Ready, for the most part

Back of the kidding greenhouse
Back of the kidding greenhouse

It’s still snowing, and at least 12 hours into the storm.  It’s cold and quite windy as well, but the snow is dry and light.  For now.  The temperature is supposed to keep going up overnight, and the end of this ‘event’ early tomorrow is predicted to be rain.  Blech.  That is one thing I can do without!

Open end of the kidding greenhouse
Open end of the kidding greenhouse

Windy conditions make me nuts around kidding time; it is the super bad guy in our little world.  If I can get to babies immediately after birth, or be there while they are being born, we can make sure they are in a draft-free zone, and help the mamas by doing some of the drying off.  Once the kids are relatively dry and are stocking up on colostrum, they are usually ok.

We got our back wall windbreak up today.  Two pieces of exterior plywood, tied tightly to the galvanized panels that are the gable end barrier (where there is supposed to be a real wall and a door…).  We got the plywood under the tarp overhang, drilled holes in the board, and tied the tarp down to the grid panel on the inside of the wood.  I thought it was going to work ok, but it’s actually tighter and nicer than I envisioned.  The tarp on this greenhouse drags on the ground a bit, and now there is a lot of snow holding it down.  The open end of the structure faces due south, and I have a windbreak green panel with a tarp at that opening.  Our prevailing winds come most usually out of the north and the north west, so it should be a good setup.  Nice and snug.  Here’s to hoping it stays that way!

Two pens available
Two pens available

I have two pens set up in this greenhouse, one is a catch pen I use from time to time, and initially that will be our labor pen (it’s about 9′ X 8′).  Once I know a doe is in labor, I like to give her some privacy, and I don’t want her looking for a corner of the paddock out in the snow to get away from all the Nosey Aunties.  After the baby or babies are born, I can put them into the jug right next to that.

Birthing box all ready and restocked
Birthing box all ready and restocked

And so The Watch is on.  Delta is a go for launch, I do believe!


21 thoughts on “Ready, for the most part”

  1. All the best to the moms and new babies as they arrive! I hope it does warm up for you, but not rain. Wet and windy conditions are not what you need right now.

  2. Hi Nina. The storm is just hitting us here now. Although it is below zero the rain is coming down. That warm air must be sliding in on top! Your preparations look well planned. Can I ask what a ‘jug’ is? That is what you said you could put the babies into?

  3. Hi Lavinia,
    Thanks for your best wishes. This winter is as kooky as last year was. I have my fingers crossed that Delta hangs on until after midday tomorrow. It’s supposed to be 50F. What a mess.

  4. Yes, those pesky clouds riding on top of the cold air are really a problem. A ‘jug’ in sheep and goat terms is a small pen where mom and babies can bond, and we can have our hands on them to do things like put eartags in, and monitor weights and temperatures to make sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to do. And it keeps the nosey neighbors from interfering, You wouldn’t believe what some of the aunties get up to!

  5. [J] Impressed with the preparations. We don’t get severe cold like you can (no snow for several years, in fact), but strong wind with rain is a killer for the newborn lambs. We just need to give them something to shelter behind when giving birth.

  6. I can imagine what your wind conditions must be! February and March here are extremely unpredictable and it can be bitter. Most people have barns, but since we do not we have to put a little more creativity into keeping our goalies safe and comfortable in all weather.

  7. A lot of snow in central Maine, but no baby goats to worry about! Hope all goes well for those little ones and their mamas.

  8. Thanks so much, Laurie! You folks have gotten much more precipitation this winter than we have. Tomorrow sounds like another day for shoveling.

  9. Yes, indeed! I actually like snow and winter, even though I don’t play outside anymore. The light and the landscape dazzle me. Also, it helps that my husband does all the clean-up 😉

  10. Nice. I love the winter as well. Not as sure-footed as I used to be, but I love spending time outdoors more in the winter than in the summer, really!

  11. Hello! We too are under quite the blanket of snow in central Maine, wow! I was wondering about the breeding of your goats and if you plan to sell any guernsey stock in the spring/summer? We currently have 3 oberhasli does and i am looking to expand a little 🙂 thanks!

  12. Yes! I am going to seriously need to sell some stock this summer as I had not really intended to have so many does at this point! You have Oberhaslis which are an accepted breed for breeding-up Guernseys, too. Have you kidded yet?

  13. My girls are due first week in May! My pregnant ones are unregisterable, and were bred to a purebred, unregistered buck, so thats a little sticky but ok! And my registered doe isnt bred as we just got hef and she needed a little tlc. Our plan is to acquire a registered ober buckling next spring and id like to add a guernsey buckling after we’ve gotten ourselves some golden guernsey beauties! 🙂 I’d love to be on your list, and know your pricing 🙂 i have enjoyed reading your blog this past year, thanks for sharing!

  14. Hi Melissa,
    It’s nice to have two breeds. Oberhaslis are one of my favorites. I have not thought about pricing yet, but I will get back to you on that. Where do you live?

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