Fergus, our last kid born, is doing really well. His mama, Pickles, is a great mother, and is doing her goat mama thing. Having had a single baby, I was concerned about her udder. Little Fergus has only been nursing from one side, so I had to empty the left side of her udder for a few days. She was not very happy about that, but in the past day or so, Fergus has realized that there is more than one spigot available! Great kid, Fergus!
Right after Fergus was born, I emailed the vet and asked if we could have a visit very soon, as Fergus was born with horn buds ready to go. We had a few hiccups in connecting with each other, but she was finally able to get here and take care of that. We had her do our little white doeling as well, although she was enough older that I think it did not totally get the buds off. It may inhibit the horn growth, however. Disbudding with an iron is very tricky business, and it’s easy to kill a kid by being too aggressive, so I leave that to the vets.
We got quite a bit done this weekend, and this drizzly Memorial Day morning is a lazy one for me. I am going to have another cup of coffee and decide what i need to pull together a nice dinner. The ingredients of the day are eggplant and chicken. Lots of possibilities there!
Our yearling doe, Pickles, chose wisely. She really didn’t look ready to kid today at all, but first-timers can fool just about all of us! I did chores, checked her carefully, and her udder looked a little tiny bit bigger, but nothing serious. We took our grandson to our favorite breakfast place, and then scooted up the hill to our pigeon racing friend’s house to watch his birds come in from a race. He and his wife had driven and released the club’s birds in Massachusetts, and he wanted to make sure they all registered on the clock (we have no old birds flying this spring). We saw the first 7 or 8 pigeons come in a little after 9:30, and then I got a call from my son that we had baby touchdown. So I raced home to take care of seeing that the little guy got his Bo-Se shot (to prevent white muscle disease) and his little umbilical cord dipped in iodine, plus a weight.
Pickles is a medium-sized doe, but not the biggest, and she birthed a 7.75 lb buckling with no trouble. She is definitely SnowPea’s daughter! Our little buck definitely has the Guernsey genes (his father, Reddog, is almost pure Guernsey, his mother is 1/4 Alpine, 3/4 Lamancha). Sigh. This day has not disappointed!
I am really not sure if anyone else out there is bred, but this morning I just happened to be standing behind Pickles’ sister Sassafrass, and one side of her udder is round and full. I don’t know if this is just a copycat of what Pickles had last fall, an udder that was filling without any pregnancy, or if Sassafras is really bred and might be cooking a baby in there! I guess only time will tell, or I can draw blood and do a pregnancy check. If I still don’t know by mid to late June, I may just do that. The one thing I am pretty sure of is that none of the goats are likely to be kidding before then, if they are bred, so I will be out of school if things should look promising! All of us can get a good night’s sleep for awhile now :*)
Not difficult on a farm in the spring. Pippi’s babies are doing very well, and they are growing like weeds. We let them out of the jug on Monday morning, and it’s one of my favorite things to watch as the mama and babies get introduced back into the herd. Always entertaining! Pippi takes her job very seriously, and she warned everyone off of her babies. She can be a bit of a barnyard bully, but in this case, it’s definitely a necessity!
Because the new babies are still smallish, they are not emptying Pippi’s udder very efficiently, and of course they always have a favorite side! So the left side of Pippi’s bag was staying much larger than the right. I took advantage of that, and got her on the milking stand yesterday afternoon. She is a trooper, and gave me a lovely half gallon of milk. I won’t be able to depend on this amount, because as the kids grow, they nurse much more efficiently. But it’s a start.
Over the weekend we also got some fencing done. One of our greenhouses has to come down, but I had based some paddock perimeters on the greenhouse and had fencing attached (never a good idea, but it worked at the time). I had not been allowing any one in there as I have no cover for that greenhouse, and it’s really kind of in an awkward spot. So we got our alternate fencing up, which always takes longer than I think. But it’s a big job and I am kind of past wielding a sledge hammer and pounding 7′ T-posts in to the ground, so I was happy to have my son’s help. (I used to stand on the step ladder and pound away. Not in my plans anymore).
And so it goes. We are waiting on Pickles to have her kids. She is due on Saturday. She didn’t look quite ready yet this morning, although she is getting there. First-timers can really surprise you.
Looking forward to a mostly beautiful weekend. Full of goat babies, I hope!
I don’t think that Pippi has ever had her kids at night. She always goes into labor early in the day and by evening everyone is settled for the night. I am convinced that she waited until darkness yesterday because the black flies were so intent upon carrying every living thing away, and she couldn’t stand it until dark when they go into hiding!
And so we have a new buck and doe. Half Saanen, half Lamancha. They are beautiful little goaties! They are both white, but the little buck has a black spot on his left cheek. His grampie, Elvis the crazy white Lamancha, was all white with two little spots of black on his left side. Funny how those things come out.
Anyhow, the doe was 9.25 lbs and the buck was 8.5. Everything went very well, and they are resting in their greenhouse pen. They had a lazy day today, but are looking strong and healthy. The little doe is always ready to cuddle, and the little buck is constantly teasing his sister.
And so we have one more doe to go (Pickles), and if anyone else is pregnant, we won’t know until later. Maybe Reddog did manage to breed some of the girls and we will be happily surprised!
It’s just about that time! Pippi the bruiser is due tomorrow. We have been calling her Pippi Saddlebags for quite awhile now, as she look like she is carrying a suitcase on both sides. She is front-loading right now, hasn’t stopped stuffing her face for the last day or two. She always does this… We go out at 9:30 or 10 PM and she is still up scarfing all the leftover hay that everyone else has turned their backs on. She knows she needs some serious energy right now, so she is taking care of business.
And so it goes. More adorable babies on the way, I hope! Tomorrow it’s supposed to be sunny and 70F. Perfect! We gave Pippi a pep talk tonight and let her know that tomorrow would be the perfect time.
We shall see. We play more of the waiting game. And in the meantime we are fighting off the Attack of the Blackflies. It’s almost the perfect time of year as far as the weather goes, and the darn flies have to ruin it :*/
Not sure if we have had any sun since May 1st! It sure feels like we have not. It’s grey, overcast and damp. The good part of this has been that we are getting a little of the rain that we need, but in-between, we have not seen the sun. Complain, complain, grump, grump. It’s been really bone-chilling damply cold at work, probably because the heat is already turned off!
Well, we are getting there, but I suspect that one day soon we will wake up and it will feel like summer, and we will walk around complaining that we had no spring… just winter into summer. That’s Maine, for you!
But the days are flying by now. We are waiting on the next two goats to kid, one next week, and one the week after. Pippi is due next and she looks big as houses! We are calling her ‘Saddlebags.’ Poor thing is waddling, but she still finds the time and energy to boss the other goats around at the feeder. Pickles the yearling is the next up after Pippi, and I am hoping that she has a single. (Pippi has never had a single, she just keeps popping out those twins!).
And so it goes. 28 work days to go :*)
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!