There have been very big changes here at Reuel Dairy Goats and we are unsure as to what the future may bring. We do know that kids will start arriving in mid February and things are in readiness. All our kidding towels and pads are clean and stacked in their places. Now all we can do is wait and prep each doe as her date approaches. It has been a strange breeding season this year and it looks like we will be having babies all the way into June. I'll be trying to keep up with this log as we go along. It is nice to think about babies and the promise of spring. Outside my windows we have over a foot of icy wet snow on the ground. It has been quite a winter with more to come, no doubt. Stay tuned for our adventures and misadventures.
On Monday morning I prepped Jana for her kidding with a kidding clip. Tuesday morning she got the usual pre kidding shots that I have given for 40+ years: CD&T, and Lysigin (one on each side of the neck) BoSE and vitamin A&D (one in each side of her rump. On Wednesday morning we found Jana had aborted 2 does and a buck kid. The kids were perfectly formed and just looked like they were a month early. Jana is fine and is trying to make milk so we are milking her. I don't know what caused the abortion, it could possibly be that she reacted to the BoSe. If Jana was a first freshener I would be concerned that she had been exposed to Toxiplasmosis from our barn cats or even Chlamydia but as an almost 6 year old mature doe, those are unlikely. We are just glad that Jana is doing well and it is nice to have her milking again.
Jamie is a sweet somewhat confused first freshener who will turn 2years old at the end of May. She is willing and easy to manage and a pleasure to work with.
We headed out to milk in the morning and found that she was starting to string pre birthing goo. She had been prepped for kidding and so we could see her udder was getting quite full. She came in for her grain and very quickly gobbled it down. I couldn't feel the ligaments around her tail and her tail head was starting to lift. We put her into the kidding stall and put her buddy Mayday in with her for company. I switched on the camera in the kidding stall and watched her as she progressed throughout the day. She and Mayday wandered around and stuffed themselves with hay and generally hung out. About noon, Jamie showed signs that she was starting to have significant contractions. With Nubians it is pretty easy to tell when the contractions get stronger as they flare and lift their ears with each contraction.
At about 1:00PM I headed out and prepared to welcome our first kids of the season. Jamie was a perfect little momma. She pushed good and hard and very quickly we had a foot. I carefully stretched her tissues around the fat little head and tugged on the foot that was presented. Jamie pushed and we quickly had a very fancy boy on the pad and breathing well.
Jamie was a little puzzled but soon started to have strong contractions and again we had a foot and nose. I stretched out the leg and tugged as Jamie pushed and soon we had another nice sized kid sputtering alongside his brother. Jamie was confused but quickly started to lick her boys as we prepared to tote them off to be dried and fed.
She came in for milking and after stepping twice with her rear feet she stood perfectly still for her first ever milking...Her boys were dried and fed a good 4 oz each of Jamie's rich colostrum. The boys and Jamie are doing great today. They are very strong and amazingly good on their feet. Jamie was introduced to the milking machine the next morning and she didn't bat an eye. The boys weighed in at 7.3 and 7.0 pounds. Both about perfect size and very robust. We are looking forward to having more kids from our young buck David....
Well, the morning was beautiful and sunny but quite chilly at 14 degrees but when I checked Mayday was looking ready to deliver. Her tailhead was raised and her ligaments were gone. Her udder wasn't tight at all but it was somewhat fuller than the night before. Of course I had to be in Spokane for a doctor appointment at noon. We put Mayday into the kidding stall with hay and water and lots of straw. She wasn't very pleased about it for a short while but then she settled down and ate her hay. We headed for town after leaving strict instructions for Darrel to keep a close eye on Mayday and calling a neighbor to stand by in case there was a problem. Well, the Dr. Appointment went well and was faster than anticipated so we were on our way home by 2:15. We pulled in at about 3:00 and I hurried in to change and check the monitor to see what was going on in the barn.
Well, Mayday was busy licking a baby that was curled up in the straw looking around. I quickly got into barn clothes and a warm jacket and headed out to take care of the kid. On the way I called Darrel who soon joined me so I could check to see if there were any more kids coming.
