Tag Archives: kidding

Dorcas wraps it up

I really meant to do this on Wednesday evening, but here at the end of the kidding season I am dragging!  But, it’s finally over!!!

One of the Dorcas girls working on breakfast

Dorcas had her two nice-sized doelings on Wednesday around 6 PM.  She is usually very focused at the grain feeder, (a goat who will not walk away until all the grain is spoken for), so when she ate only a bit during afternoon chore time and then walked away,  I had a feeling she was close. While I was making dinner, Sam kept going out to check on her, and voila, there they were!  Two beautiful doelings.

Dorcas’ first doeling

I still have not gotten over the late nights and the early mornings, and there is always so much to do that I have not caught up yet.  Yesterday we took Peanut and Edna’s two babies up to the more local vet that we use, and she disbudded them.  Now I just have to keep checking Dorcas’ babies to see if they will turn out to be polled, or if they grow horn buds.  We shall see.  I know Dorcas is naturally a polled girl, but it doesn’t always work out perfectly.

Dorcas is shedding her fine, furry undercoat

And so it goes!  Today is not excessively warm, but the sun is strong and shining.  Fence repair is on the list, and then some shifting of equipment to make things easier for milking, both in the house and outside.  Right now I am milking Saffron and Battie in the morning, so that I have food for little Peanut.  I also have to milk Betsy since her babies have moved on, but I will commence drying her off soon so that I can get feed into her that does more than just go to the production of milk.  Battie and Saffron’s babies are really getting big, so I am surprised that I am getting the milk I am getting, since it means sharing it with their growing offspring!

Sweet Dorcas

So it is a beautiful Friday and I am ready to get back outside.  Hope everyone is enjoying the day!

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Tuesday, beautiful weather and more kids

Hagrid, resting by the feeder

It was a gorgeous day yesterday, for sure.  We had a visit from the vet to try and get our three babies from last week disbudded, but their horn buds were too big already.  That’s a disappointment, because I don’t like horns in my herd, but it’s possible that there are folks out there that will be fine with two Guernsey does with horns.  Our half Lamancha/half Guernsey boy, Hagrid, (he was the giant baby born last week to Pippi), may be desirable to someone as well.  He is a real sweetie!  On the plus side, she took care of Jingle the Donkey’s yearly exam and her vaccines, so it was not a wasted trip.

Edna and her new babies

Two of the does that we got in December are the ones that were still holding out as of this morning, even though they have looked like they would explode if you touched them, for the last few weeks.  Today at 11 we went out to check on everyone, and then I ran to a friend’s house to pick up a few things.  While I was there, about noontime, I got a text telling me that Edna had twins and they were up and cleaned off already!  It’s a buck and a doe, and they are doing well.  Edna is a good mom, and they are hunkered down and happy in the new greenhouse.  Edna ate more this afternoon than she has eaten in a week!

Edna and her little doe (I think!)

And so now Dorcas is the last holdout.  I know the full Pink Moon was at it’s height at about 2 AM this morning, but it will probably still look full tonight if the clouds have not moved in yet.  And so, who knows?  We may have more goat babies tonight.  You just never know.

Pippi threw a curve ball

She did, too, in a number of ways.

New boy in town

Firstly, Pippi has never had a single, never ever.  Always pretty good sized twins, usually a buck and a doe (I wish I had a photo of her, pre-baby delivery.  She always looks like she has a suitcase on either side, and we uncharitably call her Wide Load.  Then she has her babies, and all is normal again).   Secondly, she always has had her babies during daylight, or at the very latest, early evening, right around dinner time.

Pippi can be a little bit of a helicopter mom!

Not this year!  Now we were pretty sure that Pippi was going to be popping her progeny yesterday, all the signs were good and she usually pops them out on her due date or one day later.  As the day wore on, however, I just figured that it might go another day.  But that’s not the kind of thing you don’t watch, so every few hours one of us went up and checked in on her.  I was exhausted, and after we tube-fed little Peanut a little before 10, we went out for another check.  Pippi was obviously in labor, talking to her butt, but the longer we stuck around, the less Pippi looked like she was going to cooperate (she is a very private doe and will cross her legs and wait until the humans are elsewhere).  By 10:10, we went in and I threw myself on the sofa.  Sam couldn’t wake me up at 11, which we had decided to target as the next check, but his text did, and it said Baby.

