Friday, May 27, 2011

My Kingdom for a Doeling

I had written that the first two of the young doelings had kidded out last week, presenting us with two tiny black bucklings, and a pair of rather "loud" bucklings. This past Wednesday, two more of the young does began to go into labor when Chuck arrived at the farm. Part of me wishes he would have the same effect on me (as the end of my pregnancy draws near, I find myself very ready to "take a load off").

The first of the doelings to kid was Ginger, a PB doe by Boomer and out of 34, who kidded last week. She seemed to struggle somewhat, and Chuck trying to get a better look at what was going on didn't exactly set her mind at ease. Eventually, she produced yet another black buck kid with a white star on his head. This one was Ace's kid, but Boomer's color passed through to his grandson in this case. Ginger is not a huge doeling, and this was a good sized kid, so I'm sure she is glad to have gotten the whole thing over with. I don't have weights in front of me, but if I remember correctly, this joker was over 8 lbs, when the rest of the bunch in this group have been much smaller and more suited to their first time mommas.

After Ginger had gotten through her ordeal, Piper went into labor. Piper is Ace's full sister, so we bred her to Boomer and I was hoping to get a couple of doe kids that combine the best of both lines since she is a big bodied doe for her age. Instead, she gave us a single buck kid. Another buck - that's SIX bucks out of four does. I was beginning to wonder if there was something in the water.

Today, when Chuck arrived at the farm, he sent me a text saying he thought PJ was ready to give birth. Shortly after, I received pictures that showed she had actually already given birth - and we had the first doeling of this bunch. Of course she had to throw a buck in there, too. When we look at these kids, though, we can't help but laugh. For everyone who says they won't eat goat - hey, we're producing Holsteins now, to keep everyone happy! You know, with horses, you have a reasonable idea what color foal you may get when you breed a stallion and a mare of certain colors. Not so with goats. It has certainly been an eye opening experience this year, what assortment we seem to be getting. And so far there is no predictability from one year to the next. I remember reading something about the complexity of the genetics associated with color and patterns in goats. We sure have a bizarre palette this year. That's good with all the bucklings, though, because chances are the ones that don't make the cut as future herdsires may well make nice fun family wethers.

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