sticky plug material.

As soon as we finished up milking and feeding everyone, I changed into clean gloves and checked on how Sukey was doing. I found the cervix soft and partially open . Farther investigation found a kid at the pelvic opening and 3 legs...Deeper exploration found first one head and then another intertwined and turned back and down...These Kids were a mixed up wad. I worked two legs into position and then traced the leg to the shoulder and began the process of sorting and positioning the head. I pulled on the head trying to move it up into the birth canal but every time I pulled on the kid both kids moved...Sukey pushed and the boys remained jammed....

I tried re-positioning Sukey first on one side then the other then finally we had her lying down and turned on her left side so that the kid that I had been working on was on top. I finally got the legs out and extended but my wrist and hand were just not strong enough to move the kid. LeRoy moved around and I had him grasp the kid's legs, I applied powdered J-lube and water to my and and arm and slid my hand in to coat the kid with the lube and grasp the head until it was in the birth canal. LeRoy pulled and pulled hard as I had him change the angle and pull down toward Sukey's hocks. I applied a lot of traction to the head and finally, ever so slowly the kid began to move a little.

At this point I was sitting on the floor and was quite literally covered in slime as Sukey's first kid finally emerged right into my lap. He was limp and his tongue and gums were almost black. I slicked his face off and checked and found he was indeed a buck. I quickly reached in Sukey again and found her second kid again lying with his head down and back. I applied a nice hand full of J-Lube and found his feet. LeRoy held onto the feet and I dug the kid's head out of the bottom of the uterus and into position. LeRoy pulled hard and soon buckling number 2 arrived. Meanwhile the firstborn kept struggling with breathing and soon had pinked up nicely. LeRoy helped Sukey to her feet and got her a big bucket of Blue Brew, Sukey quickly drank down 2 gallons and got to work cleaning up the kids and me.

LeRoy gathered the boys into a towel and I wallowed around in the slime getting to my feet. The boys weighed in at a very healthy 8.7 and 8.2 pounds. They figured out how to eat and quickly put away 6 oz of very thick yellow colostrum and they were tucked in for the night. Sukey got another bucket of Blue Brew and she drank another couple of quarts. A shot of Oxytocin was given to help her clean and to cause the uterus to contract. The contractions would slow any blood loss if she had a small tear.

Sukey settled down and took a nice nap, I crawled into the shower and found a lot of very sore muscles including a muscle spasm between my spine and shoulder blade on the right side. Sleep was more than elusive and morning found us back out doing morning chores. Sukey was doing great and she has added some nice rich colostrum to the freezer for next year's kids. The boys were moving a bit stiffly this morning but they are doing well and eating very well. By evening chores they were beginning to actually bounce around a bit and they had finished their colostrum as well as a bottle of milk.

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KIDDING SEASON SUMMARY 2017

Kidding season has finally come to a close. It seemed to be very long to us this year and we had some serious challenges through the months. Our herd has been reduced to 20 animals for several years now and that is a good number. We have kept the best and sold the rest and continue to do so. It really shows in our Linear Appraisal scores and sitting behind 4 milkers at a time when milking makes me really smile. We certainly haven't bred the perfect goat yet and continue to strive toward that end but it is very satisfying to watch as our “ladies” mature and do what they have been bred to do.

This kidding season both LeRoy and I were hit with a bug that just drained our strength. It was a very hard time as we struggled to get the most basic chores done and the girls cared for. Thankfully Darrell came through and is helping, and both of us are doing much better now. Still, since I spent the fall and winter breaking stuff...like both wrists, It was a bit scary as kidding season approached but the goats came through in fine fashion and my wrists proved up to the task at hand. Only two kiddings were difficult. One was Zamar's but she bounced back quickly and the other was the last of the year with Sukey, but she and her boys are doing great.

We had a buck year this year for sure but are quite happy with the kids we have retained. We had 37 kids born, 23 bucks and 14 does. We lost 2 kids from Twill when she delivered silently and during the night. It was very sad to have lost those kids but we are very happy that Twill saved a doe for us. All the does have come through the season very well. We gave every doe a bucket of warm YMCP for Goats after or during delivery and I continue to be amazed at how much it helps provide energy and calcium to the does and how fast they recover from labor and delivery. I highly recommend this product and the Bluelite electrolytes for Goats.

We only had 3 single births and they were all from our yearlings, all of the singles were good sized kids and all were delivered without assistance. The yearlings are all milking well and growing fast. There were 12 sets of twins, two sets of triplets and Renee safely delivered a nice set of quads. All in all it was a very good year.

We have purchased a new buck from the Strongs at Ober'd-Rainbow and are looking forward to the next kid crop. Yes, planning breedings is already in the works! It will occupy my thoughts from now through December as we continue to chase the perfect doe. I hope you all have enjoyed our adventures as we worked our way through kidding season. Please feel free to e-mail any questions or comments that you might have and stay tuned for the next installment on our adventures with goats.

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