Here we are once again facing the excitement and stress of Kidding Season. The does have apparently decided to spread the season from February through June this year. We will be pasteurizing milk forever or so it will seem. We have high hopes that all will go smoothly and that our does will come through healthy and strong and that the kids will be just as ordered, strong and eager eaters.

I will work hard to keep the Kidding Log up to date and filled with kid pictures. I may get behind for a day or two. Please be patient with me as I will do my best. I promise that, should there be any problems, I will include all the gory details. With about 30 does to freshen we are in for a wild time! Still have blood to draw and feet to trim and vaccinations to give.

Stay tuned for all the excitement!

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February 10, 2014

Finally the morning dawned with reasonable temperatures and lightly falling snow. It was so nice to walk outside and find it 21 degrees instead of single or below zero temperatures! Headed out to the barn just as LeRoy came running toward the house yelling , We're having babies!"

Sure enough Twill was lying beside the wall in the doe pen with a brand spanking new boy. He was born just as LeRoy looked in the pen and saw Twill deliver the boy with both front legs back... He is a nice strong 7 pound baby boy with an extremely wide muzzle.

Our dry yearlings, dry does and kids are put in the pen with their respective bucks and checked frequently to see if they have been bred. We are sometimes off on the breeding date by a day or two and the due date we had for Twill is Wednesday. She was happy to get up and go into the kidding stall. She came in for milking and did really well. She stood like a trooper and produced enough colostrum for Jr's first meal. Baby was well dried off, put into newborn jammies and tucked into the Newborn Tipi until his ride arrived to take him off to his new "mom" . Enjoy your baby Kristy!

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February 15, 2014

Tallie lost her ligaments and had medium yellow colostrum in her teats at morning chore time so she went into the kidding stall and was was very quiet and happy there. She didn't eat much nor did she finish her grain Saturday morning.

We watched her all day long and she never made a sound. Saturday night we went out to dinner, came home just in time to do evening chores. All was well and this time Tallie did eat her grain... back to the kidding stall she went and was very calm and quiet... I watched her on GOATV as she proceeded to grow more and more restless and she began having some widely spaced contractions as evidenced by her ears flaring and her tail curling up over her back.  By 10:30 it was pretty obvious that she wasn't going to wait until morning... At 11:00PM she began to get busy and by 11:15 was stringing the ropy birthing goo. A clean gloved and lubed hand made a quick 2 finger check to find large feet in perfect position.  more pushing quickly brought a big head into position and very soon beautiful BIG 7.6 pound buckling arrived... I straightened out his legs and Tallie did all the rest. I got his slimy self onto the pad and wiped his face and mouth and turned to do a quick check to see if Tallie was done... a two finger check found another bubble in the birth canal and a little deeper check found another set of front feet in position... quickly the nose arrived in perfect position and Tallie gave a hard push and delivered a 7 pound buckling to keep his brother company. The boys were lugged to the milkroom, deslimed, dried and fluffed and Tallie came in to be milked...

Oh, what a lovely surprise. She was nicely full of rich creamy colostrum and had much more than her boys were going to drink... She stood very well for her first ever milking and returned to the kidding stall where she cleaned, drank some Blue Brew and settled down for the night. We fed and then tucked her boys into the baby Tipi and headed into the house to get to bed... Start to finish Tallie's kids were born, dried, fed and tucked into bed before 12:OOAM... She is a silent kidder and did a wonderful job delivering and mothering her boys. She is milking over 5 pounds per day at 2 days fresh. Great job Tallie! 

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February 20,2014

Brena was losing her ligaments last night at milking time but didn't have colostrum in her teats. She had clear honey like pre colostrum so went back into the doe pen for the night. She was acting uncomfortable and spent the night standing up. After watching her for quite awhile I turned the intercom up and headed to bed. Checks through the night found Brena standing quietly and dozing on her feet. This morning at milking time Brena ate her grain and her udder was quite a bit fuller. Her teats were also fuller and had medium yellow creamy colostrum. Into the kidding stall she went and we watched her progressing slowly all day. I fixed dinner with one eye on the monitor and just as it was ready to go into the oven she started pushing hard and we headed out to "catch" her kids.

Brena is a small almost-2 year old and the first kid in position was a very nice sized 6.6 pound buck kid... He was in great position and after helping stretch those first freshening tissues around his "boy" head he emerged a little stressed but strong and healthy. A quick check revealed what I had suspected. There was another on the way. When the boy's feet had been out but his head had not yet entered the birth canal a second "bag" appeared and broke. Apparently the girl was impatient. But the boy's head was very soon engaged and the little girl had to wait... I quickly located the girl's feet and head but she was upside down. There was plenty of room to roll her on to her chest and before we could locate another towel Brena squirted her right out into my hands...

Brena sipped at her Blue Brew tentatively and we headed off to the warmer milk room to dry and feed the babies. They each drank about 1oz of colostrum and were tucked into the kid TiPi to rest before they were to be fed in 2 hours. We headed in to finish up dinner and eat. Momma stood nicely so I could milk out enough colostrum for her boy's first meal. At 7:30 Brena milked about a quart of beautiful colostrum and each kid drank abut another 3 oz of the life giving liquid. Mom cleaned, drank about a gallon of Blue Brew and returned to the milker pen with her buddies. Another very good birth needing only minor adjustment. We are very thankful and will be hanging on to the girl for our show string.

