Sunday, February 21, 2010

Welcome to Generation Farm!

Kidding season 2010 is well under way. Each birth has brought added knowledge, and is showing us what our young buck, Nick's X232 (Boomer) is going to throw. Boomer is a son of Nick's Best (Sunboy Stanton x Tay W27) and a doe by Sports Kat and out of Catrina's Best, a doe with excellent maternal qualities. So far we are delighted with his kids. In the top photo are two of three Purebred triplets born to an 8 year old doe, at a few days old. The lower picture is of a 50% doe and her 75% kids, again a few days old. The kids are strong, fast growing, and have Boomer's meaty build. They are also rather colorful, which means little in the grand scheme of things, but makes for a nice scene in the pasture. Our focus is primarily on raising goats suited for our area - the Piedmont of North Carolina. To this end, we focus on parasite resistance, strong mothering skills, and the ability to stay healthy without being coddled. That being said, after listening to a seminar at a goat conference and learning that a doe's reproductive future is determined when she is herself still in utero, we ensure our pregnant does get balanced nutrition and plenty of the minerals and vitamins they need. We want all the replacement does we produce to be a great value and have a long productive future, whether they belong to us or to you!

We are learning first hand the importance of a great mama goat. We had 75% Kiko kids born in the freezing rain on Christmas Day, and their 50% Kiko mama had them dry and they had their first meal of precious colostrum within an hour. We've learned the value of a high, tight, productive udder, and of an attentive mother who keeps her kids close by. Compared to the Boer goats we have had who would run over their own kids for a feed bucket, the precentage Kiko does are like night and day. They clobber our Jack Russell when he gets too close (to his dismay) and keep their kids safe. Since we are moving towards 100% New Zealand and Purebred Kikos and choose to keep a small herd, some of these good mamas will be available for sale as soon as their kids are weaned, or sooner, as a package deal with their kids.

This is only our second kidding season, and we decided to have our goats kid early in the season to avoid heat stress and parasite problems like we had with our Boer does last summer. Although it has worked out so far, the miserable weather this winter has made us rethink that, so unless the goats move to a second farm next winter, we think we may have them kid later into the spring - for our sake, as much as for theirs...