The baby was very nicely cleaned off and very alert. I quickly got her under a dry towel and we were off to the warmer milkroom. Darrell got Mayday her Blue Brew and she eagerly sucked it down. I rubbed the baby with a towel and then turned the warm dryer on her. She warmed up quickly and was looking for food. We dried her, tagged her, and cuddled her while her colostrum thawed and warmed. As soon as she was warm she started to doze in my lap only to wake quickly and root around looking for food before dozing off again. I gave her her bottle and she wasted no time sucking down about 4 ounces. With her tummy full of warm nourishment, she was ready for a good long nap. At 7:30 she was again awake and ready for a good big supper and she sucked down about 10 oz of colostrum and walked around the slippery floored milkroom like she was a week old. We tucked the kids in for the night and headed in. This not-so-little girl weighed in at 8.2 pounds. She is quite moldy (spotted) and is sold.
Mayday is doing well and figuring out the milking routine. She did a fantastic job delivering this nice big girl and getting her cleaned off. We would like all of our kiddings to go this way!
We have been battling a late season Artic cold front that is predicted to only get worse with overnight lows in the minus single digits and winds up to 50 miles per hour. It is miserable out there. The barn is closed up as tightly as we can get it and the girls have deep straw to snuggle down in, Joanie is in the kidding stall and has been for 3 nights now. She is quite comfortable and happy there. The wind isn't causing any problems and the kidding area is draft free and the warmest place in the barn. I have been watching Joanie on the barn cam for the past 3 nights and am very sleep deprived...I can't afford to rest as Joanie doesn't give any warning to speak of - she just lies down and silently delivers ... I always worry about my older does and Joanie will be 10 this spring so I watch her carefully. Delivering kids in single digit temperatures is not easy and prompt attention to the newborns is imperative. They will be hypothermic in a matter of a few minutes and birthing slime will quickly freeze encasing them in ice.
After milking this evening we returned Joanie to the kidding stall. She didn't want her evening grain and she didn't want to come into the milkroom. As I left the barn I told her that I really would be happy if she delivered now instead of waiting until the middle of the night. She crunched up her cookie and muttered something as I headed in to sit by the fire and watch for yet another night.
At 9:30 I watched as Joanie lied down and gave a good strong push...I called Darrel and bundled up to attend to mom and baby. Joanie is a no nonsense mom... Hang out until it is time to deliver, lie down push 3 times, then get up and lick your newborn... Baby was still warm and steaming in the cold temperatures. I scooped her up and cleared her face and covered her. Darrel held Joanie while I checked to see if she was done... she was and off we tromped to the warmer milkroom. The baby was quickly dried and checked over and she weighed in at a hefty 8.5 pounds.
The big strong girl wasn't very interested in eating much as she had evidently swallowed quite a bit of amnionic fluid. She managed to suck down about 2-3oz of good rich colostrum before being tucked in for the night. Joanie gratefully drank her 2 gallons of Blue Brew and dug into her hay. She got lots of loving and extra cookies and we headed in for a good night's sleep.
The next morning found us battling 40-50 mph winds and blowing and drifting snow. The barn was covered with snow where it has drifted in along the eves and ridgeline. The girls are happily snuggled down together and not much interested in getting up until the hay feeders are full. The babies were all eager for their warm breakfast and the newborn quickly slurped down about 10 oz of colostrum. Joanie is doing great and returned to the doe pen and milking string.
We are finally coming out of the frigid system and things are much more pleasant now. Snow is due in the next few days so apparently winter isn't finished with us yet...We have a break now until mid March when I sincerely hope spring will show up. Here is a dorky baby picture of Joanie's little girl who really needs to unfold a bit more but she will stay here in our "keeper" pen!
Glynis is a big deep bodied doe who hides her kids very well. She was quite obviously pregnant. Her vulva was puffy and her udder was slightly less flaccid. On Friday night we put her in the kidding stall so I could watch her closely. Overnight she was very content and rested far better than I. Saturday morning we brought her in for her grain and turned her back in with the does for the day. She seemed to be starting to isolate herself a bit as milking time came. She wasn't really interested in eating much of her grain when we brought her in. I checked her udder and it was looking pretty empty but her teats did have a little milky fluid. She was very happy to go back into the kidding stall and I figured it was going to be a short night as far as sleep was concerned. We got everyone milked and fed and headed in for the night.