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March 2, 2014

Tecla has been filling up nicely for the past few days so we knew she was getting close. Her Udder contained colostrum this morning so she was headed for the kidding stall this snowy Sunday morning. As we headed to the house for breakfast she freaked out a bit and started hollering for us.  She  settled down quickly and we listened to her while we ate breakfast and kept an eye on Sharik in the other kidding stall.  We got ready for church and LeRoy headed out to start the car while I fixed myself a cup of hot tea to go...Before we left LeRoy decided to make a quick check on Sharik and Tecla...He called me over the intercom to say that Tecla was kidding. I jumped back into my barn clothes and headed out to dry and warm newborns.
As soon as I got there Tecla looked up from licking her son and had a contraction. I did a quick 2 finger check (gloves in place) and found 2 feet. a couple of pushes and Tecla delivered a beautiful black and red girl.  The girl arrived encased in copious amounts of goo and was snorting and shaking her head.  Babies were quickly bundled off to the milk room for thorough drying and a good feed.  The boy, first born, of course, weighed in at 8 pounds and the doe at 6.9+ pounds both were on their feet quickly and both ate a really good first meal... LeRoy got Tecla a welcomed bucket of Blue Brew and got a bottle of heat treated colostrum from the chest freezer for the girl. He brought Tecla in for her first milking and, although Tecla is a first freshener and pretty light footed, I managed to milk about a quart of nice colostrum from her. We fed and tucked the babies into their Tipi with the other 2 kids and decided to check on Sharik before returning to the house.

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March 2, 2014

Sharik was due on March 10 and was coming in for her pre kidding grain morning and night.  On Friday morning I noticed some discharge. Sharik was eating fine and was active... I didn't like the discharge but thought it could be her plug as she was due in 10 days.  Saturday morning she didn't finish her grain and Saturday night she didn't either but she ate more than in the morning.  Saturday night she had some wet tail hair so we put her in the kidding stall so we could watch her closely... She seemed pretty calm and would get up and down now and then like it was just hard to breath with all those babies.  She settled down to rest and I went to bed around midnight... Morning found her with a very wet tail and a bigger appetite...a couple hours later after catching Tecla's babies, I decided that it was useless to wait and see if she could carry her kids to term as there was quite a large wet spot in her pen and she clearly wasn't pushing well.  I found her pelvis quite tight but after some work I got in only to find that there was a big wad of kids at the cervix and no fluids left. She was quite dry but with the help of a bunch of J Lube and a lot of work I finally found a kids head and got it up into position but it wouldn't move thought the pelvis. The tangle of legs, heads and other body parts was not going to let anyone pass. All the kids wee dead and all had died several days earlier.

Sharik has had trouble delivering her kids for the past 4 years. One year she had to have a C-section the next I induced her to deliver at day 148 as she generally held them until day 155 where they ended up too big for easy delivery.  Last year we had two kids but one died  a couple of weeks earlier and entrapped the other live kid and we had to have the vet out. He finally manage to pull Sukey out alive but just barely. Sharik was 7 this year, she could have had a C section to remove the dead kids, but she wouldn't have been bred again and I don't want to sell her to anyone because of her difficulty delivering... I certainly wouldn't be fair to a buyer nor would it be fair to put Sharik into that situation again.  We opted to put her down and did so as soon as we determined how badly her kids were tangled. It was a very hard choice but the best all around for Sharik.  Sad day on the farm but Tecla's doe brightened it considerably.

One of the hardest choices we have to make is weather or not to put a doe of Sharik's age down or not.  When all is said and done it often comes down to two main questions. First: what is best for the doe and Second: is it economically wise to save a doe or kid.  Sharik was a very nice doe but was having great difficulty carrying her kids to term as evidenced by the death of one kid last year and all of her kids this year. In addition her pelvis had not opened up as it should have in the past 4 years. I am inclined to think that her hormone levels were a bit low for a normal birth and probably for carrying any kids to term from hear on out. She was a lovely doe and we would have loved to have another doe kid from her.
She has only had one living doe in her lifetime. Believe me I do NOT take the  decision of euthanizing an animal lightly. It is truly a difficult but, in this case, the most humane choice.  We miss our black and white rascal very much.

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March 9, 2014

Kira had yellow very thick and sticky fluid in her teats, her udder was quite full and her ligaments were gone so into the kidding stall she went with hay and water and lots of clean fluffy straw. She was quite content there resting as comfortably as possible. I checked on her several times throughout the night. I was very thankful for our barn cameras as the rain was coming down hard.

This morning she came in but didn't eat her grain and was getting very full. She was returned to the kidding stall where she promptly lay down and rested. I was getting a little concerned since she wasn't eating or drinking much. We headed off to church and I came home directly afterward with LeRoy and Laurie Duff-Robertson in tow. Lauri and I stayed home and kept watch and LeRoy went off to a meeting... Kira seemed to be getting more serious about this kidding thing. She was pushing lightly and up and down more often checking for discharge. I got a nice pork roast ready and put it in the oven with carrots and potatoes and Laurie and I headed out to check on Zamar's progress just as LeRoy got home.

Kira had a head and front feet presenting when we got the pad and towels out and gloved up... A gentle tug on the feet and a very pretty and slimy 8.4 black roaned buckling, Followed immediately by a 9.7 pound dark red gold and white buckling and a last check found another boy. He was chocolate brown weighing in at 7.6 pounds... Beautiful kids, especially the big guy, but alas they were all boys so they will soon be off to be raised for meat.

Mom came in and was milked out to feed the boys and the boys were deslimed, dried and fed and tucked into the kid TiPi to work on their standing skills and exploring their new world. They truly are handsome fellas. It is a shame we don't have an order for a boy.

