Tag Archives: still feels like winter

Saffron has her twins

Saffron and her first little girl

Both beautiful, both does.  They were born on Saturday morning.  Very nice of all the does to do these things during daylight hours!  The reason I have not gotten around to telling Saffron’s story is that she is not making much milk, and we have been very busy trying to help her out, and also had to begin supplementing her babies with bottles.  Everyone had very good feed all through the winter, and I am still not sure why Saffron is not producing much milk.  She seemed to have quite a bit of colostrum on Saturday, but by Sunday morning her udder was deflating and it was obvious that the girls needed to be on the bottle while we figure this out.

Saffron and Little Red

Luckily, I am milking Battie (she who lost her bucklings), and I am also milking one of Pippi’s udder halves because her babies both favor one side, leaving the other to fill up to epic proportions.  So I do have enough milk to feed these little girls, thankfully, and because they are so bonded with their mama (and she is a fantastic mother), I don’t have to have house goat babies this year.  Yay!  Feeding them out in the greenhouse is much nicer than having to deal with house goats (no slight to Peanut here!).  And to give mama’s udder a break, we are penning the girls separately from early in the morning until the last bottle at night, and then letting them stay with her overnight.  It got very cold last night after the torrential rains we had yesterday, so they are both coated and snuggling with Saffron at night.

Little Red and her sister

This kidding season has been a strange one.  I am working with a vet to get a handle on Saffron’s problem, but it may just come down to her nutrition.  They have been eating second cut hay all winter, and their grain rations have been very balanced.  I usually add alfalfa pellets sometime early in February, and this year I did not.  If that is what tilted this balance, I just don’t know.  All the other does are fine and making loads of milk.  I hope we can get to the bottom of it, but it feels like one of those things where you never get a definitive answer.

And so it goes, life on the farm.

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Goodbye and Hello

Edna’s first doeling

Yesterday was a rather exciting day all around!  The windchill made even the sunny morning feel well below freezing and it remained like that for most of the day.

Our original Guernsey buck, Reddog, has finally found a new home!  I have been advertising him sporadically, but most of us do not think about adding a new herd sire so early in the year.  We are all busy lambing and kidding!  But, someone was interested in our boy, and yesterday we said goodbye to Reddog, and hello to Edna’s twin doelings :*)

Edna’s second little girl, in the blue coat

Edna was the only doe on which I did not have any kind of a breeding sighting, and she is such a quiet, unobtrusive sort that I had to keep reminding myself to check on her.  Other than her udder slowly growing and slackness around the tail ligaments, nothing.  (Pippi’s tail ligaments were totally mush at least a week before she had her kids, if not more).  So it was a surprise when we heard Jingle the donkey making a big, noisy fuss up in the greenhouse yesterday morning.  Sam went to check on the ruckus, and texted me that Edna had had her babies, and both were up and looking for breakfast.  They are the sweetest, calmest little ones I have ever seen.  Both in the 6+ pound range.  The wind would not let up yesterday, so we finally decided to put little coats on the girls to get them through the night.  Once their bellies were full, I was happier about things all around.

My son and the two newest girls

And so now we are three down and only two to go.  Saffron, who was due on Saturday, is not showing any imminent signs of labor, and Eleganza’s due date is still a week away.  So we shall have to just wait and see what happens.  At least after tonight the weather is going to be warming up considerably, thank goodness.