I kept an eye on Glynis and watched TV. Glynis stood around and looked very relaxed and comfortable. Along about 9:00 Glynis seemed to be getting a bit restless, finally she just stood still and seemed to be lifting her ears with light contractions. In 20 minutes she lay down and started pushing...She still had an empty udder!
I headed out and called Darrel to join me. In very short order I was ready to catch her kids. I quickly lubed my clean hand and glove and checked the position of her kid. Perfect! A foot followed by a nose.
By this time Glynis was pushing very well and the kid was starting to move. I tugged on the leg and head as she pushed and soon we had a nose out. I quickly and carefully stretched the tissues over the kid's fat head so Glynis wouldn't tear. A few pushes and the kid was half out.
Then he seemed to get stuck! Pushes didn't move the kid and he seemed to be hip locked. I carefully worked to locate the kids other front leg. It took a bit but I finally worked the leg forward and out and Glynis gave a hard series of pushes and we had a very nice 8.1 pound buck on the pad. I checked her again and that was all. Just one nice big boy.
Momma came in to be milked and gave about 6 oz of colostrum that made the little buck very happy and after he was dry and fed he went into the newborn tipi for the night and Glynis went back into the kidding stall to clean. Morning found mom cleaned and ready to come in for milking. She jumped up on her stand and showed me an udder that was not full at all. I milked her out by hand and we fed another 6 oz to the strong and handsome boy. It seemed to fill him up nicely. This morning Glynis was fuller and we gave the boy some supplemental colostrum from our freezer.
Mom and son are doing great and this boy would make a very nice herdsire. He will stay here for awhile to keep our Joanie daughter company until Jubilatte delivers in April. This doe illustrates the fact that not all does fill their udder before they kid. Some fill it as they start to deliver and others not until after they have delivered. Be aware of your does behavior they could sneak one by you ;-)
HAPPY EASTER, HE IS RISEN! What a nice way to celebrate!
Jubilatte was looking ready to deliver for several days but her udder wasn't full . On Saturday night she had colostrum in the udder and it looked as if she was starting to fill a little. So she went back into the kidding stall for the night and got lots of rest. I know because I was waking up every hour or two and checking the monitor to see how she was progressing. Sunday morning she was quite a bit fuller than before and her ligaments were gone. We hurried through morning chores so we could get to church for our annual Easter breakfast and service. Latte headed back to the kidding stall.
We got home around noon and she was pretty restless. She just couldn't get comfortable. Well, LaNette headed out to her family gathering and Darrel headed off to have dinner with some friends in Spokane. I watched as Latte meandered around the pen and munched on hay then played in her water bucket. She seemed to be quite relaxed as she progressed. At just about 5PM she lay down and started pushing in earnest. I went out to assist and quickly got gloves on and lubed up so I could check the kid's position.... Hummmm one small problem...there wasn't anyone to hold Latte for me...Well, that did present a problem...but I tried to check her anyway and ended up doing 2 laps around the pen with my hand trying to check the kid... finally I just put her into the corner and she stood very nicely while I found the kid in perfect position... I extended first one front leg and then the other and they were BIG legs! The head was engaged and also quite large. Jubilatte pushed and I pulled with her contractions and she very quickly delivered the head. A couple more pushes and a stunning buckling was delivered. The boy was a bit stressed but very strong and evidently he was starving as he was trying to suck on everything he could find.
A quick check and the second kid was coming in perfect position. This time it was a nice big strong doeling. I have retained the doe kid and the buck is a second choice for a buyer. It appears that I am destined to have moldy (spotted) goats no matter how much I prefer solid or even splashed does...
The kids quickly sucked down about 4 ounces of colostrum each and went about getting those long legs under control. They were on their feet about 10 mins after birth and immediately figured out the nipple and how to suck and swallow. I got them dry, tagged, and fed and tucked into their house and trudged back to the house to rest for about an hour or so before it was time to milk.
