I like to leave the kids with their momma for at least 3 days. That gives them time to get the colostrum and nurse as often as they want. And, gives the does a chance to be a momma and recuperate after giving birth.
Toward the end of last week we began moving the kids into the kid nursery in the basement of our house and taking the momma's back out to the big goat pens/yards. I'm milking the mommas in the milk parlor twice a day again. Vacation over - back to work!
For more about the kid nursery you can read my post from last year when I built the New Kid Nursery . The pine chip bedding we cleaned out of the kid nursery pens from last kidding season made wonderful mulch for my fruit trees!
When I move the kids, I protect them from the cold winter temperatures by laying them down in a couple of gym bags to carry them to the house.
Stuffing kids into the gym bag - 2 kids in
Stuffing kids into the gym bag - 3 kids in
I carry them into the house and down to the kid nursery in the basement. Here is the first 5. These are Myrtle's and Valery's kids.
Kids in the bags
Unzipping Myrtle's kids
Welcome to your new home kids!
Mrytle's and Valery's kids on the left - Liz's and Lilah's kids on the right
On Friday my good friend, Tonia and her daughters from The Simple Life , came to play with the kids and help me move the next batches of kids into the kid nursery. Thank you Tonia, Candice, Kara, and Kyla!
Playing with the babies
Oreo's and Tiffany's babies
Mom lives with me and she takes care of feeding the bottle babies once they're in the nursery. You can read her thoughts on feeding the kids here Feeding the Kids - Mom's perspective I help feed the babies every chance I get too.
Here is Mom feeding this year's babies. It sometimes takes a couple of days to get them used to taking their momma's milk from a bottle and it can be frustrating when they want to buck like a little rodeo bronc horse. But, Mom is persistent about getting more milk inside them than on herself! In no time at all they learn to take the bottle and suck it dry very quickly.
Mom bottle feeding the kids
Lots of kids to feed!
With the kids in the nursery and the mommas out in the big goat pens, room was made for the next pregnant does to come into the kidding pens for delivery.
Early Saturday morning, I checked the does and found Precious in labor as soon as I walked into the barn. She easily delivered twin doelings. Precious is a registered Pureblood LaMancha.2 year old 2nd freshener. RC is the sire of her kids.
Precious and her babies
Breakfast with momma
All dried off - bellies full - ready for a nap
There weren't any more does in labor on Saturday until just as the sun was setting. This is of course the time I'm doing the evening chores.
I had just stepped back into the barn from feeding the bucks and yearling does. I found Mom at the end of the barn hall petting Angel. (Angel's Story). We talked a minute and I heard Vanessa grunting. I told Mom that we were about to have more kids. She stayed and watched Vanessa deliver her first baby and went to the house to warm up.
Vanessa is a registered Pureblood LaMancha. 2 year old first freshener. She also easily delivered her kids. Both were in perfect birthing presentation. RC is also the sire of her kids.
Vanessa and her first born doeling
Vanessa and her baby girl and baby boy
Almost all dried off
Hey! Did you see my babies?
After Vanessa delivered, I went on with the evening chores which included milking the does in the parlor. I had the first group in, milked and back out to their pen when I heard JoJo grunting with labor contractions.
While I was watching her to see how close to delivery she was ... I heard Coco grunting too. Two does in labor at the same time again! This felt like a re-run of the day before when Mocha and Kit were in labor at the same time ... and on opposite sides of the barn! Same story with JoJo and Coco! JoJo is on the East side and Coco is on the West side of the barn.
After watching them and going back and forth several times ... it looked like Coco was going to deliver fist. She is a 2 year old 2nd freshener (LaMancha/Togginburg cross). RC is the sire of her kids. She easily delivered a little doeling first. I watched to be sure the baby was fine and Coco was cleaning her baby before I went back to check on JoJo.
Coco and her little girl
By the time I got back over to JoJo's kidding pen, she was pushing out this little cream colored doeling. JoJo is a 2 year old 2nd freshener. She is 3/4 LaMancha and 1/4 Nubian. She is Opal's daughter from 2 seasons ago. RC is the sire of her kids.
JoJo and her baby girl
It was only a minute later that she delivered her second doeling. She is cream colored too.
JoJo and her 2 little girls
JoJo was taking good care of her babies.
I went back over to Coco's kidding pen to watch her deliver her second baby. Her second baby is a blue gray buckling. He is a really pretty color.
Coco and her twins
Here is Coco this morning (Sunday)
Her babies are all nice and dry with bellies full.
Here is JoJo this morning (Sunday) with her baby girls
I got out to the barn a little late this morning. It was almost 8:00 before I woke up. I guess I was a little tired! Anyway ... when I got out there ... Chloie had delivered twins! One boy and one girl. They have beautiful markings.
Chloie is a 3 year old and this is her 3rd freshening. She is LaMancha/Nubian cross. Nate is the sire of her kids.
Chloie and her twins
It looks like Chloie's boy is talking to Coco's babies on the other side of the fence!
The rest of the day went along without any more deliveries. The milking momma does gave me 5 gallons of milk this morning and 3 gallons tonight. They're keeping just ahead of the demands of the 34 babies in the nursery ... who get bottles 3 times a day.
Thanks to Mom for preparing and warming their bottles and taking the time to feed all of them at 7am, 3pm, and 10pm. Mom will be 73 next month and does pretty good carrying the cooler (to keep them warm) of bottles down the stairs and feeding the babies.
I was watching the pregnant does in the kidding pens before coming into the house tonight (Sunday). I wanted to be sure none of them was in labor before I left the barn. That's when I saw Kit's 4 kids playing "King of the Mountain" on her back. They were so funny dancing around on her.
Little girl in front, Big sister on top of momma
One of the brothers takes the top of the momma mountain!
Kit was a good sport about the game for a little while. But, she stood up ending the game after being pounced on so many times by her kids.
Well, kidding season started here on the farm last Saturday the 8th and today, on the 16th, we have a total of 50 kids ... 25 girls and 25 boys! As soon as their horns are disbudded in a day or so, a good number of them will be going to their new homes. I'm sure Mom will be glad to be feeding less babies.
There's only 5 does left to kid in this round of kidding. Then they're giving me a 2 week break before the next 5 goes into the kidding pens. After that the first fresheners start kidding on the last week in February.