It is that time of year again where we are eager to see the sunshine and green grass and trees of spring but are surrounded by piles of wet cold snow.  The skys are gray so often that a glimpse of sunshine brings great joy.  The promise of new babies and freshening does keeps us sane, and watching the does grow rounder by the day keeps us engaged.....Some does like poor little Zalika defy belief as she is at least as wide as she is long...Others have tested pregnant and show no sign of the coming kids. 

This time of year not only has us excited to see the new arrivals and blossoming udders but it strikes fear in our hearts as well. It is a dangerous time for the does and we know how quickly things can go wrong.  So we make preparations for everything we can. The towels and pads are all washed and stored in the kidding area, the head snare and the OB lube are ready, the gloves and colostrum are put out, and the YMCP is opened and put into a storage jar for easy use. As each doe approaches her due date she is given a kidding clip, has her feet trimmed, gets a CD&T vaccination, a Lysigin vaccination, a BoSe injection, and a dose of Vitamin D.  Each of the does who are one month from delivery begins to get grain once a day and is checked over carefully each morning.  The first fresheners get use to being handled and spoiled with cookies and the kidding stall is prepared for the new arrivals.  Now we just have to wait and watch. 

Soon we will be really sleep deprived, exhausted, and thrilled all at the same time. I will try hard to keep up with this log and share the excitement and drama of spring time at Reuel Dairy Goats.  Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions or suggestions. I will try to get back to you quickly but it may take awhile. 

This will be the first kidding season in 30 years that LeRoy will not be going out to help with the delivery and drying of the kids as his health will not permit it. It is going to be different.  Any unforeseen problems or disasters will also be recorded on this page.  Being a livestock owner and breeder is not for the faint of heart. Stay tuned as the season progresses.

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Zalika Kicks Off the 2020 Kidding Season

February 16, 2020

Zalika has been struggling to get around and even to breathe for the past 3 weeks, lying down was generally short lived.  She is a very nice little goat who is as wide as she is tall or long....This year she seemed to be struggling a bit more than in years past but she was a trooper and came in for her grain and continued to eat well although it was many small meals throughout the day...I expected her to deliver on Friday (Valentines' Day) but she didn't and her udder was still very soft. There was no sign of colostrum so we waited....and watched...and finally moved her to the kidding pen on Saturday evening.  Sunday morning found her a bit fuller in the udder and the colostrum was coming in. She ate her grain and walked around very slowly and happily returned to her kidding stall. 

We had company coming for dinner so while I watched her on the monitor I prepared the filling for meat pasties, made the special sauce for the fresh steamed broccoli and prepared the broccoli and got the rosemary garlic  potatoes ready to go in the oven. I put the ingredients for the  bread into the bread machine so I could just start it when it was time.  Our company arrived and we visited a bit then they went to see the goats and they came back saying that Zalika had a little drip of clear goo but wasn't doing anything... So I started the machine to making the dough and figured we would be having kids about 7PM or so... Well, the machine made the dough for me and we visited some more and I was soon busy making up the pasties and painting them with an egg wash. Just as I finished the very last one Glenn said "She has something sticking out...It's a head!"

Sure enough it was indeed a head so I put the pasties in the oven and left Joie to keep an eye on them and headed out to the barn where I found a good sized head and no front legs.  I managed to slide my hand in and snag a knee and brought one foot up without pushing the head back into the doe.  We quickly delivered a nice 7.2 pound, stressed kid.  He quickly figured out how to breathe and was placed on the pad to await his siblings.  Checking the doe I found there were two kids trying to escape at the same time...I quickly sorted them and delivered a nice 6.1 pound kid who was much less stressed and quickly cleared his nose with a snort sucker.  Joy set to work with a towel drying those kids while I returned to help Zalika to deliver her third and final kid. This kid is a contortionist and chose to be born with his right front leg up and behind his head and I got the other leg up and forward.  The final kid weighed in at 7.6 pounds and thought he was starving.  All three kids were delivered  with one leg forward and the other back or wrapped around his head.  

Mom and babies are all doing fine. We dried the trio off and tucked them in their warm TiPi to rest a bit while we ate supper and quickly came back out to milk mom and feed the boys... Yep all three are boys...Nice well put together boys by Kastdemur's Full Monty.  If anyone is interested in a nice, well bred herd sire, please let me know ASAP because they will be going off to be raised for meat in a short time.

Zalika went from little sign of kidding to full delivery mode in about 20 mins.  I had watched her all day while she went through early labor. In fact if you didn't know her you wouldn't have probably noticed that she was indeed in labor... Her delivery, while a little complicated was fairly easy on the doe and on me.  Minor sorting problems but she had plenty of room so it went quickly and well.  The boys are doing great and eating like little piggies.  It was a good start to kidding season and I pray the rest of the deliveries are no more complicated than this one was.  Thanks to Joie, Glenn and Joy for their help! Couldn't have done without it.

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February 19, 2020

It sure was a beautiful day. Bright sunshine, blue skies, and highs in the upper 30's.  The snow is slowly disappearing and the ground is even muddy for a few hours in the afternoon. This morning I milked Zalika and we got all her boys fed and tucked into the tipi to rest. I carefully checked the next two does that we expect to kid any time now.  Nothing going on there so I finished up morning chores and headed in to warm up and get some breakfast. At 2:00 I went back out to feed the boys again. I looked at the doe pen and visually checked the herd. I thought to myself, "Jora sure is starting to make a nice little udder." Then back in to figure out what to make for dinner and get some stuff done. 