Our handsome boy!

So he got her and the baby into the jug, got her settled, and we took care of getting the weight (9.25 lbs.  Giant baby), giving the Bo-Se shot, dipping the navel, and helping to dry him off as he is one big piece of real estate.  Beautiful boy.  But her vaginal situation did not say to me, placenta, it said, there is more baby to come, and we waited to see if there would be another water bag.  Then I realized that she wouldn’t do anything while we were there, so back we went to the house after getting her a little molasses water, about midnight.

I guess I must have dozed off again, because about 1 we went out  and realized that she had passed the placenta, hence no more babies!  I don’t blame her, she certainly has a beautiful and very large baby, but it was a little bit of a surprise from a champion twinner!

At less than 24 hours old, he looks like he could just go and join the other babies and fit right in.  He is quite tall, and has a beautiful long body.  I must say that I am surprised the Lamancha genetics trumped the Guernsey genetics where the ears are concerned!

Anyhow, mother and baby are well, although Pippi gets incredibly pissed every time one of the other mothers looks into the pen.  But this is life, and when you are the Queen, I guess it is part of the job!

Our little Peanut

We are still trying to get Peanut on the bottle.  She had one shining moment today and got sucking her tongue, so I shoved the bottle in and she drank an ounce all on her own.  She looked very surprised, and then went to sleep.  One day at a time.  She has already become my little cuddle buddy.

 

Today

Our little orphan

Was quite the day.  We have been doing round-the-clock checks on a few of our does, and no one appeared to be doing anything yesterday or last night.  Getting bigger, but nothing else going on.

Peanut on her feet a few hours later

Last night we thought Beezus might be in the beginning stages of labor, so we were checking her every few hours.  Nothing.  But this morning when I went out there, I found a wee little babe covered in the straw near where Beezus sleeps.  There was no wet spot, no placenta, no nothing.  Just a little baby, apparently dead, lying in the straw bedding.  I grabbed her up, and even though I presumed she was dead, I wrapped her in my jacket and grabbed a towel, and ran her down to the house.  Beezus was just sitting there cudding.  Oy!

Anyhow, she mewled once, and as I was rubbing her belly, I felt her breathing.  And so it began.  After I took her temperature and it didn’t even register on the electronic thermometer, I knew we were in trouble.  And so I had to go to the trusty internet to read the instructions for giving an intra-peritoneal glucose and water shot.  I have never done this before, but luckily I had the glucose, and I did it, following the instructions from one of the big universities.  It was clearly A Miracle.  I watched her come to life in the minutes after that shot, and I still can hardly believe it.  When we got her temp up to 91.4, we celebrated, although when I spoke to the vet, she didn’t sound very optimistic about that milestone.  But we are keeping on, and hopefully it will be a positive outcome.  (Lots of hot water bottles, a heating pad, and body heat to help her get to a temp of 101+.  We did it around midday!).

Peanut having none of this bottle stuff!

Little Peanut Butter should not be alive, but as of tonight, she still is.  We worked long and hard this morning getting her warmed up, so that we could begin to give her some colostrum and milk.  I don’t have a lot of frozen colostrum, and her mama wasn’t making any.  She was dry as a bone.  So I defrosted some from another doe, and broke out my powdered colostrum.  I am milking one of my does, so I can mix that with the powdered stuff.

I don’t know where this will go, or whether or not this little one will survive.  She is truly a Peanut.  About as big as our chihuahua, who is 3 lbs soaking wet.  I want her to thrive, but the odds are against her.  We shall see.  We are having to tube feed her, even though since midday she has been able to hold her head up and get up on her feet and lurch around.  She is not interested in the bottle yet, but I am hoping against hope that we can coax her to it.  (I really hate tube feeding).

