Friday, March 25, 2011

KS11 Catch up, finish line in sight

Hello sports-fans and welcome back to the goo factory chronicles.

No doubt the 14 of you have noticed that I haven't had a kid post in a few days. Amongst the fodder in the maelstrom of the last week include a new water heater, a replacement of an internal door lever on the Chevy, a complete rebuild of Mom's main goat pen (including the barn, and the whole fence line) but in and amongst all of that there have been some births, as a matter of fact we're almost done over on Mom's side of the pasture. I'll catch you up on the count right now:

We left off with Dixie and Girl on 3-12.
Here is Beauty's abandoned girls...

A few days later we have Hanah on 3-15 giving birth to one male and one female. In classic Hanah style she had them before dawn by herself, got them up, fed and cleaned off by the time we were up and feeding everyone. I might note for you that this goat is 11 years old so birthing is old hat for her. She was the head of the herd until about 2 years ago when a 5yr old goat named Imogene just became so huge that she became the dominant leader. I'm not sure you remember but Hanah did not have a kid last year, we believe it was due to lack of impregnation as opposed to abortion which would be more suspicious. We really don't know how long she will be able to keep this up but like most goat owners who consider them more pets than livestock it has been said that she will remain here until she passes, kids or no kids. Here she is:

Princess is next on 3-16 giving birth to 2 females. Princess is Beauty's daughter and thus means she is full blood. However, contrary to her mom Princess took good care of her kids and had no problems.

Next is poor little Bruni who is the other yearling to Lucy who gave birth on 3-17 to 2 females. She tried really hard to be a good momma but Lucy's kids somehow got over into the birthing action and got some goo on them. Bruni not knowing the difference cleaned them and has accepted 2 of Lucy's kids along with her own 2. Milk stealers! We have to keep an eye on her because something called 'Milk Fever' may occur as a goat will produce as much milk as is being requested (and sometimes copious amounts more than needed) which can take quite a toll on a freshened doe with just 2 so having 4 making demands is a bit of a stretch for this yearling. Here in the picture she is confined with her young ones for a couple of days to make sure she at least accepted her actual kids. However, since she has been out the pilfering has begun. Sigh, goats.

Yang was next and surprisingly had just one male on 3-18. This is her second year and was bred to a buck named Marcelo who was purchased 2 years ago for the 5 offspring of Duncan who is the original herd buck currently 5 years old at this point. We don't 'line' or 'back-breed' (Fathers to Daughters/Granddaughters) so we rotate bucks in to keep the DNA pool mixed. Here is Yang and her number one son:

Maggie gave birth on 3-20 to 2 females. You may remember this is the other goat that did not have kids last year. However, unlike Hanah she aborted for some reason. We still do not know why as she is only 5 this year and is typically a really healthy goat. And as it turns out a good mommy too as she did what she'd been doing since her first season not letting last year make her skip a beat. Here she is with her kiddies:

Then Olivia stepped up on 3-22 giving birth to one male and one female. I really like Olivia as in the right sun she has what to me looks like a pretty, deep burgundy colored coat, plus she is very calm, sweet and another good mom. Here she is with hers, check out the pretty little paint:

Next Joy gave birth to one male and one female on 3-23. Joy, she was a throw-in from the purchase of a buck a few years back. She's the one I called Pookie because of her affinity to hound you for food. Aaanyway, once again it goes to show even a throw away goat can have good kids and take care of them. Check out that Brownie!

Eugenia gave birth at night on 3-24 to 2 females. Eugenia is the last of the second year Marcelo girls and looks great as far as Boer goats go. On the other hand she is in the dog house now for abandoning one of her daughters, maybe abandoned is too light, aggressively disowned is more like it. At some point while doing rounds I saw some activity and heard cries from Eugenia's pen. It turned out to be Eugenia herself grinding her little girl into the dirt with her horns. You might guess that's not great and after watching her a few minutes we decided to go ahead and get her out before she really got hurt. Here she is with the one she kept...

Grr. When this happens it baffles us. If a mom gets confused immediately that is waaay more normal than for one to spend hours with them, clean them up, feed them and then say ok you aren't mine. See, this is baffling because little goats are about smell and sound for the first days until their little eyes get good enough to tell all the goats apart. It can be confusing to the mom too as many kids look exactly the same. Until mom knows her kids by their smell, and they know their mommy by smell and sound something could happen that interrupts normal behaviors. This is why it's important not to really touch them at all if you can help it while being birthed and being as quiet as possible as well so as not to confuse the kid and or the mom. This is an important bonding time for them and is easily broken at times.

Back to the abandoned girl, who will now be called Sunshine. Because I think that goat socialization and communication is important I only make the same little 'unh unh' sounds other goat moms do, and she responds in kind, just like all the other kids. When she gets too far away I make a slightly louder sound like other goat mommies and she makes a missle-straight line back to me. Hopefully this will help her become more in tune with the other goats when she rejoins the rest of the herd.

I have been feeding her the frozen milk we had from last season and today (her day 3 3-26) she finally got the hang of sucking off the bottle's nipple. She is now up to 6oz of milk every 4 hours. And she is such a good goat, she did not wake me up last night in the middle of the night for feeding, thanks hon. Exercise and sunshine is good for goats and she follows me everywhere when we are outside doing tasks. Boulle cleans her when she thinks she needs it too and has been a good nurse mate. At the moment it appears that she is developing normally which is nice.

Well there you go, all caught up. We are just waiting for Imogene to complete the season.

Our Nubians will start this coming week if our calculations are correct. Peach should be first and should be on Tuesday. Plum follows on Thursday. Iris and Fern should go around April 6th or 7th. Good times, good times.

Thanks for stopping by!
Take care,

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