At 5:00 Darrell went out to turn the barn lights on and fill waters and do the early chores.  He came rushing up to the house to say he found a kid running around in the doe pen...I sent him back out to take the kid into the milkroom, while I turned the stove off and headed out to figure out who the mom was and to get the kid dried off and fed. Darrell found the kid and scooped him up and also discovered a second kid who was still wet and slimy and quite cold. I quickly took the cold kid and rubbed him dry and then turned the hair dryer on him.  He slowly responded so I put him in the basket in front of the heater and covered the basket with a towel. The other kid was nice and dry and fluffy and very active. I dried his legs and used the hair dryer to get him completely dry.

Darrell checked and found that Jora was indeed the mom, Then we both headed off to eat our suppers while the boys snuggled in the basket and warmed up.  After a quick dinner I headed back out to the barn to milk Jora and feed the kids...Jora has not been coming in for grain because she was bred on 2 later heat cycles so I figured she would deliver 150 days after the last breeding... Jora is a first freshening 2 year old. She came into a nice heat in September and stood for breeding. About a week after the first breeding she was bred again so we figured she had just short cycled.  Three weeks later she, again, cycled and stood for the buck and again 3 weeks later.  I drew blood and sent it in when she was 25 days post breeding the first time. The pregnancy test came back that she was open... Apparently Jora just likes the company of the boys because she was actually pregnant at the time of her first test but I needed to wait until 30 days post breeding and I might have gotten a positive test result. This is the first time I have ever had a doe who was actually pregnant show strong heats for 2 regular cycles.  Goats, they never stop throwing us curve balls and teaching us new stuff :-).

Jora came in the milkroom, was lifted onto the stand and got her very fuzzy udder clipped and I milked her...It was a bit of a rodeo but I managed to get colostrum for her boys and I dug her udder out of all the hair.  I fed the big boy and he was a very eager eater. The little guy was still not very strong but he was holding his head up so I managed to get a couple ounces of colostrum into him as well.  The boys went into their TiPi with Zalika's boys and we finished up the milking and kid feeding and evening chores.  The little kid appears to be about 7 days early so I suspect the big boy was conceived on the first breeding and the little guy on the short cycle.  The little one was much weaker and had a shorter hair coat and his teeth were not nearly ready to erupt.

The little one died the morning after he was born. I might been able to save him if I had warmed him in warm water and brought him into the house and tubed him several times during the night as well as giving him several doses of Dexamethasone but he was pretty small and weak and a buckling that would have gone to be raised for meat.  His brother weighed in at 6.8 pounds and while he weighed only 3.4 pounds.

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February 20, 2020

Thursday morning Jeshaiah came in for her grain and hopped right up on her stand. She was ravenous and slicked her pan clean. I went down the line of 4 does checking udders and tail-head ligaments. When I got to Jess I found her udder was tighter than the others and her ligaments were very soft. We put her in the kidding stall so I could keep a close eye on her. She was quite content to be separated from the others and spent most of the day munching a bit of hay here and there, sipping her water and listening to the cows and horses that were outside eating at their feeder. She wasn't doing any pawing or stressing. I got busy putting potatoes in for baking and getting the rest of dinner ready to go on to be cooked.

Just as I was about to put dinner on Jeshaiah turned around and showed a big string of birthing-goo... It was a rope of goo about as big around as my thumb so I knew it was time to deliver her kids. I went out and put gloves over scrubbed hands and smeared the gloves and my wrist on both sides with lots of lube. I carefully slid my hand into her vagina to check on the position of the first kid. I found just a butt with no legs and the kid was lying with his head up toward the mom's spine and his back against the cervix. Jeshaiah was nice and open and after a few minutes I found one back leg, cupped the hoof in my hand and eased it up and out then did the same for the second back leg. A very brief rest and Jeshaiah quickly pushed her first boy out. He was a nice sized kid and very quickly was breathing well and resting under a warm towel on the pad.

A quick check found kid #2 all lined up and ready to come with another kid in good position and trying to make his exit as well. A bit of sorting and moving the legs of the smaller kid into the birth canal followed by two pushing sessions and she joined her brother under the warm towel. I checked to see if the third kid was in position and discovered kid #3 in perfect position and on his way out. He joined his siblings and Jeshaiah quickly began licking me and the towels and the kids.

The kids weighed in at a nice 6.7, 5.2, & 5.9 pounds, very nice sized triplets for a first freshener. We thawed a bottle of heat treated colostrum for the doeling and milked mom's colostrum for the bucks. We got everyone fed and had dinner on the table just a half hour later than usual. I never expected to see triplets from this first freshener but she carried them very well and delivered them nicely. Congratulations, Kerri your doeling has arrived.

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February 21, 2020

Friday morning dawned bright and sunny and in the low 20's. The three milkers and Gwynne all came in in the first group for milking and morning grain.  Gwynne seemed to have just a little more trouble than usual jumping up on her stand. She managed to get up there and proceeded to scarf up her grain very quickly. Her ligaments were gone and her udder was quite firm. She had colostrum in her small teats and in short looked like she would be kidding today. We put her in the Kidding stall where she was very quiet and content.  She made no fuss and just ate hay now and then and sipped at her water.  I watched her all morning and finally at about 9:15PM she started pushing hard.  She was standing up during the process so if you hadn't been watching carefully you might have missed it. I scrubbed up my hands and headed out to assist if needed. 

