Tag Archives: doelings

And we have doelings!

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Wednesday night was a little rough as I was up and down checking on SnowPea, and the next morning she was her usual self, but eating like crazy and pushing everyone out of the way! Her udder was the same size as the evening before, and I presumed that she was going to wait another day to do something, tanking up for the job.

But long about 2 PM, I went out to see that her udder had ballooned to double its earlier size and she had a nice size water bag hanging there. I made sure our kit was ready with the Bo-Se (selenium and vitamin E shot for the newborns to protect against White Muscle Disease), iodine for navels, Nutridrench for helping along a befuddled baby needing energy, and a bag full of clean towels. Then we called some friends who have been dying to see a goat baby born, and the wait began.

Unlike with the sheep, I don’t usually see much of the kidding process, as our goats (knock on wood) rarely have issues, and pop them out when they are ready, so I may or may not see the beginning of labor. Conventional wisdom with small ruminants has it that if the water bag is out for more than an hour and there is no movement forward (like little hooves and a nose poking out), that the farmer should investigate and make sure there isn’t a problem. We hate to do this because it automatically means antibiotic intervention, and I don’t like setting it up for that scenario if I can help it.

So I was torn. SnowPea didn’t appear to be in active labor, no strong contractions, and she paced and then just sat down. So we all left (that’s probably what she was waiting for!) and I called my older son, thinking I would be pulling a goat baby shortly. He came over and when we went out, voila! – there was a whopping 8 pound doeling! All dry, fed, and getting around very nicely. It appeared as though SnowPea was finished (no more water bags, just the usual prep for getting out the placenta), and we did all we had to do with the baby, got mama comfy, and went in to dinner. When I went out to make sure things were still going well, about 2 hours later, it was obvious that I had just missed the second doeling being delivered. She was sputtering and lying there in her amniotic fluid, and SnowPea had just started licking her off.  And this one is a 10 pounder!

And so we have two adorable doelings from Mama SnowPea, who always has 2 bucks.  Every year.  Pickles and Sassafras are a very welcome addition to our little farm!

Baby photos at last

I had a chance to get out with our regular camera this afternoon and get a few photos of our beautiful baby goats. The girls are doing really well and were bouncing around annoying their mama Zelda while she was trying to eat her lunch! We have definitely begun our kidding year on the right foot: two girls :*)

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Goatie update

Doelings in the feed bunker

Now that our goatie babies are all over 2 months old, we are beginning to find new homes for them.  They have been a constant source of entertainment and they are all sweet, sweet doelings.  But keeping 4 of them would mean a serious population explosion, so we began looking for homes for two of them.  One of Pippi’s short-eared girls and the long-eared girl who did not break her leg!

Bonbel the stellar goat!

We also have an extra adult goat, Bonbel, that we had not really intended to keep.  She is the one who had the long-eared girls this year.  She has kidded twice, both times twins and both times with no problem.  But I hand milk and only can deal with a certain amount of it, so I prefer to only milk two goats a year.  Maybe 3 someday!  So we found out that a friend of ours was interested in her and we did a barter:  she is helping me with trimming goat hooves and she gets a sweet girl who has a lot of milk to share.  I am really pleased!

Bonbel’s girl who has moved on to a family with children!

As for the goat babies, our friend who is taking Bonbel has found a family whose children have been saving up for goats, so they are taking an adult from our friend and two of our babies.  One long-ear and one short-ear.  Our friend Celine took the three of them off yesterday, and today has been a totally new chore time!  The long-eared baby with the broken leg is still here with us and Bonbel her mother is gone, so she had a little bit of a tough time, but Zorro the llama cuddles up with her in the greenhouse, and I found her sleeping next to Pippi’s short-eared girl this morning.  They are great friends and hang out together.  SnowPea, our oldest doe and herd queen, also cuddles up with any of the babies and watches out for all of them.

The crazy goat-baby energy has been cut in half, but this is a step forward and I am glad that we have found really good homes for our girls.  Big sigh!