We returned to milk at 7:30 and offered the kids more colostrum. They were again starving and very quickly sucked down another 6 oz each. They were safely tucked in the kid tipi for the night. Mom was hand milked and gave me 3+ pints of very rich colostrum that will go in the freezer. This morning the kids finished off their colostrum and this afternoon Darrel fed them a good lunch. They are strong and excellent on their feet. Both of them ate their breakfast while standing on their feet. The buck weighed a strapping 10.5 pounds and the doe a very healthy 9 pounds. Latte cleaned and returned to the loafing pen this morning. She did a great job and added another 3 pints of colostrum this morning.
Jax is a funny little doe. She is always delightful, hard working,and an over achiever. She is one of those does who prepares to deliver her kids several days in advance. She and the rest of the herd are still losing their winter fluff and her ligaments were getting very loose.
She just looked like she was about to deliver immediately when in fact she was several days off. True to form when the morning of the 18th arrived Jax was quite obviously ready to download. She just looked like an unmade bed, tufts of fluff sticking out all over, walking so lumpy that it looked like it would be painful but she hopped up on her stand anyway and ate her morning grain. She had the beginnings of colostrum in her teats and a little discharge. She was returned to the kidding stall after morning grain.
She spent the day relaxing and rearranging the straw to her liking. At about 3:00PM she lay down and started pushing. I headed out to the barn while calling Darrel to join me. The phone apparently was not working properly and I was on my own. Jax quickly delivered her first kid. A nice doe, I checked the position on the second kid and it was good, nose and toes. Second kid arrived and was doing great and checked to see if she was done and nope! Third kid was again in perfect position and quickly delivered as Darrel appeared.
He quickly lugged the slimy little bunch off to the milkroom for processing. Jax gratefully drank about a half gallon of her Blue Brue and started eating. I put bottles of colostrum into the bucket of hot water and began the process of drying, warming, and examining the trio.
I was thrilled to find that we indeed had triplet does. They were quite ready to eat and quickly had enough colostrum in their tummies and were all weighed and tucked in for a nap while I headed to the house to relax and eat supper. After milking they ate a big supper and were tucked in for the night. Jax cleaned and returned to the doe pen. She added a nice bucket of colostrum to our supply. The kids weighed in at 6.8, 6.6, and 6.1 pounds. Nice sized triplets. Beautiful delivery and it is very nice to have Jax return to the milking string. Jax's R11 will be retained.
Jesse had been in the kidding stall all day and was a bit restless. She was stringing a little at morning feeding and seemed to be preparing for a delivery in the early afternoon. She continued to nibble at her hay and sip her water so I let her make her own progress.
After evening milking and chores I donned clean gloves over clean hands and decided to check to see if she had a problem. I lubed up well and Darrel held Jesse. I found that her cervix was partially open and soft with a kid right there. I slowly dilated the cervix and got my hand through where I found a kid ready to be delivered. I tugged on the feet as Jesse had a strong contraction but the kid didn't move... A little more exploration found kid #2 impatient to arrive and in good position. The second kid was above kid #1 so every time Jesse had a contraction she compressed the kid who was in position that locked kid #1 in place. A little adjustment and a helping tug and kid # 1 arrived amid a bit of snorting and head shaking. She sputtered and got busy clearing her lungs. A quick recheck on kid # 2 found her ready to arrive in a perfect rear presentation. I quickly grabbed a towel and and assisted as Jesse pushed. The kid arrived quickly and I slicked the slime off her face as she gasped for her first breath. Jesse quickly turned to tend her newborns and set about trying to rid her world of the evidence of her kidding, Darrel got her a nice bucket of warm Blue Brew and lugged the twins in for their welcome to the world party.
The girls weighed in at 7.7 and 7.4 pounds and they ate a nice first meal of warm colostrum and were tucked in with their sisters for the night. Jesse came in, jumped up on her stand for milking, and ate a good supper. It was a nice delivery and I for one am very grateful that I could avert a problem.