Clean gloves and lots of lube and I inserted 2 fingers to check the kid's position. ...It was quite tight with very little room to help if needed but the kid was in good position.  So several sessions of good hard pushing and a foot appeared... I tugged that leg straight and soon the second foot appeared. I straightened that leg out as well and checked the head position...it was in good position but very very tight.  I carefully lubed my hand again and smeared lube on the kid's head while I stretched the tight tissues around the baby... Gwynne took a short rest and then pushed hard while  I applied firm traction on the kid's legs and soon a nose appeared. 

Another brief rest and then more pushing and stretching and the head moved forward. Finally, with a mighty push and a strong pull back and down and the kid arrived. Her eyes were a bit swollen but she was doing very well. I imagine her front legs were a bit sore but she was up and trying to find food in very short order.  Gwynne immediately began licking me and her beautiful 7.5 pound daughter. The kid was lugged off to the milkroom, and fed a bottle of heat treated colostrum and tucked in for the night.  Gwynne got her bucket of warm Blue Brew and drank quite a bit before setting about to clean up every drop of kidding slime that she could find.  She came in to be milked with the other 3 milkers in the morning and gave us a nice pint of colostrum for the freezer. Kerri you are two for two on the doe requests.  Both baby and mom are doing great!

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March 4, 2020

Jana has been playing hard to read for the past 4 days.  Her udder grew and her ligaments faded and her teats looked like they were filling. On Sunday the first, her udder was much bigger and nice and soft so we figured she was about to deliver...Well, several more days of watching her in the kidding stall and wondering when she would release the hostages and suddenly on Wednesday morning she hopped up onto the milk stand to eat her grain and her udder was HUGE!  It had almost doubled in size but it was still nice and soft and her teats were very full.  Yep, her Due Date was the first but her mom routinely goes past 150 days and evidently so does Jana. 

Jana moseyed around the kidding stall, pawed here and there, muttered to her belly and generally prepared to deliver her kids. After supper and before milking I decided that since she didn't seem to be progressing that I would check to see if she was open and if the kids were in good position.  I scrubbed up, washed Jana's vulva off and donned clean gloves slathered with lots of lube.  I found Jana's cervix was wide open and a kid up lined up at the cervix...the kid was in pretty good position except that her legs were tucked up with her head on her knees... I retrieved her front legs one at a time and Jana gave a mighty push and squirted the kid out in a big hurry.  She was soon breathing well and our friend LaNette was busy slicking the slime off for her. A check found a second, bigger kid lining up for his exit but he was on his side. I easily rolled him over and Jana quickly evicted him.  He very quickly snorted and sputtered and started breathing well.  Once more I checked and again found a nice sized kid, this one in perfect position and soon she joined her sister and brother and the trio was lugged off to the milkroom for some TLC and lots of drying. 

Jana was quickly treated to a warm bucket of blue brew which she quickly slurped down.  The kids weighed in at 6.3, 8.0 and 6.9 pounds.  They were dried, fluffed, and fed a healthy meal of heat treated colostrum and tucked into the TiPi for the night.

After milking the 4 does we had fresh, Jana came in to be milked and gave me a bit over a quart of nice thick and yellow colostrum. She was returned to the Kidding pen for the night and I gave her a dose of Oxytocin to assure that she would clean properly. She drank the rest of her Blue Brew overnight, cleaned and in the morning after getting a quart and a half more rich colostrum she was returned to the milker pen.  

Congratulations Kim and Leo, Jenny is a beautiful doeling and Joe will be a great wether. Jana's M10 doeling is for sale.

March 6 Update: Jana is milking really well already and the kids are eating up a storm.

This lovely little girl is For Sale!

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March 6,2020

Jenga's due date was March 8 and she had been showing us more and more signs that she might deliver early. On Friday evening she was really loose in the ligaments by her tail-head and she was moving super slowly.  She was returned to the kidding stall Friday evening where she proceeded to eat her feeder full of hay and was drinking plenty of water.  On Saturday morning her udder showed more growth so she returned to the kidding stall. She was very content and kept eating. 

The afternoon found her starting to paw at the bedding now and then and she was getting up and down more frequently.  She was in no distress and seemed to be progressing.  After milking I checked her over carefully and did a check to see if she was dilated.  Lots of lube and clean gloves and hands.  She objected to having her vulva and backside washed with cold water but didn't object to my inserting my hand ...I found she was about 1/2 way dilated with a kid waiting.  I decided to let her work on it longer as she didn't appear to be in any distress. I headed in to the house and watched her on the monitor as she grew increasingly  restless. 

Just when I figured there might be a problem she lay down in the nest she had created. Of course her butt was back in the corner.  She appeared to relax and I was beginning to think she was planning on waiting until morning to deliver her pay-load.  Just as I was contemplating a nice hot shower and crawling into bed a little early, because the powers that be have decided that it was a good time to rob us of an hour of sleep..:-(, Jenga started pushing ...HARD!

I quickly called Darrel to come help and headed out to the barn to catch the babies as they arrived.  Jenga had the first kid all lined up and in perfect position and she soon arrived, was put on the pad and quickly checked over.  Meanwhile Jenga was pushing again. A quick check found a baby in good position except for the back feet...I very quickly retrieved those feet and Jenga gave a big push and another pretty girl arrived.  Jenga took about 3 breaths and I slicked the slime away from the baby's face and turned back to Jenga who promptly delivered another kid.  I reached in and pulled this one with her pushing in order to get the kids into the milkroom where it is warmer and because there was no reason to wear Jenga out anymore. 