And so it goes.  Dorcas and Pippi are still ‘wide loads coming through,’ and very pregnant.  Don’t have a date on Dorcas, but Pippi’s due date is today, which means that tomorrow is a good bet for her.  She will be watched closely.  I can only hope that she decides to go during the day.  Beezus has actually been our only doe to do something at night so far.

Adventures in farming.  Always something new.  All positive thoughts are welcome!

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 :*)

 

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 :*)

Betsy comes home

Betsy’s little boo boos (we call Betsy Boo Boo all the time)

Phew!  Betsy and two live babies have joined us back on the farm.  The vet called yesterday afternoon to say that nothing was happening yet, but could she call us at any time of the night in case we needed to make further decisions.  (That was a bit of a nail-biter to take off to bed).  She also told us that after they give the drugs to induce labor the average time is about 30 hours, so we knew it was possible to be between 10 PM and midnight.

Betsy’s doe is quite a girl!

Midnight came and went, and every time I awoke and checked the clock I thought, awesome Betsy, you hang on for some warmer temperatures!  Anyhow, at 6 AM the vet called and let us know that she had pulled two live kids, one doe and one buck, at 11:30 last night.  They are doing fairly well, although the buckling may have had some ataxia (oxygen depravation), and he was the one they were watching.  But we were free to come and liberate them!

Betsy’s buckling in a food coma. He also has some trouble with his leg coordination right now

And so we toodled to Monmouth and picked up Betsy and kids.  The vets had gotten them started on bottles, with Betsy’s colostrum mixed with milk replacer, because they needed sustenance right away, and also because nursing two kids is not going to be to Betsy’s advantage.  She had gotten very thin in the last few weeks and she needs all her strength for herself, not to put into making milk.  The little doe is very vociferous and takes the bottle well, but the buck wants nothing to do with the bottle.  He just wants mama!  He will be our challenge.  Luckily I planned ahead and milked Eleganza and saved quite a bit of her colostrum, and also a few quarts of her milk.  That will definitely help us along here.

It is so bitterly cold that when we got them home, I relented and borrowed a friend’s heat lamp.  Betsy doesn’t have the resources to keep herself warm enough, let alone the babies.  They are all nestled up together under the lamp tonight, and the buckling must be getting enough to eat because his temperature is over 102.  But as with everything else, we will keep checking and deciding how to proceed.

The weather service claims that the windchill advisory will be over first thing in the morning.  I really hope that is true!  This is inhuman.  I don’t know how folks manage to live in the tundra regions.  Mind-numbing wind is a force to be reckoned with, for sure.  I can’t say that I am looking forward to a foot of snow on Tuesday and Wednesday, but if it’s in the high 20s, I will live with it, happily :*)  (I may need to remind myself of this as we are so quick to forget, and everything is relative, right?).

Long days and short nights

Twig just loves the empty hay feeder!

That’s what kidding and lambing season is all about.  And in the midst of all this, I got sick last week with an upper respiratory, and then on Monday woke up with an atomic head cold to go along with it.  I guess that’s what spending most of the weekend outside in the bitter wind did for me.  Ah well, I have to say that I don’t get sick like this often, and it is frequently in March!

The Adventurers’ Club!

Aside from trying to get as much rest as possible, one of the biggest problems we have had on our hands, however,  has been our yearling doe Betsy.  She was shaping up like she was close to going into labor two or three times, but then didn’t, and that was two weeks ago.  Then she began to show signs of pregnancy toxemia.  And so for the last week we have been treating her for this, but her appetite didn’t come back, and she really was losing vigor and tone.  Not having a due date on her I really felt like so many things could be going on, and was beginning to be scared for her.  So yesterday I made the decision to take her to a vet that is not close by, but who has a large animal practice, and the capability of doing just about anything for small ruminants and horses right there.

