Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kidding Season Begins

The first baby goats of the season were no surprise - the Purebred doe we interchangeably call Brownie and Fifty had actually looked like kids were imminent for over a month, down to the taut udder and hollowed sides. Luckily they also came in a "warm spell," if you can call it that. After weeks of temperatures far below normal for this time of year, we have had a week of temperatures making it up into the forties during the day and not far below freezing at night. Fifty is not a first time mama, but these are her first kids for us, so we are learning about her mothering instincts. So far, so good. Kidding brought out the "wild" in her so we've kept our distance except to see if the kids feel warm and full.

Two days later, when we arrived in the country, I noticed a young NZ doe that had obviously kidded recently. I looked around and found, stuffed up under the round bale feeder, Fifty's two kids and a third whitish looking kid. I told Chuck we had three now, and went on about my business. Shortly afterwards he investigated and announced I had missed one - there were not three kids stuffed under the feeder, but four. All bucks. I hope this trend doesn't continue without at least a few does appearing. I had to leave to pick up a human kid, but Chuck stayed to watch the kids and see how Jesse, a first timer, was handling things. We had earlier moved an old doe, not due til January, who had decided she'd like to have all four kids, and who was waving a very formidable set of horns at anyone coming near the kids - even their mothers. After Marshmallow and a buddy were installed in another area, things settled down a bit. Jesse still seems slightly bewildered, but the kids are warm and dry, so she is on the right track. They appear on closer inspection to not be white but a light red. No telling what they will look like in a month.
Now we have several does that should kid in the next couple of weeks. I hope the weather holds, because several are first time mothers. Here's a picture from a few days ago of the expecting does:
Hopefully with the goats being born, we can work in some last minute Christmas shopping over the next couple of days. We hope all of you have a wonderful holiday season, and we offer you our best wishes for a wonderful New Year!

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