The boy was soon snorting slime out and breathing well.  Jenga was standing quietly and looked a lot like a deflating blimp. I quickly reached in again to be sure she was finished and to see if I could detect any uterine tears and found another kid lined up ready for exit!  I assisted the kid out and Darrel gathered them all up and carried them to the milkroom while I opened gates and doors and prepared to get busy with the drying and identifying the kids for future reference.  Jenga was treated to a nice warm bucket of Blue Brew. She was most grateful and drank a quart or so very quickly and  then returned to cleaning up as much birthing slime as possible.  

Darrel quickly brought 3 bottles of heat treated colostrum in for the girls and then swamped out the very soggy kidding pen. I got the kids all dried and collared and ready to eat while the first bottle of colostrum thawed and warmed in a two gallon bucket of hot water.  

While the girls waited for their heat treated colostrum we dragged Jenga into the milkroom and let her nuzzle the kids while I milked two and a half pints of colostrum out of her and returned her to the kidding stall while we fed the starving babies.  All four babies ate really well and were quite active. None of the kids nor Jenga showed any sign of stress.  Jenga immediately returned to eating hay and over night finished her 2 gallons of Blue Brew. Before I left the barn I gave Jenga 1.5 CC of Oxytocin to assure that she would clean promptly. 

Sunday morning Jenga came in and hopped up on her stand for milking.  She ate her grain quickly and wasn't even swollen. Thankfully, she no longer looked like a deflated blimp. Her rump was starting to tighten up, her pasterns were stronger and her belly had started to tuck up again. Her quads were beautifully uniform, strong and ready for the world. They weighed in at M-13: 6.3lbs, M-14: 6.7lbs, M-15: 6.3 lbs, M-16: 6.3lbs. From start to our weary return to the house Jenga's delivery and the babies welcome party  took an hour and fifteen minutes.

Update: March 9, Jenga continues to return to her pre kidding figure.  Her tail-head is still raised but she is moving very nicely. Her beautiful foursome are eating machines and are about to have their first lambar lessons.

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MARCH 9, 2020

Yesterday was a long day. We were still recovering from the change to Daylight Savings time and had to get up a bit earlier than normal to go pick up a new to us barn refrigerator.  It is that time of year when it is really necessary to have a working fridge in the barn to keep kid milk fresh and meds properly cold.  All went well with the morning chores and milking. The babies are all eager eaters so that makes things go faster.  When we brought Zara in for her grain I remarked that her udder was getting bigger...You see I had calculated her due date as March 16 because I misread my note on her breeding date....My Mom told me I needed to learn how to write legibly...she was right! Going back over the paperwork I looked more closely and found that Zara was actually due on March 9...

After a busy day and after I finished cleaning up the kitchen after supper I figured I would sit down and relax for a half hour until milking time...I looked at the monitor and noticed a black blob in the middle of the milker pen...It was moving and Zara was doing a lot of sniffing around in the bedding.  I told LeRoy it was a kid and he said he thought it was a cat...Out I went donning jacket and hat on the way and I discovered we indeed did have a very wet cold kid on the ground. 

I scooped her up and retreated to the milkroom with several towels. The poor girl was very wet but remarkably slime free.  I set about trying to dry her off and to remove the dirt and bedding that she had been lying in. It is early spring here and the barn is in serious need of a good cleaning but the thawing ground has made it impossible to get that done yet.  Soon we hope!  Well, the baby was none the worse for the wear and a lot of work with the towel and a hair dryer got her dry and fluffy and warmed up.  We thawed her colostrum and milked the does and fed everyone while she rested.  As Darrel fed the last group of kids I got busy feeding the new baby. The new comer weighed in at 6 pounds. She was super stubborn about sucking the bottle but persistence prevailed and I managed to get about 4 ounces of colostrum into her. She took her place in the newborn TiPi with Jenga's crew and snuggled right in with the gang.

Zara came in and I milked out her colostrum and put her in the kidding stall where she sipped her Blue Brew and pawed at the bedding a bit. I checked to see if she had any more babies and she didn't.  Zara soon settled down and went fast asleep. Darrel checked the pasture to be sure there weren't any babies hidden out there and I cleaned up the milkroom and we trudged back to our houses and got some much needed rest. This morning found the baby hungry and ready to finish her colostrum.  Zara settled on her AI breeding and this little girl will be retained.

Zara doeling right side
Zara doeling left side

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April 1, 2020

This morning Glynis looked like she would be delivering very soon so we put her in the extra kidding pen next to Tiana who was on camera....We watched them all morning and early into the afternoon when Glynis first discharged a small string of translucent goo about the size of my little finger that was very soon followed by a larger ropy string of goo about the size of my thumb.  She started pushing but no kid parts appeared so I did a quick check and found first one leg and then the other.  Firm pulls on those legs while Glynis pushed seemed to accomplish nothing so I again inserted my hand and discovered that the kid's forehead was caught on the top of the pelvic opening... I tipped his head down a bit and Glynis pushed him into position for delivery.  A helping tug and a beautiful 7.3 pound boy slid into the world with a sputter and shake of his head.  He was quickly placed on the pad and had face was wiped clear. 

I then checked for the next kid and found a pair of big feet in position but no head to be located...A little searching and I found the kid had her head ticked down and to the doe's left.... She was quite reluctant to let me get her head up but a little perseverance and a good strong push by mom and her head was engaged.  It took a bit of pulling and a lot of strong pushes and finally an 8.3 pound doe joined her brother.  