Kira was quite dramatic about this kidding thing. She is by no means a silent kidder. She delivered her bucklings beautifully and cleaned quickly. Drama Queen or not, we love how this doe performs.

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March 12, 2014

Goldie's due date was March 9 but apparently she had other ideas. She held on to her kids until this morning. Yesterday she started moving a bit slowly and her udder was filling. We put her in the kidding stall where she ate and played in the water bucket and generally lounged around.

Last night she came in for her grain and hopped up on her stand and ate her grain but back into the kidding stall she went. She rested and began to grow more restless through out the night She ate hay and began to show some signs of early contractions.

This morning when we went out to milk, Goldie finally got serious about this kidding thing. We milked and cleaned up and then went to check the kids positions. Clean gloves lots of lube and a quick 2 finger check revealed two feet and a nose in perfect position ready to arrive. Goldie apparently wanted the kids delivered for her but with a little encouragement and a light tug on the legs and very quickly a nice light colored, 6.3 pound, doe kid was born. A quick check found another in line in perfect position. This was a bigger kid but also easily born. A very light gold buckling, 8.7 pounds, big strong and ready to take on his world.

Very soon after a third kid was in perfect position and arrived in great shape... Another nice doe,again 6.3 pounds, flashy with white splashes in her chocolate colored coat... Goldie cleaned just after noon and returned to the doe pen to enjoy the beautiful warm sunshine. She gave me plenty of thick yellow colostrum to feed her hungry brood and extra to heat treat for later arrivals.

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March 20, 2014

Jael has been fussing around all day and has been confined to the Kidding Stall so we could watch her closely. She seemed to be working on getting her kids pushed up into position at about 7:00 PM. We went out and did our evening chores and milking as usual at about 7:30. When it was time to come in for her grain , Jael declined to come out of her stall and I knew we were ready to deliver. We cleaned up the milk room and I scrubbed up and got clean gloves and a warm,wet, clean cloth and we headed over to check Jael's kids position. Off came my chore jacket and into my vest. It was cold out there as the temperature had dropped to 25 degrees...

I gloved up and slathered on the lube and LeRoy held Jael as I carefully slid my hand in and found that her cervix was open and the kid was in position just at the cervix. I found the feet and guided them up into position and the head came up too so all seemed well... These were VERY large feet and the head matched the feet for size. We worked the baby up and pulled the feet through the birth canal. I worked my hand back to the kid's elbow as I couldn't extend the legs. The kid was resisting and quite strong. I finally had to have LeRoy apply traction while I checked on the head position...slowly the kid emerged as Jael pushed like a trooper and LeRoy pulled hard. I had him change the angle of pull several times and finally the head emerged... The problems were, first, this was one huge buck and, second, he insisted on having the bridge of his nose come first rather than the end of his nose. Jael is a very big doe but this was a very difficult delivery for all of us.. We offered Jael a bucket of Blue Brew about half way through her ordeal. She sipped it gratefully and after a short rest we delivered the 11.4# boy. We were disappointed that he is a buck but he is a beautiful boy so we will retain him as a breeding buck. He was stressed and hasn't made much of an attempt at standing yet but he eagerly sucked down 6 oz of nice thick colostrum and is now tucked into his nice warm baby TiPi.

It was a very difficult delivery for Jael and she is pretty swollen and sore. I milked her on the floor and didn't make her get upon the stand tonight and we gave her 8 double strength tums to boost her calcium stores as well as her bucket of Blue Brew. She got a shot of Oxytocin to help her clean and she is working on that now. She also got Preparation H ointment applied to her vulva area to help prevent swelling and to soothe the inflamed tissues. We hope she will recover quickly and without problems. Now to think of an appropriate name for this great looking half grown Buckling...

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March 22, 2014

We have been watching Gingham waddling around the pen for the last 3 weeks as she has grown wider by the day. She has been digging nests and struggling to breathe for the last week or so. Yesterday she started acting serious about kidding so we moved her to the kidding stall where she vigorously rearranged her bedding all day long, first to one side of the pen then back to the other. Then she stood in all 4 corners and then started all over again. Evening chores were done and we cleaned up. A check found that Gingham's udder was much fuller as were her teats. We headed in hoping she would wait for morning but suspecting she wouldn't.

LeRoy went to bed a his usual time and I watched GOATV as Gingham now began lying down more frequently and seemed to be pushing lightly. At midnight I decided to go check her before heading to bed. I found she had discharged some fluid and so I washed thoroughly, donned gloves and lubed my hand and arm front and back and washed off her vulva. She stood very well, considering the circumstances. I held her collar with my left hand and slowly and steadily slipped my right hand into her vagina... She was pretty tight but persistence pays and I managed to get into the uterus to find a strange blob at the cervix. It was a very tiny kid. His legs were the size of my little finger and he was all wadded up. I located the correct legs and drew him up and through the birth canal. Much to my surprise he was alive and very feisty. He was quickly covered with towel and back to the doe to see what else she had. I found a set of big feet and a tail... got the feet up and out and paused to rest for a moment.

Gingham appreciated that... Then she pushed hard and I pulled on the back feet and soon a large strong and healthy kid appeared. He did get locked at the shoulders for a moment but I changed the angle of pull a bit and out he slid, sputtering, snorting and protesting all the way. Back again to check for more and sure enough a third kid was there in perfect position but in no hurry to be born as he kept pulling his feet out of my fingers. Lots of strong pushing from Gingham and some good firm pulling and the final kid emerged. Gingham's ultrasound showed a single kid but as her pregnancy progressed it was quite evident from her size that she had better have more than one or she was going to need a c-section because she was BIG!

