Posts Tagged ‘Nigerian Dwarf Goats’

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Baby Names

June 10, 2009

After much discussion last night, we finally decided on “Roni” for the first born doe, and “Rosanna” for the second born.   Roni means “joy” or “happiness” and that pretty much describes what we felt at getting a very colorful doeling.

Momma and babies are doing very well.  Roni and Rosanna have been busily exploring their new world this morning.   Roni was even having a go at climbing the slide like her older half siblings have been doing.

Rita introducing herslef to her new half-sister Roni.

Rita introducing herslef to her new half-sister Roni.

Rosanna this morning

Rosanna this morning

Roni this morning

Roni this morning

Roni & Rosanna playing on the slide

Roni & Rosanna playing on the slide

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Twin doe kids for Allie & Sunshine!

June 9, 2009

When we went out to give the bottle babies their mid-day feeding I noticed Allie was laying on her side in the kidding shed.   Told Bekah we better hurry and get the bottles given cause I thought Allie was going to be having babies soon.

Sure enough an hour later we had babies and Bekah and I got to watch the whole thing from start to finish.  And it was a good thing we were there.  The first sack didn’t break, and I could see the babies mouth moving so I broke the sack.   Beautiful color on baby #1 – lots of flash.

Just seconds old

Just seconds old

The sack broke on baby #2 but it got stuck with just its head out.   I snapped a couple of pictures and than realized that things were not progressing as they should.  Felt around and discovered that both front feet were back.   I carefully fished them around and out and then the rest of the delivery went smoothly.

"Hey - get me out of here!"

"Hey - get me out of here!"

I was so excited when I realized that baby #1 was a doe, and when I checked baby #2 I just couldn’t believe that we had another doe.   I checked both of them a second time just to be sure.  Momma and babies are all doing well and now we are left with the “chore” of picking out two more names that start with “R” for these lovely little ladies.

Allie cleaning up baby #2

Allie cleaning up baby #2

Ari checking out baby #1.  He wasn't interested in seeing the birth.

Ari checking out baby #1. He wasn't interested in seeing the birth.

Baby #1 - look at all that flash!

Baby #1 - look at all that flash!

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Day 144 for Allie

June 7, 2009

I moved Allie over into the maternity paddock on Friday evening.    June 13th will be day 150 for her and is her “offical” due date.   But Nigerian Dwarfs actually have a “normal kidding range” of 145-150 days.   No sign of impending labor today, but she is craving even more attention than usual so I know we are getting close.

Allie on day 144 of her 4th pregnancy.

Allie on day 144 of her 4th pregnancy.

The other goat kids are all doing well.  Millie is sometimes letting Rocky and Rita play a little bit with Ramie and Rudy.   As soon as Allie kids I will probably move everyone but Allie and her kid(s) over to the larger pasture.   Richocet, Reggie and Rudy are all scheduled to go to their new home on the 1st of July.  My days of bottle feeding are, God willing, almost over!

Rocky trying to entice his older half sister Ramie into playing with him.

Rocky trying to entice his older half sister Ramie into playing with him.

Ramie at 2 1/2 months.  She will be staying here on the "ranch".

Ramie at 2 1/2 months. She will be staying here on the "ranch".

Bekah getting some love from Rocky

Bekah getting some love from Rocky

Rita & Rocky being silly kids!

Rita & Rocky being silly kids!

Rita giving me a little sugar.  She is such a sweetie!

Rita giving me a little sugar. She is such a sweetie!

In other news I sold our tractor on Thursday.  Going to miss it, but with the new focus being on the goats it isn’t quite as necessary.  And I can hire out for tractor jobs for cheaper than I can own it right now.

Now I just need to find a buyer for my heifers.  I am going to be sad to see them go, but I just have wrap my head around the new direction we are going (concentrating on Nigerian Dwarf goats) and put my energies into that.

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A beautiful morning

May 15, 2009

It was a beautiful morning for doing chores today.   Not quite warm enough for a t-shirt, but I didn’t need a coat either.   The cows were in a mellow mood and I was able to give Matilda a good brushing and even Maggie stood still for a few strokes.  It seems the more pregnant Matilda (blue halter) becomes the mellower she gets, although she still won’t allow me touch her unless there is food involved.  At least I can now pet her before I actually give her food.   (Her EDD is July 11th.)

The girls enjoying a sun break

The girls enjoying a sun break

Now on to the goats.  The bottle babies are doing well and Bekah is a big help with feeding them.  Last night she went out and fed both of them on her own.    All three boys have been sold to the same family and will go just as soon as they are weaned.