I went back in to check and found a very polite, perfectly positioned 7.3 pound doeling awaiting her turn.  She was delivered quite quickly and without problems and the trio was carted off to be processed and fed and tucked into the newborn Tipi until evening chores.  These were very nice sized kids for twins an really big kids for triplets. They are hearty, robust, and active little eating machines! 

Congratulations to Laurie on the birth of her beautiful long brown doeling and to Kerri for her very fancy buckling!  We are proud to welcome the black doeling to our herd and have named her Reuel Glynis' JET Nobody's Fool. She is the spitting image of her grand mother Josee.  The uterus was quite crowded so her front pasterns are shortened and will take a day or two before they straighten out completely.  This is not an uncommon thing and we seldom splint them. Generally they straighten on their own or rarely we spend a few minutes giving the kids some Physical Therapy while we feed by applying gentle but firm pressure to straighten them.

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April 2, 2020

Tianna spent a couple days hanging out in the kidding pen while we watched her and she watched Glynis, who delivered her kids in the kidding stall next to Tianna.... Evidently Tianna took it as a challenge to have bigger kids than Glynis....Must be for bragging rights in the loafing pen...

Friday morning we brought Jodi and Tianna in for their daily grain ration. Tianna's udder was decidedly larger but still soft and her teats were beginning to fill.  Both does were eager to eat their grain and we let them walk around to the loafing pen after they finished. Jodi immediately put her head in the feeder and started scarfing her hay like she was starving.  Tianna wandered around looked at the hay in the feeder...sniffed it and just stood a little apart from the crowd with a far away look in her eye.  After everything was cleaned up from the morning milking both does were returned to the kidding stalls.  Tianna seemed relieved to have her own space.  As the day wore on Tianna continued to paw at the bedding, get up and down, and generally was uncomfortable. 

At 2:30 I prepared to go out to warm the bottles and feed Glynis' triplets. A quick check of Tiana found her stringing pre birthing goo and starting serious labor.  I quickly called Darrel and got busy preparing to deliver Tianna's eagerly awaited AI babies.  I got the pad put down and the towels readied. By then the birthing goo was now hanging to the floor. 

Clean gloves over clean hands and lube applied, Darrel held Tianna while I checked on her kid.  It was a tight squeeze but I soon found that the head was full engaged but no feet were present... I pushed the head back and tried to convince Tianna to stop pushing for a moment... as I held my hand still inside her she finally stopped pushing and relaxed enabling me to snag one front leg. I carefully pulled that leg up into position and out.  I applied traction to the leg and the kid's neck and Tianna pushed like mad and nothing happened...nothing moved...I worked my hand back in and found the second foot.  Pulling on both front legs with one a couple inches ahead of the other and with Tianna pushing like mad we finally had the head delivered as well as those front legs...a very short rest and a mighty heave and the boy arrived with a splash and a loud holler from Tianna... I quickly got the boy settled on the pad and breathing well and returned to assist Tianna. 

A quick check found a second kid butt first with no legs...a true breech position.. It didn't take long to locate the back feet and Tianna very quickly delivered another strapping boy.  We quickly got a nice warm bucket of Blue Brew for Tianna and she very gratefully drank a gallon right down. We carried the boys back to the milkroom and after drying well we weighed them.

The first born boy weighed in at 10.4 pounds!  His brother was a big and healthy 8.4 pounds   He only looked small because his brother is a 
MOOSE! Tianna quickly and decisively took over the spot for the doe delivering the biggest kid and Glynis was happy to be dethroned.  

Tianna gave a lot of beautiful colostrum which has been heat treated and frozen for the next round of kids to come.  The boys were on their feet very quickly and are already eating from the lambar, Tianna is still a bit sore and walks a bit more slowly than before but seems to be doing well. She sure is milking nicely!  Congratulations Leo and Kim Fitz your boy is beautiful, no matter which one you choose!

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April 3, 2020

On Friday morning Zaynah looked like she was going to deliver sooner rather than later.  She jumped up and ate her grain, but she seemed to be practicing "social distancing" quite well and since it was a very chilly day and windy I put her into the extra kidding pen so she would be easy to keep track of. She seemed quite happy with her private room and settled right down.  We finished up milking, feeding all those starving babies and washing up all the dishes from morning chores.  Heading off to the house I took a quick peek at Zaynah and she was happily munching away on her hay and watching Tianna in the next pen. 

I finally got into the house for a bite of breakfast and a brief rest before heading back out at 2:45 for the 3 PM feeding...On the way to the milkroom to get the kids milk ready I again checked on Zaynah and Tianna...I was a bit surprised to find that Zaynah was stringing a nice string of pre birthing goo. I quickly gave Darrel a call and gathered the towels, lube and pad to deliver Zaynah's crew...I got my gloves on and spread the "landing pad" just as Darrel walked in. 

By now Zaynah had progressed to stringing a nice clean rope of birthing goo.  A quick check of kid position found a head fully engaged, a very tight fit and no feet...This was a sizable kid so it was evident that we needed to get at least one foot up for delivery. I gently but firmly pushed the head back until I could slide my hand under the head and locate the feet.  Both knees were bent and tucked up under the kid so I slowly worked one foot out and Zaynah again pushed hard while I applied traction but we didn't seem to be making progress so I pressed the back of my hand very firmly upward against the  doe's pelvis. Slowly the ligaments relaxed and she opened up a bit more. I got the other front foot up and with a few more good pushes and some traction and we had a nice baby boy on the pad.  He started breathing well and had the slime removed from his face and I again checked for the next kid.

