Archive for March, 2009

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More babies!

March 26, 2009

I am behind with my baby updates – sorry about that!    On Tuesday, Molly copied her sister and had triplets outside in the rain, two boys and a doe.  One of the boys didn’t make it, but at least this time the doe lived.   The doe, named Rainie, is the largest of the four babies and has a beautiful coat.

I knew she was in labor and spent the night out in the kidding shed.  When hubby left for work I came inside to warm up eat a bite and have a cup of coffee.  Twenty minutes later the neighbor  called to tell me  “your goat is outside having her babies!”   So once I again I missed the delivery.

All four babies are doing well and since we got a bit of nicer weather (high overcast) they were all outside playing today and I managed to snap so pretty good pictures of them.

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Goat Kid Update

March 22, 2009

I am happy to report that Reginald (Reggie) is doing markedly better this morning.  He is now walking, and actually walked out onto the porch of the kidding shed to survey the big world.

Ricochet (Ricky) is living up to his name, and is a bouncy, inquisative boy with quite the personality.

After the rocky start on motherhood, Mame’ is doing much better.  She does tend to pay more attention to Ricky, but she is doing better about taking care of Reggie and responding when he calls.    She was so engorged this morning that I milked her a bit and she stood still for me without any sort of restraint at all.   Hopefully that will be the case when I finally get her up in the milk stand as well.

I took the above video about 2am while I was out sleeping with the goats.

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Mame had her babies!

March 21, 2009

Mame’ had triplets sometime early this morning.  I discovered them wet and cold on the ground when I went out to do chores.  One was already dead and one was quickly going down hill.  I rushed them inside, warmed them up with a blow drier and then held her and forced her to let them nurse.

I didn’t check the gender of the deceased baby, but the other two are bucklings.  Both are doing better, although I’m not sure that the smaller of the two is going to make it through the night.  Compared to his brother he is very weak and barely able to stand.  His brother on the other hand is literally bouncing off the walls, and is probably going to end up with the name Ricochet (Ricky for short).

Brothers

Brothers

Ricochet

Ricochet

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Still watching and waiting…

March 13, 2009

Mame’ is showing more and more signs of readiness, but so far no kids.    Temperatures at night have been in the upper 20’s so I have opted to get up and check on them several times during the night rather than sleep in the kidding shed.

I came across a great website that is specifically about the care of Nigerian Dwarf goats complete with a very thorough section on kidding.    Cornerstone Farm even includes diagrams and birthing pictures.  Definately a beneficial site to Niggie lovers!

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Maternity Update

March 10, 2009

Both Mame’ and her half sister Molly have an estimated kidding date of March 23rd.   This afternoon we got the shed that we use for kidding ready for them and moved them into the maternity pasture.   I like to have them in the new paddock and housing a couple of weeks before they are due so that they have a chance to adjust to their new surroundings.

Both does are first timers, and I have to admit that I am starting to be a nervous nellie waiting for the blessed events to arrive.    Mame’s ligaments are softer than Molly’s today, so I am guessing that she will go first.

Maybe I should start a pool with guessiments on when each of them will finally deliver! 🙂

Mame - two weeks before her due date.

Mame - two weeks before her due date.

Molly - two weeks before her due date

Molly - two weeks before her due date

L-to-R:  Allie (due in June) Molly and Mame watching Bekah

L-to-R: Allie (due in June) Molly and Mame watching Bekah

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Can you take vacations?

March 1, 2009

When you have animals, especially dairy ones, you have to make a commitment to provide them with care nearly 24/7.   You  can’t skip milking times because you don’t feel like it, or you would rather hit the beach instead.

Folks often ask if modern day homesteaders are able to take vacations and the answer is a qualified “yes”.   You can take vacations IF you have someone reliable to take care of your critters.  The difficult part is finding that person.    If you are friendly with your neighbors they might be willing to trade “critter sitting” with you so they can also get some time off.

We are blessed to be able to swap “critter sitting” wtih the lady we bought our little herd of goats from.   We also try to time the breeding schedule so that birthing isn’t expected within a month of our trips.