The picture shows Gingham's kids in a basket. All three were bucks :-( they weighed in at 2.6, 7.3 and 8.4 pounds. The tiny kid was unable to maintain his body temperature nor did he suck so we allowed him to expire. The big guys are strong and eating well. They will be off soon to be raised for meat goats.

Moral of the story... Don't trust an ultrasound to be accurate as to the number of kids. In some cases the kids are too large to see all of them in the visible field in others they are hiding behind one another.  Always check for additional kids. If you haven't had to go into a doe then check with a bear hug, lifting and dropping the doe's belly as you leave your hands spread against her belly just in front of the udder.  If you have been into the doe already then go in again and reach down into the uterus as deeply as possible checking for baby parts.

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March 23, 2014

Coromell has been threatening to deliver for the past day and a half she has spent a lot of time digging nests, groaning and generally being miserable. Her ultrasound said she was carrying twins but she is a big doe and she looked very large for twins.... This morning she had increased her udder size and looked very close. We gave her her grain and she ate most of it so into the kidding stall she went as we had breakfast and headed off to church.

Returning home at noon we found that Cory was starting to string some nice goo. Hurried into chore clothes and out to see what was happening... Coromell was not really pushing but was obviously ready to deliver. Clean hands, new gloves, lots of lube and a two finger check revealed a bubble in the birth canal but no sign of a kid, in addition the cervix was soft but not wide open. I checked deeper and found the problem. There was a kid lying across the cervix and I felt ribs only. A short search and I found one back leg and then the other. I worked them , one at a time, up into proper position and as Coromell pushed I helped her deliver a nice, lively, little girl. A little help and very quickly 2 boys joined her on the pad. Another set of triplets but this one had a nice doeling for us!

Coromell got her well earned bucket of Blue Brew and she quickly drank over a gallon of the wonderful stuff before returning to her mission of cleaning all the slime out of her pen. The kids were lugged to the milk room dried, weighed, tagged and fed then put in their TiPi to rest and stay warm. Mom was milked and returned to the kidding stall where she cleaned about 2 hours later and returned to the doe pen.

This was a pretty easy fix as mixed up kiddings go because I intervened. Had I waited longer the crosswise kid would have been jammed tightly against the cervix and penned there by her brothers who were eager to be born thus creating a massive and difficult log jam. All worked out well and for that we are thankful. In the picture the girl is snuggled down between her brothers.

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April 2, 2014

Zamar has been having a hard time getting around for the past week. Apparently the babies were lying on the nerves to her right back leg. She just wasn't feeling like pushing in to the feeder. We moved her into the Kidding Stall on Saturday and she was quite happy with her private room and with room service. Each morning and night she came in to the milk room for her grain and walked back out and around to the loafing area. On Wednesday morning she was much fuller and had a creamy and a clear small discharge but she ate her grain well. When she was put out the out door she walked around and stopped by the buck pen then turned around and headed back to the out door...Her behavior was different so we were pretty sure she would be delivering soon.

After milking and clean up I donned clean gloves and got out the lube. A quick two fingered check revealed that the cervix was not thinned down nor was it open but it was soft. Today would be the day. We headed in for breakfast and to do the usual household chores all while watching and listening on the GOATV.

At about 11:00 we heard her pushing lightly and by 11:15 she was in full labor. Out to the barn we headed. A quick check with a clean and gloved hand revealed that a baby was indeed on the way... one leg was extended and the head was engaged... several hard pushes later the head was still in the same position so I checked deeper to find the left leg bent at the knee and the knee was against the pelvic bones... The kid was pretty much stuck... I pushed her back a little and straightened the leg bringing it up into position. Momma pushed very hard and soon the baby started to move. Zamar is a young doe and the kids were nice sized. It took a little while to stretch the soft tissues around the kid. Zamar did great and soon a nice 6.7 pound doe kid was sputtering and squirming on the kidding pad. I slicked the slime away from her mouth and nose and we covered her with a towel.

Very soon Zamar was pushing again and I checked the position of the baby and found her in perfect position. A helping tug and some more stretching and a very long and pretty, 7.5 pound second doe kid arrived along with a lake of slime... Zamar had enough slime for quads!

Babies were dried, collared, fed and tucked in to the warm tipi to rest and warm up. Mom came in to be milked and returned to the kidding stall to clean. Zamar cleaned and returned to the doe pen by about 2PM. Pretty twin does! Good girl, Zamar! The doeling with white ears will be sold, the other doeling will stay here.

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April 4, 2014

Galen has been carrying her pregnancy very well. She very quietly has gone about her business and slowly progressed. As she increased in girth I was sure hoping that the ultrasound was right and she was carrying at least 2. I reviewed her kidding record and found that she went over day 150 last year as well. At morning chores it was evident that her babies had dropped and her udder was very, very full. Colostrum was in and her ligaments were gone. Today would be her day so we put her into the kidding stall.

She spent the day just standing around and nibbling at her hay but not really eating or drinking much. Around noon she started muttering and looking at her belly and lying down more often. By 7:30PM it appeared she had pretty much stalled in the process but she wasn't in immediate distress so we headed into the milk room to get everyone milked fed and tucked in for the night. I finished cleaning up the milkroom and then we checked on the doe.