We determined that she is close to having a natural labor, but the babies are so big and mal-positioned, that we ended up leaving her to be induced, and the vets very likely are going to have to do some kid pulling.  When I saw the X-rays, I knew it was well beyond my skill level.  I am hoping for a good outcome for Betsy in particular, she is my first priority.  We are cautiously optimistic about the outcome for the kids as well.  But that is definitely a bigger ‘if’ right now.  We are waiting for word sometime after late afternoon today, or anytime into tomorrow.

And so here at home her mama Battie is mooning about the place looking in every nook and cranny for her baby.  Sam found her wandering the paddock late last night peeking into every corner up there.  I always feel bad when I have to separate family units.  Hopefully Betsy will be home quite soon and in the pink again as well.

Eleganza opens the season

Eleganza and her twins
Eleganza and her twins

Wow, Eleganza sure chose the day!  Very kindly, she also chose an hospitable time.  10:05 a.m. the first doe was born, a 9.5 lb white and beige cutie.  I thought for awhile that she was a single, but at 10:29 out popped her sister, a lot smaller at 5.65 lbs.  She is a red doe with white splotches, also extremely adorable.

Doe #1. Our Ivy
Doe #1. Our Ivy

The big player today was the wind, however, and at that time of the morning the sun wasn’t really high enough to make a difference in that greenhouse.  We don’t have the south facing gable end closed off, and even with windbreaks, it was still feeling more than brisk.  The key is to getting them dried off as quickly as possible, but with the temperatures, it didn’t happen as fast as usual.  I have them all tight in a little jug with lots of straw, and towels and tarps blocking the sides.  I was concerned for awhile for the little one, but her temperature is staying close to 101 and they are both nursing well.  By this afternoon they were up and about, not falling down as much, and sweet as all get out.

Doe #2, Twig.
Doe #2, Twig.

Cuteness overload!  I am going to have to be checking on them through the night, I don’t want either of them to get too chilled.  The temperature is going to plummet and tomorrow we are supposed to have extreme, gusty winds again, worse than today.  Let’s hope that Dorcas, Delta and Betsy decide to hold off until at least Sunday afternoon.  Really girls, I mean it :*)

 

Almost there, I think!

Betsy waiting for breakfast
Betsy waiting for breakfast

I spent a lot of time early last week worrying about being away in Freeport for the NETA Spa event.  Leaving my son to carry on the late night and early morning checks, which we usually split between us, and worrying that Betsy the First Timer might run into a problem.   In the end, mid-afternoon last Thursday, I took off and headed down to Freeport.  (I am one of the Spa event organizers and there was work to be done setting up the vendor areas, and some put-our-head-together meetings as well).  I ended up staying through the Saturday late afternoon fashion show (I am the emcee, so it was something I needed to do if at all possible) and then came on home.  To no babies in progress :*/

Delta's bum
Delta’s bum

Sam and I texted many times every day, and he posted me photos of goat bums galore.  Over thinking these things is tough.  You want to be observant and ready for anything, but then all the little signs you think are significant just turn out to be little bumps in the road, showing progress, but not a predictable finish line.

Eleganza scratches an itch
Eleganza scratches an itch

There are three girls that should be having their babies anytime now.  (Did I really just say that again??!)  Betsy, Delta, and Eleganza.  Eleganza’s udder has blossomed in the past few days, Betsy’s and Delta’s as well, although Eleganza is outpacing the other two in that department.  Delta and Betsy have had totally slack ligament bands at the base of their tails for at least 10 days, so that hasn’t proven to be a help either.

Delta picking through some promising straw
Delta picking through some promising straw

Betsy is so miserable.  The poor thing can barely move her back legs.  You can tell that the baby is pressing on the nerves in her back end and she can only walk in a very stilted manner.  I feel for her and wish that she would get to it, already!

The beginning of every kidding or lambing season always begins this way.  Exhaustion sets in from doing the late and early checks, and eventually we go away and sleep in a little, only to find the little ones out there with mom, clean, fed and dry.  And so it goes!  I think I will get back to my knitting now…