So we suddenly have 5 more doe kids to add to our kid pens and anxiously await the arrival of Jodi's kids. R14 will be retained and R15 has been reserved.
Jodi is turning 8 in May and had some trouble last year after she delivered, so I have been watching her very closely as she neared and then passed her due date. She has been extremely grumpy this past week or so, which is unlike her usual relaxed self.
On Friday morning she had filled her udder quite a bit and had full teats and no ligaments so she went back to the kidding stall after her breakfast. At first she resisted coming out of the loafing pen but then headed straight for the kidding stall and waited for us to catch up and close the gate. She spent the day relaxing and rearranging the straw.
She wasn't climbing on the pen or acting like she needed to reposition her kids but she just wasn't making any progress. I figured that she needed help, I did the evening milking and scrubbed up and changed to clean gloves and used lots of lube.
I quickly found that Jodi's cervix was well dilated and there was a kid right on the other side. A little exploring and I found what the problem was quite quickly. Jodi's first kid was presenting butt first so couldn't enter the birth canal. I was very happy to find that her hocks were easy to reach and I could quickly get those legs up and out.
Jodi pushed hard and I gave a little tug to assist and very quickly there was a pretty red kid sputtering on the pad. I cleared her face, slicked some of the slime off and put her up on the clean pad. Back to Jodi to check and found another kid in perfect nose and toes position.
Jodi evicted her very quickly and I deslimed her face while she sneezed and snorted. Back again to check and see if she was done yet. Nope! She still had another kid to dry and copious amounts of slime. Darrel got Jodi's Blue Brew and Jodi turned around to begin to clean off her kids all the while talking quietly to me and the babies. She drank about a quart of her Brew and Darrel gathered up the corners of the kid pad and we headed into the milkroom to process the kids.
It took a little while to get things all sorted out and to fluff the kids dry. They were starving and impatient for their bottles. I had heat treated 5 pints of colostrum in the late afternoon so we just put a bottle in the warm water while we weighed the girls ...yes, that is right, Jodi had triplet does! They weighed in at 6.4, 6.2, and 6.7 pounds. Very pretty girls! They made short order of one of the bottles of colostrum each drinking 6 ozs. We tucked them into a warm dry tipi and got Jodi milked.
Jodi had a hard time last year as she had Milk fever (hypocalcemia) so I gave her 100cc of calcium sub Q. I also only milked about 1/2 of her colostrum and put her back in the kidding pen to rest and clean. She drank the rest of her Blue Brew over night and cleaned quite quickly. This morning she was ready to join the herd and she had an udder full of beautiful colostrum that will be heat treated and frozen for future kids.
Jumble is a sweet little doe that just turned 2. She is a second freshener now. Jumble is a chronic over-achiever. Last year she had triplets and this year she out did herself and delivered quads! She is a growing girl and seems determined to do her very best to feed her brood.
Unfortunately her front pasterns did not hold up during her first pregnancy and they are bent inward. They have improved a lot over her first freshening and she is getting around very well. She needs her feet trimmed every 3-4 weeks and she does fine. She is a happy and willing youngster.
On Wednesday morning Jumble was very loose at the tail head and her udder was a bit fuller than the night before. She had colostrum in her teats so she went into the kidding stall and spent the day just hanging out while the rest of the herd spent most their day hanging out in the pasture and in the shade behind the barn. It was a crazy hot day for May.
I was awake every hour and a half or so through the night and she rested very well! At 4:30 she was sleeping peacefully in full view of the camera, at 6:00AM she had 3 very wiggly and wet kids in the pen with her. I got dressed and headed out to arrive just as she delivered her fourth kid. She looked a little shell shocked and was very busy licking her brood dry.
Darrel and I scooped up the wet and wiggly bunch and lugged them off to the milkroom. Jumble turned to the feeder and ate her hay like she had been starved for a week. Darrel got her a bucket of Blue Brew and she sipped it gratefully. We grabbed colostrum from our frozen store and proceeded to thaw one bottle in warm water. I worked to finish cleaning off the kids and getting them dry and collared. Darrel scooped out the kidding stall and gave Jumble more hay and bedding and moved Jodie's triplets out of the newborn pen to make room for these newborns. I finished up the drying process and then fed everyone. They all ate a few ounces each and we tucked them in the warm TiPi for a nap. I headed into the house for a cup of coffee and relaxed for about an hour and a half.