Fresh gloves, lots of lube and a little pressure and time and I got my hand in to find the cervix thinned and it opened with slight pressure. The tail head was a bit tight but with moderate upward pressure with the back of my hand the structure opened up nicely. There seemed to be a kid ready to slide into the birth canal but further checking revealed that we had 2 kids fighting for the glory of being first. I found back feet and moved the first back foot up into position and then the second. Then I made sure I had the pad within reach and a dry clean small towel ready to clear the kid's face immediately as she cleared the birth canal.

When all was ready and Galen pushed, I assisted with a steady pull. This was a very good sized and very, very long bodied kid. She finally cleared and went directly on the pad with a lot of slime I worked quickly to clear her mouth and nose and she started breathing and sputtering...I returned to Galen and found her second kid in perfect position. A helping tug and an even bigger and equally lovely doe kid joined her sister under the towel. We dried, tagged and warmed the babies and fed them colostrum. They were strong and starving and bouncing around the milkroom in short order. The first kid weighed in at 8.3 pounds the second at 8.8 pounds.

Congratulations Nicki you finally got your kid :-) Mom gratefully sucked down a bucket of Blue Brew and spent the night in the kidding stall where she cleaned before rejoining the herd this morning. Mom gave us a lot of nice rich colostrum to treat and freeze for future babies.

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April 8, 2014

Today was 155 days for Taffy. She came in for grain very full and was starting to isolate herself from the rest of the herd so we put her in the kidding stall where she quietly and happily progressed through the day. By about 3:00 PM it was evident that she was having difficulty so we headed out to check and see what the problem was...Her ultrasound showed one kid and I was very apprehensive as she was 5 days over her 150 day. Her kidding records over the years indicated that day 155 was her delivery date every year but one.

Lots of lube and some patient pressure to open the pelvis resulted in locating two feet and a head all in proper position and aligned perfectly. However, this was a very large framed kid... pulling on the feet resulted in no progress so I pushed the feet back in and worked the head through and out. In the process my hand was thoroughly bruised and battered. Now squeezing beside the head and neck I again located one foot and tried pulling again. It was futile so we called the vet and prepped the doe for a C-section.

Everything went as planned until the vet tried to pull the kid. You see the head was out and had to be pushed back but it refused to budge since by now it had swollen a bit. We tried everything but nothing worked so we had to remove the kid's head to extract the body. It took some work but we got it done and then the vet worked hard to remove the body. The kid was big and the incision began to tear. Finally the kid was removed. He weighed 10.7 pounds but was very large framed and just was too big.

When suturing the uterus the full extent of the tear was discovered and we discussed the possibility of Taffy surviving... The prognosis was extremely poor and she would have been very sick and in great pain so we decided to euthanize her. The vet put some stitches in and we carefully walked her out side the barn and put her down with a 22. It was so hard. There are some does who are special because they are so sweet and cooperative and there are some does who are very special because they are business-like but you are the only one they trust and are truly cooperative for. Taffy trusted me and I let her down. She fought back from her difficult surgery last year and tried so hard to make this work as well. I miss her more than I can say. We have 2 of her daughters in the herd and they will represent her well. Good bye you cranky old doe. I really miss you!

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April 9, 2014

Today dawned sunny and bright but cooler than yesterday. Still the beautiful spring day found us dragging a bit as we climbed out of bed and headed to the barn. Lots of sore muscles and a big empty place in the barn as well. The girls all came in, in an orderly fashion, and they were calm and very cooperative. Well, that is until we reached the last group to come in for their grain ration....3 yearling soon to be milkers... DaMaris had to literally be dragged in and she didn't have any intention of jumping up on the stand. A closer examination revealed a very cute and very full baby udder and a small string of clear pre birthing goo.

Back to the kidding stall she happily went and with very little agitation at being separated she soon settled in to the clean straw. We went in to the house and watched her on the camera and prepared and ate breakfast. Meanwhile DaMaris settled into rhythmic and silent contractions. We watched as she lifted her ears with each pain and she silently pushed out a proper bubble. Back to the barn we went just as Amy and Jim Akramoff and their kids arrived to pick up a kid.

As I checked Damaris she had a kid in perfect position and delivered him quite nicely. A good sized kid for a yearling at 7.2 pounds but she had no problem at all with the delivery. A quick swipe with a dry towel and he was breathing well on the pad. I checked and found a second kid in perfect position and as I pulled my hand out she quickly delivered her little 7.3 pound doeling. Amazingly the doe kid was the flashier of the pair as well as the larger :-) Congratulations, Jennifer, your doeling has arrived and she is a beauty!

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April 15, 2014

After the terrible problems with Taffy I was more than a little stressed with Josee going over her due date. She was terribly uncomfortable and spent a great deal of time sitting like a very large uncomfortable and fat dog. I put her in the kidding stall on Monday morning as her udder was pretty full and her ligaments very faint. She spent her time alternating between sitting and lying down. The night shift was more of the same.

Tuesday morning her teats were full and the udder larger although it was still soft. She ate her grain and I squeezed some true colostrum out of her udder...Today would be the day... She continued her routine in the kidding stall with some added variations which included lapping at her water and looking at her belly from time to time. We watched her all day into the afternoon and she appeared to be stalled in her progress toward delivery. At 2:15 we elected to do a check of the cervix. Scrubbing hands and arm, clean gloves and a big hand full of lube spread generously on hand, and arm front and back and a gentle cleaning of he vulva and Josee was ready for her check...She wasn't all that happy about it at first but she stood pretty still and soon it was pretty clear what the hold up was.