This one was in perfect position for a posterior delivery.  Zayana pushed and I tugged and a second nice buckling arrived with a splash.  It took a few moments to get him de-slimed and breathing well.  Checking again I found the next kid lined up very nicely and, with a few big pushes from mom and a quick wipe of her face, the girl arrived.  Babies were quickly toted off to be dried and Zaynah gratefully drank her Blue Brew. Another set of big, strong kids. 

Zaynah's kids weighed in at 6.8, 6.8, and 7.9 pounds!  

The girl will remain here and the two beautiful boys have already headed out to be raised for meat.  We are very delighted to introduce Reuel Zaynah's EDV Zonda. (Zonda is a hot dry wind that blows across the Argentine Pampas.)

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April 6, 2020

Jodi had been progressing through all the steps showing that her delivery was imminent. Her udder was filling, her ligaments fading, her tail head was raising, her flank hollowing, her desire to separate herself from the herd increasing, her desire to lick me showing, and finally she was stringing pre birthing and then birthing goo.  Jodi followed the textbook accounts of a doe going into labor, perfectly. 

On Monday morning she was moving a little more slowly and walking a bit more "lumpy" and she was happy to be returned to the kidding stall.  I figured she would deliver around 3:30 or so... She held out until I was dishing up supper at 5:00PM when she quickly delivered a nice black and white kid. 

I quickly shut off the stove and oven and headed out to welcome her brood. I tried to call Darrel in case she needed help and to take the kids to the milkroom and get Jodi her Blue Brew and all the other things he does so I can concentrate on the kids.  Well, the phone was out of battery so I was on my own.  No problem there! A quick check with two fingers of a clean and freshly gloved hand found a kid with nose and toes in perfect position and ready to arrive.

Jodi pushed his head and front feet clear and I swiped a towel over his face as Jodi pushed him out.  He was a slippery little bugger and almost fell out of my hands as I caught him and put him on the pad. I quickly cleared the slime off his face and checked to find that he was indeed a buck. Meanwhile Jodi nickered a bit, licked me as I checked and found another kid in perfect position. 

Jodi very quickly delivered this kid and I slicked off the slime just as Darrel appeared. He mixed up a bucket of warm Blue Brew while Jodi licked everything in sight. She soon had her warm bucket and immediately took a couple sips while we wrapped up the kids and lugged them off to be dried and checked over.  Three beautiful, correct, and vigorous bucklings weighing in at 7.0, 8.9 and 8.1 pounds.

As soon as the kids were dried we put them into the kid TiPi to rest and finish drying off and we headed in to get a quick bite to eat. Fifteen or twenty mins later, I returned to milk Jodi and fed the boys an eagerly anticipated first meal...They each chugged down 6 oz of very thick yellow colostrum.  Jodi returned to the kidding stall for the night where she cleaned, finished her 2 gallons of Blue Brew and another gallon of plain water. This morning she gave me a half gallon of beautiful colostrum and returned to the milker pen. Way to get it done Jodi!  Gotta LOVE these type of deliveries.

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April 16, 2020

This morning dawned beautiful and sunny and all morning the temperature has been rising. This morning Jig stumbled a little as she jumped up on her stand for grain. A quick check revealed no ligaments and a nicely full udder.  Jig headed back to the kidding stall after breakfast.  She was up and down and did some pawing but generally seemed relaxed as her body prepared for the coming kidding.

At 3:00PM Jig started to push and was stringing pre-birthing goo...I headed out to prepare for the arrival party. Jig started pushing hard as soon as I got the towels and pad ready and very quickly delivered a nice 6.5 pound doeling.  A few quick licks from Jig and a swipe or two with a towel and the newborn's face was cleared. Jig then got back down to business. I checked the second kid's position and found 2 front feet, I unfolded one foot that was flexed at the pastern and felt the head at the pelvic rim. Jig pushed hard and there was no movement. I tugged while Jig pushed still no movement.  I felt around some more and determined that yes these were the right legs and head combo... but the head felt like it was trying to come presenting the top of the head first....OK, this should work because there is a LOT of room...Nope nothing was moving and farther exploration found that I could feel the top jaw but not the bottom jaw. I thought OH NO! This must be a deformed kid; :-(

I finally got my hand under the head and found the lower jaw. Evidently the kid's nose cleared the pelvic rim and the lower jaw caught and every time Jig pushed it would force the kid's mouth open but she was stuck. I finally had a moment when Jig wasn't pushing so that I could push the head back and release the lower jaw and the kid's teeth from the uterine wall. once I did that Jig quickly delivered her second kid...This kid was pushed out really fast and I scrambled to clear the slime from her face. She was a nice 7.3 pound doeling. 

Jig immediately turned around to tend to her twin does and I got some heat treated colostrum out of the freezer and into a bucket of hot water to thaw while Darrel mixed up Jig's very welcome Blue Brew.  It was a good delivery and Jig gave us a nice bucket of colostrum.  Mom and kids are doing great!  Congratulations Kerri, your Jig daughter has arrived.  We will retain M 30, Reuel Jig's Jet Jitterbug. This was a new delivery problem so after 40+ years these crazy goats are still throwing me curve balls.

