Thursday, January 17, 2013

We had hoped the kids would get here before the worst weather...

Last weekend we had one of those glorious days in January that make us all impatient for spring. The thermometer on the car's control panel read a full 70 degrees. The kids ran around the farm without jackets and complained of being hot, and the goat kids basked hedonistically in the sunshine. Of the does who have not yet kidded, only a few appear imminent, and they were not as enamored with the heat. They are not only heavy bred but also heavy coated, and that is a combination for misery on a warm winter's day.


The Shaw kids have started hitting the ground, so now, we have most of the Ace and Shaw does kidded save a few who were still nursing kids when the bucks were introduced. The youngest of the does we bred to Boomer, and have just started kidding this week. It would be lovely if the young first time does especially could have kidded when it was 70 degrees, but the rain rolled in and brought with it much more seasonably cool weather. As much as I love the warm weather, I know if it would have continued, all the trees would have budded out and the inevitable freeze would have taken them all out. It is better to wait for the warmth to be more certain.

Both groups of kids seem robust and vibrant. I can't remember the male/female ratio thus far, but it seems pretty even. We had one more instance where the dog seems to have helped with the kids a bit much, but he's much better this year than last during the births, and a devoted babysitter once the kids are a day old or more.  We had our first "who's your momma" incident this year.  Chuck found two does had kidded and then found two kids in one spot both wet, and the other set in one spot both dry. He put them with the does according to location and dampness status, and now, looking at them, we're not so sure the pairs are actually the correct pairs.
We'll be DNAing those four kids to determine who momma really is. Right now we can't tell much about the kids more than what color they are and that so far, they are pretty "survivable" little creatures. The next few months ought to tell us much more.
The focus now is to keep kids warm and dry.  We've had many inches of rain over the past few days and there is standing water everywhere.  Now, there is snow moving in on top of all the water and the flakes have started to fall at the house.  It will be a fun-filled few days, I'm sure, but all but the newest kids are at least a week old.  Now we just have to worry about those couple of first time kidding does that look imminent.  They are funny on a good day, but so far the first kidders this year have done a good job.  I hope the rest do as well.