I slowly and carefully reached in through the cervix and discovered a kid crosswise and eventually felt around and located her head. She was curled up with her legs bent at the knee and her feet tucked up under her body. She had her head down and curled under her... It was a strange position but I located her head and managed to get it up and into the birth canal. Once I got the head up I then managed to locate a front foot and pushed the baby back enough to extend the leg and draw it up into position. Josee then pushed her out easily and a pretty little 6.4 pound, tan girl arrived. Settled the newborn on to the pad and covered her with a dry warm towel and checked for the second kid. Found a rump ready to try and make his appearance.

I snagged a hock and worked first one and then the other foot into the birth canal and Josee smoothly pushed and we delivered a nice 7.6 pound dark roan boy... he sputtered his slimy way onto the pad and a check verified that the ultrasound was right and there were indeed triplets. This little girl was in perfect position and was delivered quickly and efficiently weighing in at a healthy 6.8 pounds.

All three kids were trying to stand and eat before I could get them dry. The girls each sucked down about 4-5 oz of colostrum and the boy managed about 2 oz before being tucked into their warm TiPi to rest and recover before an evening meal that ended with the hearty threesome slurping down 34 oz of colostrum before they were 5 hours old. They were busy trying out their legs before dropping off to sleep in a food coma.

Congratulations on your pretty tan and white girl, Kerri. The blue roan and red doe is staying here and the handsome boy will be here for awhile as he is for sale.

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April 24, 2014

Rhesa has been suffering with an irreparably damaged stifle joint since the end of November. She suffered an injury late last summer and it appeared that the joint was stabilizing nicely by October and she so wanted to be bred. We carefully had bred her to Micah and all seemed well. She seemed to be doing well and moving better. One day while we watched on GOATV we saw 2 of the does tussling as they do, the two fighters ran into Rhesa's back legs as she was eating at the feeder... Apparently the ligaments ripped at that point and she never again had any stability in that leg.

We seriously doubted that she would be able to carry her kids to term but on Wednesday morning I gave her Dexamethasone and Lutlyse to induce labor on Thursday. Rhesa was painfully thin and had little udder development. Much to our surprise, 36 hour after her shots she went into labor. I checked and found a kid across the cervix and did a little sorting and delivered a very nice buckling.

Doubting there were more, I checked only to find another kid. This one was upside down but otherwise in good position. A little slow rotation and the second buckling arrived and was quickly tucked under the towel with his brother.... LeRoy said, "Surely that's all.” I thought so too but checked and found still another kid in perfect nose and toes position. I delivered him and put him under the towel as well.

Rhesa proceeded to limp over and try to lick me clean. LeRoy got her a bucket of Blue Brew and I just held her as she licked me.... We led her very slowly out onto the grass and quickly put her down.... Such a painful loss but the only thing I could do for my old friend.

Rhesa safely delivered 30 kids in her 11 years. She had 15 bucks and 15 does and has made a huge impact in our herd and in many herds across this country. She was an honest and giving animal all through her life. She usually had a tangle when it came to kidding but she had lots of room and made it easy to sort them out. She and her offspring always had amazingly flat and long rumps. We will always miss seeing her in her favorite bedding place in the barn and we will always see her in her sons and daughters and grand daughters. Her last sons are posted on our sale page. It is our hope to place these boys with breeders who will use them and have their kids appraised and on milk production test. We think that they have a lot to offer our breed and hope others will as well.

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May 4, 2014

Sukey has been slowly growing rounder and her udder has been filling over the past 2 weeks. In the last 3 days she has gotten very cranky about my touching her udder let alone her teats. This morning she really was walking lumpy as she waddled in for her grain. She wasn't eager to get up on her stand but did so with help and she wasn't particularly interested in eating her grain... A check of her udder revealed a much firmer and fuller udder and despite her objections I managed to get a sample of colostrum from her teat. Yep she was going to deliver today. We finished chores and breakfast and put Sukey in the kidding stall and headed off to church...

After church I had LeRoy drop me off at home so I could check on her while he went to town to get a paper. I watched her on the video and she was acting suspicious. Changed into chore clothes and watched as Sukey lay down and started making quiet short pushes. Soon she was making serious pushes and delivered a nice bubble. I headed out to the barn as she continued to push very quietly...No feet were showing so I put gloves on my cleaned hands and lots of lube. I was very relieved to find her very open with a nice shape to her birth canal and pelvic structure.

I found feet turned under at the pastern and pulled back with a head resting on the feet. I straightened the legs and adjusted the head position a bit and Sukey pushed a nice 6.8 pound black and white buckling out into the world... He was in no hurry to arrive and inhaled some slime but was soon safe under his warm towel snorting out slime.

A quick check revealed another kid in perfect position. This one was a bit finer and smaller so we hoped it was a doe but alas it was a 6 pound red and white buckling. Sukey did a great job and gave us a pint of bright yellow colostrum and added another pint of that liquid gold 5 hours later. She is busy trying to figure out all those strange feelings and new experiences that go along with being a milker. She is very promising.

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May 10, 2014

On Saturday morning Chai hopped up on her stand for her grain and appeared hollowed out beside her tailhead. I checked her udder and basically there wasn't one ...Hummm I checked her ligaments and they were gone...OK now this is a first...In 35 years I never had a doe have no udder and no ligaments....We put her in the kidding stall with a buddy who has colostrum in her nicely developing udder but still has distinct ligaments. Very strange...They got along just fine and spent the day hanging out.

