It feels like Spring out there. I keep thinking that we are going to get slammed this month, with snow and ice and below zero temps. But this week they are forecasting numbers in the upper 40s and low 50s! Dare we hope for an easy winter? I just don’t know.
On Sunday Sam and I took the milkstand out into the large girl’s paddock. Put it down in a flat area so that they could investigate and jump onto and off of it. It was time for trimming some hooves, and in the past the twins (SnowPea’s girls) have had a terrible fear of the stand. I use this piece of equipment for more than just milking; we use it for hoof trimming and other medical procedures as well, if it’s something where we need them to stand for more than a few minutes.
So they all need to get used to it. I know we are not that close to kidding yet, but usually I will get my mamas up on the stand a lot before the babies come so that they are not freaked out. And always, way before their due dates, we check the way their bellies are hanging, as well as their udder development. (They need to get used to me coming up behind them and having an udder feel. It’s very revealing!). I don’t want any of this to be new to them right before kidding.
I am also beginning to add some alfalfa pellets into the feed for the girls who may be having their kids the soonest. It’s a nice source of calcium, and I want to prevent any issues that might arise before kidding with toxemia. The pre-birth visage of milk fever. Ugh. Ugly!
And so it goes. Battie is the first doe up for kidding, end of February/beginning of March. And so we shall see,