Doeling’s big day

Last night I checked on all the little does and they were still looking good and I went to bed thinking that they would all be fine.  Wrong!  Got out to do chores this morning and as I walked up to the paddocks I saw the sheep lying up on the hill as usual, and the two mama goats with their babies lined up inside the greenhouse as usual, only something was definitely amiss.  Yowzer.  All of those beautiful white goaties looked like they had been through the wars, or that the Texas Chainsaw Massacre had been reenacted during the night.  All from one of Pippi’s girls.  The edge of one of her hornbuds had probably gotten torn (or the skin around it had during the disbudding and opened up) and I couldn’t even see her face for all the blood.  As we all know, head wounds bleed like a bugger, but what with the whiteness of their coats it really looked spectacularly awful.

One of Pippi’s girls at rest with John after the blood had stopped and she was all cleaned up

Our little one didn’t even try to stop me from scooping her up and running back to the house.  I skidded into the bathroom with her and John got her settled and worked on getting some of the blood off  of her.  Particularly her poor little face!  I ran back up and fed all the animals, because at this point they were a little perturbed that I had made an appearance and then disappeared just as quickly, and were creating a racket.  We had to call our friend Pam at Hatchtown Farm because I could not put my hands on the bloodstop powder.  She gave us a little baggie and we made a paste out of iodine and the powder and got it onto her newly cleaned up hornbud and then kept sprinkling more bloodstop powder on it.  Eventually we got her relatively clean, returned to her mama and reunited with all her cousins.  She definitely cuddled right up to Pippi and after a nosh she went to sleep.

Reunited with mama and cousins

It’s looking good now and it hasn’t even oozed at all.    We have been checking on her during the day and all seems well.  I just hope that this is enough to do it, because the flies are terrible out there and that is my biggest fear of all, getting flystrike.  Yuck.

Doelings take a ride

Moms transferred into the alternate paddock look quite content

Busy days.  Yesterday we penned all the ewes and lambs first thing and we checked their Famacha scores and wormed them.  You are supposed to do that on an empty stomach so that the wormer takes effect better, so that was our early job.  Then we separated all but one of the mama ewes from the lambs and put them into the other paddock.  And that began the crazed calling and crying that has continued into the day today.  All of these lambs are very past due for weaning, but it wasn’t really convenient for a number of reasons.  The only mom who is staying with her lambs is Esther as she had her babies so much later than the others.  She has not gotten the very best nutrition as I had to cut down on the grain for the other moms.  So she needs to stay with the market lambs and get more grain before she heads down to the field.

Doelings at play on their favorite rock

And then the big trip to the vet’s today with our four doelings.  It was time for their disbudding.  I really hate doing this, but the vet does it very efficiently and they get a shot of Banamine which is an anti-inflammatory so I think they are more comfortable.  They were a little dozy on the way home through the torrential downpours and by the time we got back to the farm they were hopping around in the back of the Subaru and checking things out through the back window.  They got with their mamas right away and within minutes they were out playing on the big rock.  A few more things to check off the list!

Year of the white ruminant babies continues

Pippi’s girls

Last night Pippi did it!  She had her kids a little before 10 P.M.  When I went out about 10:15 to check on her I knew something was going on even before I got into the paddock.  All the ewes and lambs along with Zorro were standing in a semi-circle, staring at one corner in complete silence.  When I got over there, one tiny doe was on her feet and the second one was on the ground, still covered in amniotic fluid and a little blood.  Pippi was singing to them and cleaning them off.  So we got them into the greenhouse pen and they immediately got to looking for breakfast and they appear to be doing very well this morning.  Pippi is a great mom and she is taking care of her girls well as usual.

We had really thought hard about taking the babies from Pippi at birth and bottle rearing them so that I would immediately have milk, most of which would go to bottle feeding the babies, and some for us.  But I just can’t stand watching a mama goat talking and chortling to her babies, and know that nature has made it work for them to raise their young well.  I know that bottle raising does insures that they will be much friendlier and easier to handle in the long run, but in the end I couldn’t go there.  I am a wimp!

Pippi’s girls are a very average baby goat size, although in contrast to the lambs who are at least 3 months old, they are teeny!

Curiosity in the greenhouse last night. The lambs can’t figure out what those little noisemakers are!