Today was the day

Fergus challenging one of the new girls after we opened the gate
Fergus challenging one of the new girls after we opened the gate

To make the big move and combine the two groups of does.  After the hay was parceled out in all the usual spots, I opened the gate, and Fergus initially was the only one to take the plunge.

Everyone is staring at the new girl! Pippi is warning her off. Dorcas doesn't care, she has a mouthful of hay!
Everyone is staring at the new girl.  Pippi is warning her off. Dorcas doesn’t care, she has a mouthful of hay!

Ferg dueled the longest with Eleganza, but then he turned his attentions to the other 3.  It was pretty funny.  Soon, just about all of the regular crew were over in the east side pen, and everyone was getting into the act.  Rearing and feinting, with a few head bumps happening, but the thing that I always watch for, especially with pregnant does, is the side-bashing.  None was in evidence, thank goodness.  Pippi, Queen of the Herd, came into the fray after everyone else had been at it for awhile.  She went after the newbies with a kind of a growl/grunt and then followed that with a guttural chirp, while motioning with her head down and away.  I have to try and video it someday, it’s quite a show.  Then she just walked away.  No street brawling for the Queen!

Delta smiling at us from the old hay bunker
Delta smiling at us from the old hay bunker

Sam and I stayed up with them for over an hour to make sure that things were not going to get bloody or too nutty.  These guys have been nose to nose through different fences ever since they got here, so nothing new there.  But it’s always a little struggle to define who is in what order on the pecking line.  This afternoon I was pleased to see everyone mingling, sort of, and little Delta was standing in the old feed bunker, happy as a clam!

New feeding lineup
New feeding lineup

We covered the empty greenhouse yesterday, in spite of the wind, and now I just need to get some plywood for the driveway gable end.  This is the intended kidding greenhouse, so I have a little more wiggle time, but I do need to get that sorted sooner rather than later.  One of the new does (for whom we have no due date) is looking a lot closer to kidding than the end of February (Delta).  And our little Betsy girl could be earlier than that as well.  We are keeping a close eye, and are already starting some nighttime checks.  Never a dull moment!

 

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8 thoughts on “Today was the day”

  1. Love checking in on how you are doing. I was down the road at friend’s today who have had a number of new goats and lambs (surprise due to the spring rams precociousness!) over the past week. We are about to hit a really cold spell … so likely going to need to do some extra work to keep those little ones warm.

  2. Thanks for thinking of me! I only have livestock greenhouses, as you can see, so I carefully plan kidding… of course, it’s all nature and the best laid plans and all that. We don’t use heat lamps, but find that if the drafts are blocked and lots of extra straw is involved, babies stay warm if they are getting enough milk from mama!

  3. they did so WELL!!!!with each other! Here, there is such a
    hierarchy that takes so long, well, 3 days, to relax at all. This
    is Great. Now we wait for your kids.

  4. Hi Grace, yes, they did quite well! I don’t want to count our chickens, but the seem to be doing well. The 4 newbies were on their usual side this morning, but last night during the after-hours check, Edna was over on the other side, settled down near the regular crew, but not with them. So we are keeping an eye on things. Goat can be so funny about that hierarchy.

  5. Fascinated to read of your goats! There are a few in my part of England, but mostly as (very successful) visitor attractions. Look forward to goat news! I have followed your blog. Very glad you enjoyed my postcard from England on the marvellous kitchensgarden blog! Very best winter wishes, Alison (Brackenbury) http://www.alisonbrackenbury.co.uk

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