If there was a “wide load” contest I think Millie could easily win it!  With three weeks to go until her due date she is looking very large and uncomfortable.    Needless to say, since she is a first timer I will be camping out with her until those babies arrive.   Allie is due one week later and is also looking large, but last year she looked huge too and then only had a single large kid.  This will be her 4th kidding, so I’m not as anxious about her.  She is a good mother and knows what to do.

Allie (left) and Millie enjoying some clover

Allie (left) and Millie enjoying some clover

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A very sad day on the ranch

April 7, 2009

Yesterday may have started off well, but it ended very badly.  The kids and I left for town about 11:30am and everything was fine.  When we got home shortly before 1pm we discovered Molly had died during our absence.   Needless to say, we were all shocked and heartbroken by her unexpected death.

I have no idea at this time what might have caused her death.  The breeder I purchased her from a couple of years ago is taking her body to the Vet College near us to have it autopsied in hopes of finding out what might have killed her.

Now poor Mame is suddenly finding herself beset by FOUR babies clamoring for her attention.  She is fairly tolerant of  Molly’s babies (Ramie & Rudy) hanging out with her, but she won’t let them nurse.  I have been bottle feeding them and so far that is going ok, other than it really ties me to the house.

It was heart wrenching this morning when I went to feed them and then turned them out in the paddock for the day.  They were running around calling and searching for a momma they will never see again.

RIP Molly!  4/2/07 - 4/6/09

RIP Molly! 4/2/07 - 4/6/09

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First Milking

April 5, 2009

Last night was the first night I shut the new kids away from their mommas for the night.   I know some folks like to start milking when the kids are one week old, but I prefer to start at two weeks to ensure a healthy start.  I do what is called “share milking” where I shut the kids up at night, milk the does first thing in the morning and then turn the kids out to be with momma all day.

This morning was clear and cold with some weak sunshine.  I started off with Molly and she danced around a bit on the milk stand, stepped in the milk and did all the usual things a first time milker does.   She finally settled down and I milked a cup from her before turning her back into the paddock.  That was no where close to milking her out so she is shaping up to be a good producer.

Next up was Mame’ and she managed to squeeze out the gate and take off, when I was putting Molly back in. Had quite the time rounding her up again, but did finally get her on the milk stand.  She wasn’t nearly as cooperative as Molly, and after milking about a 1/2 cup and wearing more than that (I milk in in a rain jacket for reason!) I turned her back out with her hungry babies.

Hopefully in a few weeks time they will become as acustomed to the routine as Allie is, and just run to the milk stand and hop up on their own, and stand still.   Until then I will just have to keep getting up a little earlier to account for the extra time that chores are now requiring.

Kids and Momma's after this mornings milking

Kids and Momma's after this mornings milking

On another note, “Rainie” has been renamed “Ramie” by my hubby so that she can be referred to as Doe-Ray-Me.    Fits into the word play we started with “Stormy the weather” last year.  🙂

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You don’t have to have a PhD to milk a goat!

January 11, 2009

A few weeks ago my sister came to visit during winter break from her PhD studies in Indiana.  She offered to watch the kids over night for us, so that hubby and I could get away by ourselves for the first time since the kids came along.

The one catch was it involved her doing chores, and that included milking Allie.   A very patient experienced milking Nigerian Dwarf goat.  Janet’s first attempts at milking Allie resulted in some milk coming out, but I don’t think anything made it into the quart sized Pyrex measuring cup I usually use for milking.   Allie finally had enough of all the nonsense and stepped into the milk.

Fearing our overnight excursion might be in jeopardy, I finally took my dad up on his offer to milk since he frequently brags about how he used to milk some 50 years ago.   He came over with my sister to learn the routine, and things did not go well.  My sister turned out to be the better milker.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time, and I so wish I would have had a video camera to record the three ring circus as they both tried to figure it out.

My sister did finally get the hang of it, and proudly showed off her newly acquired skill at least once more before she returned to the university.

So tonight, after putting up with my sister’s bragging my hubby finally agreed to have a go at learning how to milk.    Maybe its a guy thing, but he didn’t have any more luck at it than my dad.  Nigerian Dwarf goats are small, and there isn’t much “equipment” to work with when you are trying to milk them, so I’m guessing the larger mens hand may be part of the problem.

Ah well, at least he tried and I will keep trying to teach him how, in the words our four year old daughter, to be a “real farm boy”.