We milked at our regular time and Jumble added 3 pints to the colostrum stores. She returned to the kidding stall to rest and clean. She was one tired little girl. Her kids all ate about 7 ounces each and were tucked in to their warm house for the day. Jumble's kids weighed in at 4.1, 5.4, 5.8, and 6.3 pounds. Quite a big load of kids and fluid. The kids are all eating well and are already exploring their world. Jumble gave about 4 pounds of milk this morning. Like I said she is an over-achiever. We are retaining the brown doe and the other two does will be offered for sale.
Well, our streak of relatively easy kiddings came to a close last night.
Zahvia had been spending her nights in the kidding stall and was quite comfortable resting well while I, on the other hand, was getting very sleep deprived. When she came in for milking Sunday morning she was noticebly fuller and her teats were full of colostrum. She quickly returned to the kidding stall where she was quite content. She wandered around pausing to paw at the straw now and then and generally was restless or sleeping. Before the evening milking she started to string nice clear pre birthing slime. We quickly milked the 9 milkers and cleaned up the machine. Darrel got all the kids fed while I scrubbed the milk machine. We then headed over to attend to Zahvia.
Fresh gloves over clean hands and arms and lots of OB lube and I checked to see what the hold up was. I found Zahvia's cervix nicely open, and a big foot right there. I straightened the leg and went fishing for the second front foot. Found it and pulled it up and out. Some nice strong pushes and there didn't seem to be any progress. I explored a little more and located the head. This was a good sized kid and he insisted on resting his head on his legs with his right ear down....Not exactly stream lined....Zahvia worked hard to push him out and I assisted by pulling firmly as she pushed. It took some doing but eventually we had a nice big buckling lying on the kidding pad.
Now Zahvia isn't a very large doe and she didn't look like she would have more than one kid but I checked her just to be sure and found a second kid deep in the uterine horn. It was quite a task to get her up and ready She was a good sized kid and was curled up lying on her right side. I got her feet up for delivery and then started trying to get her head up and in position.
She insisted on tucking it back down and behind her left elbow. She was quite long and deep in the uterine horn so I couldn't quite reach far enough to get my fingers behind her head to hold it in place. I couldn't even get a snare in place to help me. After working for a good 20 minutes it was apparent that I would have to pull the kid with her head back. I have only done that 2 other times and both times the doe and the kid were a bit sore but they were fine. Soooooo, Zahvia pushed and I pulled and then had Darrel help .
The kid was finally born and I scooped her up laying her across my lap with her head hanging down. I rubbed her vigorosly and she finally breathed. She was quite limp and stressed. We got the kids into the milkroom and I kept working on the doe hoping she would really start to struggle and object to the rough treatment. Unfortunately she didn't make it. She was a nice doe and good sized but it wasn't to be. The buckling weighed in at a very robust 9.7 pounds and he ate 11 oz of colostrum for his first meal. The doeling was a healthy 7.6 pounds.
I milked Zahvia and she had about a pint of very thick and yellow colostrum. She must have been a bit dehydrated but she soon took care of that by downing her bucket of Blue Brew and set about cleaning up her hay. I gave her some Oxytocin to help her clean and returned her to the kidding stall. She cleaned about an hour later and settled down to sleep. Morning found her wanting out of the kidding stall and ready to be milked. She came in with the last group to be milked and again gave me a nice amount of colostrum to heat treat for the next batch of kids which are due in about a week. She wasn't swollen at all and didn't seem to be uncomfortable so we returned her to the herd and marveled...I wish I could say that I'm not sore but I am now finding muscles that I forgot I had. The buckling has long thick hair and they both look to be about 3 days over due. He finished the rest of his colostrum and topped himself off on the lambar :-/ He towers over Jumble's quads.