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April 17, 2020

Joanie had been quietly going about her days eating and drinking and coming in for her grain every morning as she progressed through her pregnancy.  We had so hoped that Joanie had settled to the AI, but she hadn't so she managed to get a few extra weeks on grain before her delivery.  On the evening of the 16th Joanie seemed to be wanting to isolate herself so we put her in the kidding stall for the night. She was very content and rested quietly.  She got a lot more sleep than I did as I got up to check the monitor during the night.  The next morning she again got up on the milkstand easily and ate her grain and we turned her in with the herd while we finished up morning chores. 

Darrel refilled her water bucket and hay feeder and we returned her to the kidding stall as she again was trying to isolate herself. Joanie has always gone past 150 days and she was now on day 151 and counting.  She was calm and very laid back.  Around 1:30 in the afternoon she started a concerted effort to rearrange ever spear of straw to her liking and she fluffed up her entire pen. 

At 7:00PM when I went out to get milking started, Joanie took one look at me as I entered the barn, and she started to push. When she turned around I saw an ugly looking string of dark goo but when I got the pad and towels ready she had a nice normal looking pre kidding goo.  As soon as I got my gloves on I checked and found a nice big foot ready for delivery. Several hard pushes later another foot appeared and a quick check found the head in good position Joanie pushed hard and I helped with some traction on the legs and very soon we had an 8.6 pound buckling on the pad and breathing well. I checked again and found a very tiny leg and foot and together we delivered a 2.4 pound doe kid who had died about 10 days earlier.  Bummer that she died since she was a eagerly awaited doeling. 

Joanie tended her boy while we milked everyone and then Joanie came in, hopped up on her stand and gave me about a quart and a half of rich colostrum.  Joanie drank about 3 quarts of her Blue Brew and seemed to be working on delivering her afterbirth. I gave her a dose of Oxytocin and returned her to the kidding stall for the night. The next morning after milking she went back to the kidding stall, then that afternoon I put her out with the herd because it was a beautiful day. 

After milking that night Joanie seemed to be really tired and wanting to be left alone so we put her back in the kidding stall for the night.  The next morning Joanie came in for milking and Darrel went out to clean the kidding stall where he found that during the night Joanie had delivered a 3 pound dead doeling.  Joanie seems to be doing well. She seems slightly depressed but is starting to eat better and is enjoying the new spring grass. Maybe next time we will get the doeling we have been waiting 3 years for.  Congratulations to Suzanne on your strapping buckling. Reuel Joanie's EDV Jacob.

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April 23, 2020

Zamora is a delightful little personality kid who is missed around here. She is a nice graceful little girl who is just a little too refined to show well so we were sorry to see her go, but are delighted that she has gone to a local family that really needed her milk for their baby.  She is in a great place and is making a perfect family milker.

Zamora had been filling her udder a bit more every day and her ligaments were very soft on Tuesday evening so she went into the kidding stall so we could keep a close eye on her.  Wednesday morning she came in for her grain and jumped up on the stand easily. Her udder was quite full and her ligaments were gone completely. After she finished her grain she went out to walk around and back to the loafing area... She was walking very, very, slowly...We finished up the morning chores and returned Zamora to the kidding pen....She was very happy to be there and spent the day wandering around and having progressively stronger contractions. At 4:30PM as I was getting dinner started she started pushing for real, so I turned off the stove and headed out to catch babies. 

Zamora was very, very, quiet and once she started pushing hard she didn't waste any time at all. She very quickly delivered a 6.3 pound buckling. I scooped him up and put him on the pad as I slicked the slime from his face and head...I had to clear some slime from his mouth before he could get any air. He quickly gasped and snorted and shook his head to clear his airways. 

Meanwhile, behind me I heard Zamora quietly pushing as waves of contractions washed over her.  Very quickly, there were two feet and a nose, and the next push delivered the head.  Zamora took a couple oi breaths and immediately got back to work delivering her second born.  The little doeling weighed in at 5.3 pounds and quickly cleared her airway with a snort and gasp.

Zamora continued to lie in place and watched the wiggling and snorting little slime balls with a quizzical expression on her face.  I worked the pair over with a towel for a few minutes while Darrel got the post partium bucket of Blue Brew.  Zamora soon got to her feet and began tending the kids. As soon as the Blue Brew arrived she stuck her head in and got a good long drink.  It was a warm evening so we hung her bucket up and headed in to make dinner while she tended the kids.

Zamora did a great job especially as a first time mom. She stood for milking. She was reluctant at first but after the warm udder wash and a couple minutes of waiting, the release of Oxytocin kicked in and she stood perfectly while I milked out her colostrum. The boy drank 8 oz as did the little girl and they were tucked into the TiPi to sleep through the night. Zamora returned to the kidding stall to rest and clean and we got busy milking the rest of the herd.

Congratulations, Karen, on your adorable doeling.

Zamora's boy
Zamora's girl
Pretty doeling head

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Mother's day dawned beautifully warm and with bright sunshine. The lawn and the pastures were bright with Dandy lions and dew. I headed out to do morning chores and milk the ladies.  All was well with the milkers.  Then we brought in the pregnant yearlings for their morning grain....As I checked each of them to see how long it might be before they delivered, it became quite evident that 3 of them were going to be delivering very soon.  After they finished their grain we put them into the kidding stalls.  Java was very calm and quiet so we put her in the stall off camera and put Zakia and Jubilatte together on camera so we could watch them more closely.  Chores were finished and everyone settled for the morning and we headed in for breakfast.  Just after 1:00PM I went out to check on Jubilatte and the fun began...

