Tag Archives: goat kids

Saffron has her day!

Saffron thinking deep thoughts

Saffron is our very sweet girl that came from Ardelia Farm a year and a half ago.  She was the one that had issues kidding last year and had a stillborn preemie.  Two vets told me that there must be something wrong with her plumbing and that she would most likely not be able to carry babies to full term in the future.  But the post-mortem on the preemie baby indicated that she died of an infection, not that she just couldn’t be full term for some physical reason.

The new girls

So we gave Saffron another chance.  I think when we brought her home over a year ago she had a lot of stress, and things just didn’t work out for her (she aborted the fetus she had been carrying, having gotten bred at Ardelia, and then got re-bred here).  And I think that I am glad we gave her another chance, because she just had two beautiful doelings this afternoon!

Saffron’s larger doeling

I wasn’t home today, and I got a text from Sam saying that he had fed everyone this afternoon, a little before 3.  He couldn’t find Saffron, and when he went into the recesses of the other greenhouse, there she stood with two clean and nearly dry babies, delivering her placenta.  Easy-peasy, I guess!  He said she never made a sound, and he was just in the next greenhouse, which is only 6 feet or so away.

Saffron’s smaller doe

She is a fantastic mama, and stands forever to encourage her babies to nurse.  I think the larger of the two is in a milk coma this evening as I couldn’t get her interested in getting back on the teat when I went out to check them a little while ago.  They both feel fine, and have warm mouths.  (I get obsessive and look for the first dark meconium poops and then later the yellow poops that show milk consumption, but some of the moms get rid of the evidence, and I couldn’t find any signs of the baby’s fecal matter, so I just have to trust that things are going to plan).  It’s my turn to do the late bottle feed tonight, so I will double check on them again.

10 babies on the ground so far, 8 of them are does.  I hope there are a lot of people out there who want Guernsey goats this year!  I certainly can’t handle all the added mouths to feed, at least not for long!  These girls are just doing too good a job :*)


Disbudding day

Sun-bathing lineup! (one of Betsy’s babies has even joined the crew)

Was yesterday for the 8 babies that are on the ground right now.  A friend of ours had offered to help us out, and because I have been sick, time got away with me a little bit.  4 of the babies were turning two weeks old this weekend, and and that is kind of the outer limit on when you get good results with it.

Betsy’s babies are playing with the big kids today

So our friend and her husband came up around midday, and the sun was shining and everything went very smoothly.  I am not sure I could ever do the procedure myself, but someone experienced makes it look quick and easy.  So our little ones all have alien markings on their heads, and by chore time yesterday afternoon, they were running around and playing, totally unfazed by the ordeal.  I, on the other hand, was exhausted!

This is something that I really do not look forward to, but horns in a dairy operation are dicey…  the girls frequently get annoyed with each other for one reason or another, and they bash at their victim with their heads down.  Udders have been punctured and slashed, and then you have an even bigger problem on your hands (getting udders to heal is a long process as they are constantly expanding to fill with milk, and then contracting after milking).  And so we disbud.  In the long run it’s safer for us as well.  (Purebred Guernsey goats are naturally ‘polled,’ but our little herd isn’t quite to that level yet, although our Betsy was naturally polled).

The Captain and Tenille (aka, Betsy’s babies)

Our Betsy has been eating fitfully, and since we have taken her babies away, all she is doing is poking her head out of the panel and calling to her little ones, who huddle next to the gate into her pen.  She has eaten a little more over the last few days, but not enough, and I think her stress level has been rising, as she wants her babies with her.  So I fed the little bugs their 5 PM bottles, and let her out.  They mobbed her and nursed her for awhile, but I am hoping they will settle down and let her just be their mama.  She is such a good one.  I just have my fingers crossed that I can get her through this and onto a better nutritional plane.  One of the reasons I kept her is because her mama, Battie, is such a fantastic mother, that I hoped the trait would pass to her.  I guess it did, and ironically it’s putting her health at risk.

And so we keep figuring out as we go on.  You just never know what’s around the corner.  I am hoping for a little lull between births.  4 more to go, 3 of whom I have pretty good dates on, one of which I do not.  We shall see!

Another day, another set of twins

The blondie in the back is the buck, and miss red head in the front is the doe. Cute as button!