Our buddy Robin was visiting with her miniature horse for a show. We watched the does and finished up chores around the place and breakfast then headed over to the horse show to watch Obie and Robin perform. They did great and cleaned up all the first place ribbons. We enjoyed the break. We headed back to get dinner started and soon Robin followed. Robin detoured to the kidding stall on her way in for dinner and told Chai to have her babies at chore time. We had supper and met with a gal who picked up her 2 babies and managed to sneak a cup of coffee before heading out to milk.

LeRoy got the last group in for their lead feeding and went to the kidding stall to get Chai and her buddy. He found Chai stringing a nice long string of pre birthing goo. We finished up the feeding and then I checked on Chai to find that she had gone into labor and was standing in the corner with a big puddle of nice clear fluid behind her... A lot of fluid...No sign of feet or a nose so I put gloves on over clean hands and got a lot of lube. A two finger check revealed that Chai's cervix was only partially open and still quite tight and there were no baby parts in the birth canal... I slowly and firmly massaged and stretched the cervix open and worked my hand in to find just a head...a bit of searching revealed what the problem was... The baby had his feet drawn up under the throat latch thus making the largest possible diameter presentation...The baby simply was not going to move even far enough to fully open the cervix in that position. I carefully stretched both legs out as Chai pushed hard... It was also quite clear that the kid was no longer cushioned by fluids... LeRoy pulled steadily on the baby's legs while I carefully stretched the tight cervical tissues and eased the head through. It took a moderately strong pull but the little 6.4 pound buckling arrived in pretty good shape.

Robin worked on him and got him breathing well and whisked him off to the milk room to be dried and cuddled. Chai was pretty sure that she was broken and that she couldn't bend her legs let alone get up but a bucket of Blue Brew and a little coaxing changed her mind quickly. Chai came in a little later to be milked and we found that she really didn't have any milk...about 3 oz of colostrum was all I could squeeze out of her. It was enough for the boy so we fed him and tucked him into the Tipi for the night and returned Chai to the kidding stall to clean. She ate a couple bites of hay and had a few contractions and then slept hard. In the morning she had cleaned, was quite swollen and still had only a couple ounces of colostrum. The pretty little buckling was busy discovering his long legs and we fed him a good meal of colostrum we had on hand.

This morning (Monday) Chai is starting to make a little milk so I am hopeful that she will kick in as we go along. This was a difficult kidding because Chai was not really ready. Her cervix wasn't soft and her udder was empty. The baby's teeth were a long way from breaking through so it appears that he was about 4+ days early...The decision I made was a tough one because it was either deliver the kid now and risk problems, or wait and deliver the kid closer to term. I chose to go in and deliver the kid because the amount of fluid indicated that he needed to be delivered or there would be no fluid at all. A dry birth wasn't really an option in a yearling. Indeed the kid was not cushioned by any fluid and his delivery was not accompanied by the usual rush of slime. Both mom and baby probably would have been lost had we chosen to wait. Chai still has a bit of swelling but Preparation H is helping a lot and the beautiful boy is off to be raised for meat. Thanks Robin for all your help holding Chai while we worked her boy out and for taking care of getting him dry.

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May 17, 2014

Well, it was a beautiful Saturday with bright sunshine and light breezes. Kinsey was starting to string a little bit of pre kidding goo when she came in to get her morning grain. She hopped up on her stand and ate her grain. Her udder had colostrum in it but was soft...Time to put her in the kidding stall to watch. She went in willingly and was quiet and relaxed...

She played in her water, nibbled a bit of hay and lay down in an awkward position and hummed.  As she progressed her ears and tails began to rise and she hummed a bit louder. Soon she got up and turned around to clean up the straw behind her and we saw that she was now stringing a nice rope of birthing goo so out we went to cheer her on...

A  quick check found two feet and a nose in perfect position.  We encouraged and watched her and she soon began pushing in earnest. A bit of a tug and a good deal of stretching and soon a little 6.5 pound girl arrived.  I put her on the pad quickly and worked to clear her mouth and nose.  She was very flaccid and slow to respond. It took a good bit to get her breathing well. She was wisked off to be dried and collared and fed. She drank a couple ounces and worked a bit on figuring out those long legs. Soon she was tucked into her Tipi to rest and Kinsey was introduced to the world of milkers. She stood nicely and gave a good amount of colostrum.  She looks promising and we are very pleased with both the kid and her mom.  The baby will be offered for sale on our sale page.

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May 20, 2014

Tais has been teasing us for a week or more. She has looked ready for kid one moment and a long way off the next. Her ligaments have been playing hide and seek and her udder has remained soft and only slightly filled for days. This morning her udder was much fuller and her ligaments were gone so off to the kidding stall and on the TV she went.

It was a beautiful day and I worked on getting a pie made for tonight's Bible Study group. I watched her closely and LeRoy went out to his shop to weld up some feeders for sale. Well, Tais settled into the kidding pen nicely and since she was so relaxed and quiet things progressed rapidly. About noon she started pushing and I headed out to find a nose and a foot...a good sized nose and foot. She worked hard and I stretched things around the head as she pushed... Things seemed to stall so I straightened the one leg out and helped by pulling firmly. More stretching and pushing and some pulling and finally Tais stood up and then lay down on the other side. She pushed hard and I pulled with her and very soon the shoulders slid free and the baby arrived.