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May 10, 2020

Jubilatte is a bit of a diva. She is Josee's daughter so she comes by it naturally. She is pleasant and personable and generally nice to deal with.  One thing that she has been pretty insistent about is that her udder is NOT to be fooled with...She has objected to the morning udder check every morning but eventually submits to my insistence. 

This morning was no different in that regard. He udder was nicely full and her teats were as well. Her tail head was raised.  Into the kidding stall she went and because she was pretty nervous about it we put Java in with her to keep her company...at about 1:00PM it appeared that Latte was starting to push a bit...She would lift her ears and shake her head and back up across the pen then walk quickly around the pen before relaxing and doing it all over again. I headed out and called Darrel who came over right away. 

We moved Java into the other kidding pen with Zakia.  I got my gloves on and covered my hand with lots of lube.  Jubilatte was showing her birthing goo so I had Darrel hold her so I could check on her kid's position...the baby was in good position and as Latte pushed I tugged on the front feet and worked to stretch the cervix around the kids very big head... Latte pushed like a champ and finally she had the head through.  I pulled with her pushes and soon we had a HUGE kid on the landing pad.  I checked and found that Jubilatte was done and we lugged the big buck back to the milkroom to be dried and fed and then tucked him into the newborn tipi...He weighed in at 9.6 pounds.  Yep that is right our little yearling delivered a huge buckling. Latte wasn't thrilled with being milked but she wasn't too bad and she supplied plenty of first colostrum for her boy and more for the freezer.  We put her back into the extra kidding pen to clean and moved Zakia back to the pen on camera.

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May 10, 2020

I was watching Zakia on camera when she started stringing pre birthing goo and so I again called Darrel and headed out to catch babies. On arrival we looked at Java in the other kidding pen and discovered that she was also stringing but this was birthing goo...We gathered the towels, pads and donned gloves and climbed in to offer any needed assistance. Java required no help and quickly and efficiently delivered a nice set of buck doe twins.  She was a very attentive mom and cleaned them off with me and soon we lugged them off to be processed.  Getting them all dry and an ID collar on the doeling took about 30 minutes. Then we brought Java in to be milked and she stood like an experienced milker. She ate her grain and then went back in with Jubilatte to clean. Her kids weighed a respectable 5.1 pounds for the doe and 5 pounds for the buck... Karen looks like your little herd is going to be black :-)

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May 10, 2020

Zakia is a little high strung and tends to get flustered if anything in her routine isn't the same as usual.  I wasn't quite sure how she would handle kidding.  She actually did fine. The labor pains didn't seem to freak her out at all and she progressed nicely ... She wasn't thrilled with my wanting to check the position on her first kid and she made it very hard to get my hand and fingers in to see if the kid was in a good position. She finally relaxed and I found the kid was in perfect position. 

Several sessions of hard pushing and the kid's head was fully engaged... I worked the tissues over his head and soon with a firm tug a nice 6.9 pound buck was born. I got him going and then checked Zakia again.  The birth fluids now had a brown color and just didn't look healthy. I lubed up well and reached in to find a set of refined feet and legs.  I pulled the kid while Zakia helped and together we delivered a nice 4+ pound doe kid that had died about 5 days earlier.  Because a dead kid collapses in on itself rather than resisting the mom's contractions, they often prolong the delivery of the other kids.  The first born buckling wasn't moving much with each contraction so we helped by pulling each time Zakia pushed.  We took the kids off to be processed and made sure both kidding pens were stocked with buckets of nice warm Blue Brew. The new moms gratefully sucked it down.

Zakia came in for milking and did very well for a first timer. Babies were all fed and tucked in for their nap and I headed for the shower and to make supper.

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May 12, 2020

Jole spent her Monday after Mother's Day calmly and quietly ignoring the flustered and somewhat noisy fellow yearlings. She ate well, drank plenty of water and gradually filled up her newly emerging udder. On Monday night I checked her and told her that she could stay in the pen with the rest of her fellow yearlings if she promised to lie right in the middle of the pen where I could watch her. Evidently she agreed because when I got in the house from the barn there she was lying smack in the middle of the TV screen with her back end toward the camera. What a good girl!

She appeared to be resting comfortably as did her pen mates as they recovered from their kidding adventures. I watched her closely as she slept peacefully. I headed to bed at 11:30 and slept through the night. Early in the morning I brewed coffee and turned the heat up and checked the monitor where I saw Jole standing at the feeder with 2 kids walking around her. Everyone appeared to be just fine so I took our coffee back and crawled into bed and LeRoy and I watched the morning news. I got LeRoy dressed and then climbed into my chore clothes and headed out for morning chores.

Darrel and I scooped the newborns up and got them into the milkroom where they were properly welcomed and dried and warmed up. We brought the 4 yearlings in to be milked and Jole stood like a pro but one side of her udder was suspiciously partly empty. We then put all 5 of our yearlings into the big pen with the milkers. They integrated into the milking herd and have been doing very well. We thawed colostrum for the doeling and fed the buckling raw colostrum from his mom. The doeling had a suspiciously full tummy and absolutely refused to even open her mouth for the bottle so we tucked her in to the tipi with the rest of the babies and got busy milking the rest of the girls. Jole's twins weighed in at a stout 6.9 and 5.4 pounds. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect conclusion to our kidding season. :-) Karen, your little girl is very opinionated but finally is taking a bottle well.

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