And here we go!  Battie did not show up for her afternoon suppertime, and at the time, we didn’t notice until everything was over.  I was feeding the bottle lambs, and Sam was doling out the grain.  When we looked in the other greenhouse, there lay Battie, facing the corner, not doing much.  This was about 2:30 PM.

Battie’s doe and buck

We watched her for awhile, and then we went back to the house.  I got into the bathtub and soaked for awhile, but when I was getting dressed, I noticed Sam jogging up the driveway.  Not a good sign!  He had heard Battie bellowing up in the greenhouse, and guessed what was going on.  He got there just as her buckling hit the ground.  He got her moved into a jug, and that’s when her little red doeling came dropping in.  (We actually thought the doeling wasn’t a viable baby.  She was flat as a pancake, wasn’t moving, and wasn’t breathing).  We got her nose cleared off and there she was, right as rain.  Little spitfire!

Another 9 or 10″ of snow yesterday. No foot paths for the goaties first thing this morning

I wasn’t really expecting Battie to be due for another two weeks.  When I put Reddog in with my group on October 12, I knew that he had been all over Battie, but he also seriously bred her for a full day almost 3 weeks later.  So I had the second date on my calendar.  Just goes to show you, you never can tell!

On another note, we took Betsy’s babies away from her this morning.  Every time she got up, both of them were at her and never let her have a minute of non-nursing.  I put them in the jug right next to her, so they can stick their heads through the panel and chat, but no milkies.  I don’t think I have ever been given the stink eye from a goat the way Betsy gave me one this morning, but I think in the long run it’s going to be better.  She stared at them morosely for a few hours, and by early this afternoon, she was frantically eating hay.  And when all the hullaballoo started with Battie, she couldn’t contain herself, standing with her front hooves on the panel, watching and trying to see what was happening.  That’s more like most goats I know!  Noseybodies, one and all.  When I went out to bottle feed her babies at 7 PM, she was still ravenously attacking her hay, and the babies were just happily cuddled up in a corner of their pen.  I actually had to wake them up.  So I think things are progressing well.  I just have my fingers crossed that Betsy keeps moving forward with her nutrition.

What a day!  I think a glass of wine is in order!  Someone else is doing the 11 PM bottle feeding tonight.  That’s a huge gift :*)

Fergus and Mama Pickles

Mama and boy
Mama and boy

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!


May days

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We are going back and forth between overcast, dull and grey days and days where the sky is as blue as can be and the temperatures are rising into the high 60s.  It’s always the way,

The one guaranteed thing that goes along with the warmer temperatures:  the Black Fly contingent.  It is a sure thing during the month of May.  What a pain!  We welcome the breezes at the farm, and today we had something of a nice, breezy afternoon.  I had some good times with the kids, and we were able to get a few things done in the garden as well.

John and I went to our favorite garden center late morning  and came home with some tomato plants and a few herb plants.  I potted my new thyme plant, which was good.  And now we ask for: No more frost please!!!

Summer days

Goat shadows
Goat shadows

Are definitely here. The heat is edging up, and today the humidity is rolling in. And of course, our hay man called yesterday to say that he is coming late this morning with 90 bales. Going to be quite the hot time in the green house!

One of SnowPea's growing boys!
One of SnowPea’s growing boys!

As far as the goats go, we had a little quality time on Sunday morning, when I penned everyone and did some worming and vaccines (not their favorite thing to do, I may say!). Toward the end of the schoolyear I got a little messed up on my calendar, so I missed the correct date for the second CD&Ts for a few of the babies, so I think I will be giving those kids a third in about three weeks. And having given the calendar a good once over, I will now be thinking about moving some of these babes along!



The green time is finally upon us and it’s such a relief! This past winter seemed to drag out an exceptionally long time. The leaves are still a lighter shade of green right now, and it’s lovely to drive up the street and see everything filling out, in all shades, and leaves in all different sizes.

Meanwhile, the goat kids are growing like hot cakes. They have become a cohesive little gang, not always obeying their mothers anymore. It’s quite fun to watch. They are still loving their playtime at The Rock, but they also zip around doing sideways flips, kicking up their heels with big grins on their faces. I am beginning to plan for weaning time, which means I will have to set up one side of the paddock to be kid-proof. That is definitely going to be a challenge. They are worse than lambs at weaning time, and many a goat baby has talked his or her mama into standing up close to the fence so they can get a nosh. Little beggars!