One of those not much fun kiddings and a sad end to a long ordeal. Zahvia is doing well and for that, I am very thankful. The buckling will be going off to be raised for meat. Zahvia is a smallish doe but she has a nice wide rump and pelvis - without it she would not be alive today.
Justified has been growing in girth and udder capacity very rapidly in the last week. On Tuesday night we put her in the kidding stall to keep an eye on her. Wednesday morning she was not eager to come out of her private digs but she did eat her grain well and walked around to the loafing area. She wandered around a bit and then stood looking at the kidding stall apparently waiting to be put back there.
It has been very warm this week so we took some time to open up the windows, top door and all possible ventilation to make Justified comfortable. I watched her as she spent her day rearranging the straw, munching on hay and basically wandering around and preparing to deliver. At about 4:30 she got down to business. She started pushing and I headed out to the barn to play catcher. I called Darrel and he headed home and arrived to help as Justified delivered her second kid. A few minutes later and we had a third little slime ball sputtering on the pad.
Justified was very busy trying to lick off all 3 of her little ones as well as me. We toted the kids into the milkroom . While I dried, fluffed and collared the trio and tended to them Justified got her most welcome bucket of YMCP and Darrel got most of the sloppy wet and slimy straw cleaned out of the pen. The babies were strong and starving and quickly downed about 6 oz each of colostrum and were tucked into the Newborn Tipi for a nap.
The triplets weighed in at 6.8, 8.3, and 6.7 pounds - 2 does, 1 buck. The kids rested for a few hours and we milked at our regular time (7:30) Justified gave me a nice big bucket of rich yellow colostrum and returned to the doe pen. The kids ate another 6 ounces each and were returned to their tipi... We returned to our houses for the night. Justified wasted no time filling up her udder! and she seems to think it is her job to feed everyone :-) Gotta love a young milker with that work ethic.
Our unseasonable heat continues. No Fool and Justified have grown increasingly bonded as their pregnancies progressed. They slept together, ate side by side, grazed close together and generally hung out together. We laughed at them and called them our Siamese twins. After spending 2 nights checking on Justified, and then the next night checking on No Fool, I was very sleep deprived and in serious need of a nap.
No Fool didn't want to stay with the herd after she came in on the morning of the 18th. So back she went to the kidding stall and I headed in from morning chores to get some stuff done in the house. You know like breakfast then cleaning up the messy kitchen and getting some kidding pads and towels washed...Meanwhile No Fool just ambled around the kidding stall, gazed out the window, pawed at the straw a bit and generally relaxed. I took a few minutes to sit down with a nice cup of hot coffee. Well, I bet you can guess what happened next...yep I dozed off. A very few minutes later I woke up with a start and took a sip of my still very hot coffee and blinked at the Monitor where there were several black blobs with No Fool in the pen.
At first I thought they might be some of my barn cats but nope they were kids! I rushed out and got to work drying the kids off as No Fool got busy licking me as well as her beautiful trio of does. Both No Fool and Justified had beautiful deliveries. Their kids were robust and active at birth. They were eager eaters and really great on their feet from the start. No Fool's trio weighed in at 6.0, 6.2 and 6.8 pounds. How I appreciate these does who deliver their kids without intervention or problems!
Jean was a fairly nervous yearling who took awhile to adjust to coming into the milkroom and jumping on the stand for her grain. It didn't take much to get her confused but she eventually settled down and learned the ropes. When I came out to milk in the morning, Jean was stringing birthing goo and standing at the hay feeder eating like mad. Apparently she thought that those pains she was feeling were hunger pains so she was stuffing her face as fast as possible. I had Darrel put her in the kidding stall where she continued to stuff her face and string more goo.
We finished up the morning milking and cleaned up. As soon as we finished I changed my gloves and went to check the kid's position. I was a little surprised to find feet right there and ready to emerge...Jean wasn't sure she approved of the intrusion and she started to push nicely. I stretched out both legs and found a nose right where it was supposed to be. Jean started pushing very hard and I carefully stretched the tissues around the head so she wouldn't tear. It took just a little while and we had the head through. After that one more mighty push and we had a very cute and nice sized boy on the pad and ready for de-sliming.