This was one big baby for a yearling to deliver as she weighed in at 8.3 pounds. She wasn't breathing so I put about 1/2cc of Respirum under her tongue and she gasped and pinked up immediately. Off to the milk room we headed and she was thoroughly cleaned and dried with a lot of help from her big protector dog, Trampus. Baby was active and strong and on her feet at 15 minutes old. She quickly sucked down 4 oz of colostrum and was tucked in to the TiPi to rest until evening chore time. This is our Junior Buck's first doe kid so she will be staying. I am very pleased to introduce: REUEL TAIS' KEL PAISLEY We love her very long rump and nice wide muzzle. How could anyone resist that face or not kiss that cute pink nose!

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May 24, 2014

We have been watching Kenyon closely for over a week. We had a date but she lived with her buck before and after the breeding date so we weren't sure of her actual breeding date. She had the annoying ability to have no ligaments one milking and firm ones the next so we put her in the kidding stall several nights just to be safe... This morning was different in that she had no objection at all to moving to the kidding stall. She quietly moved around the stall getting up and down very frequently...

Lauri Duff-Robinson came to pick up a milker this morning and was watching Kenyon over a cup of coffee... Kenyon suddenly appeared to be pushing and quietly gave a very hard series of pushes and then was still and resting. We went out and found her lying quietly with a nice puddle of birthing goo behind her in the straw. We put gloves on and and lubed up. I checked carefully and found her cervix was nicely open but the tissues were still tight. I found two feet in good position and then located the head in proper alignment. I had Laurie feel for feet and the head and made note of the still tight tissues.

We encouraged Kenyon to push and I carefully massaged and stretched the tissues as she pushed the feet out. I then held on to the feet providing gentle traction. The traction and massaging the tissues encouraged Kenyon to continue pushing. Rest breaks allowed her to recover and time allowed tissues to stretch. Soon the head was through. Kenyon shifted onto her other side allowing the head to slide through... We continued to encourage her to push. At this point the the baby's tongue was visible and the color was getting very dark... Since the head was through the largest part of the kid had made its way through the birth canal so I knew tissues were tight but open enough so I pulled on the feet and Kenyon pushed hard and soon the shoulders were delivered. Laurie pulled the kid the rest of the way out and we got busy clearing his mouth and nose.

He was very strong and pinked up nicely. Kenyon wasn't sure what the heck that slimy wiggly thing was but we encouraged her to get on her feet, LeRoy got her a bucket of Blue brew and she started cleaning up the pen. The buckling was carted off to the milk room for a good drying, Kenyon came in and got on the stand and stood quietly eating her grain while I milked her. I gave Kenyon a shot of Oxytocin in order to help her clean and shrink the uterus. This would control any bleeding if she had had any tearing. I carefully checked to be sure she had no more kids and was all finished before giving her the shot. She cleaned by mid afternoon and was returned to her pen with her buddy.

Kenyon had started into hard labor at about 12:30PM and cleaned by 2:30PM. Her beautiful boy weighed in at a hefty 7.3 pounds. He drank 4 oz of colostrum and was tucked in for a nap. At 7:45 he drank another 12 oz and was already pretty good on his feet. Laurie headed home after feeding the boy his first meal. We managed to get her clean clothes properly slimed and colostrum covered, that will teach her to show up in clean clothes ;-)

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Sudden Changes At Reuel Dairy Goats

8/6/14 Things sure have a way of changing in a heartbeat or two and we no find ourselves in the midst of catastrophic change here at Reuel Dairy Goats, On June 4th I was heading for an appointment in Deer Park on a very bright sunny day. The next thing I knew I was pinned in my car nosed against the guardrail and surrounded by paramedics and fire fighters. The “Jaws of Life” was noisily cutting me out of our bright blue Chevy Cobalt. 

The process was a bit painful and somewhat alarming. In short order I was lifted free and secured to a stretcher and on the way to the hospital. I was sent on to Sacred Heart Hospital where I was subjected to lots of x-rays and exams of all kinds. The exams revealed that I had 5 broken ribs resulting in a “Flail Chest", a broken collarbone, and a broken pelvis... 2 days later I was in ICU, intubated, and with a chest tube or two in place as my left lung collapsed. Two days in ICU and I was back on the regular floor and soon found myself at St. Luke's Rehab hospital where I went through 3 hours of therapy per day until I came home on Jun 30.

Following Physical Therapy at one point my Doctor arrived to check me over just as I went into Atrial Fibrillation. Oh Goodie, a new thing :-/  Well, the hospital sent me home on oxygen 24/7 with a walker. I am happy to report that I am now off Oxygen during the daytime and my ribs and collar bone are slowly healing. Walking is difficult as is sitting for long periods. I am still very, very weak and my pelvis gets sore very quickly.

We must reduce our herd size quickly as we can't continue to ask the Hendrix family to milk for me while LeRoy does the feeding and the rest of the chores. We are offering for sale does and kids we would otherwise retain. We want these animals to go to breeders who want them to do a job for them as milkers and / or breeding or show stock and we feel that they have something good to offer the Nubian Breed. Of course we would prefer them to go in sets of 2 or more but that isn't always possible.

If you are interested in one or more of these animals please contact me by e-mail and we will work out the price, payments, and details as soon as possible. If you know of an interested 4H or FFA member please let me know and we can work something out for them as well.

We are keeping, Jael, Josee, Galen, Coromell, Zamar, Tais, Twill, Sukey, Joanie (a dry yearling), Zayna,(Reuel Zamar's WC Zayana), Jemma (Reuel Josee's MIC Jemma), Paisley (Reuel Tais' KEL Paisley,)and Coromell's doe kid (Reuel Coromell's AU Callista) And we will be keeping Reuel Kestrel's KEN ........ I haven't named her yet. The bucks are staying as well.

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