Jean was a little perplexed but turned around to see what she had done...She licked at my arms and hands and sniffed at the still gooey boy...Then he made a little squeaky baby noise and she very quickly decided he needed licking too. We lugged him off to get the "welcome to the world" treatment. Jean got some Blue Brew and more hay. After drying and weighing, the baby went into the basket and Darrel brought Jean in for her first ever milking experience. She stepped around a little but did very well.
We offered the baby his first feeding of colostrum and it didn't take him long to fill his little belly. Jean returned to the kidding stall to rest and clean. Evening milking went even better and both mom and baby were great. Jean went back into the kidding pen because she hadn't finished cleaning. This morning (Saturday) Jean came in with a much fuller udder and behaved like a seasoned milker so we put her out with the rest of the milkers and our 3 dry yearlings. All is well and quiet in the loafing pen.
The last 2 pregnant does moved into the kidding stall so we could keep a close eye on them .....They do not seem to be in a big hurry to deliver their kids so we are waiting on them to get down to business. Jean's boy weighed in at 6.7 pounds, a really nice size for a single from a yearling.
We were down to the last two does to kid and keeping a close eye on them...You know, losing a lot of sleep watching them sleep soundly :-/ The 3 dry yearlings and Jean (the other yearling milker) have been moved into the milkers' pen. There has been no noise or bullying going on and it is a very peaceful barn. That just left the two pregnant yearlings together. We just put them both in the kidding stall together. It worked out fine and they will be best buddies forever.
Zamora was very quiet and after coming in for her morning grain we returned her and her Siamese twin back into the kidding stall and I headed in to find some breakfast. Zamora roamed around the pen pausing frequently to eat hay... Her pen mate was completely oblivious about Zamora's restlessness. I watched her and at 10:30 she began to push and very quickly a bubble appeared. I headed out and found a nice bubble with 2 feet and a nose in perfect position.
I grabbed a pad, and some towells and stretched Zamora's tissues around the head as she continued to silently push hard. She very quickly delivered a very nice long, tall buckling. I cleared his face quickly and checked to be sure he was indeed a buck. Zamora was a bit curious about the youngster but not to the point of licking him. I checked Zamora and was very surprised to find a second kid! Yes she indeed had a second kid again in perfect position. Another nice buckling. I lugged them off to the milkroom and Zamora returned to eating! The boys weighed in at 7.5 and 6.7 pounds.
Zamora jumped up on her stand and after a bit of dancing around, stood still while I milked a nice 3 pints of rich colostrum. She and her buddy returned to their regular pen, the boys each sucked down about 7 ounces of colostrum and went into the new-born pen. One doe left to go! The end is in sight :-)
Jada came to the milking parlor for her grain Wednesday morning sporting a nicely full udder, a very raised tail head and deep hollows on either side of her tail. She was starving and completely oblivious about her early labor. We put her into the kidding pen and put her buddy back into her regular pen. Jada was fine with the separation but Zamora wasn't the happiest goat in the barn. Jada was super relaxed about everything and just hung out quietly.
At about 2:00PM it was evident that she was in labor, at 2:30 she appeared to be pushing hard in short bursts. I headed out to the barn just as she delivered her first baby. A little quick swipe of her head and I moved the baby onto a clean pad and tossed a towel over her. Jada watched me carefully and then just stood still while I checked on the position of her second kid. I carefully inserted a clean gloved and well lubed two fingers and found the second kid was again in perfect position and ready to arrive. I removed my hand quickly, Jada gave 3 quick pushes, and we had front legs and head delivered. I caught the kid as one more push delivered another pretty little doeling, I checked to be sure Jada was done and turned my attention to the desliming detail while Darrel went to get Jada's Blue Brew.
Jada was a very silent kidder. She never made a sound, not even when I inserted my whole hand and not even a groan as she very quickly delivered both of her kids. Jada handled being hand milked like a champ and when she went on the machine there was no dancing or objection. She came in for this mornings milking with a very respectable udder full of milk. Her kids weighed in at 5.1 pounds each and they are very cute and are eating well.