Sunday, February 6, 2011

Kidding - Round Two

The second round of kidding has been bitter sweet.  The snow, ice, wind, and sub-zero nights have been quite a challenge this week.  I was also fighting off a head cold that decided to move into my chest.  That was no fun at all !!

The second round of kidding started off  with Fawn kidding last Saturday evening, the 29th, out in the big goat pen.  She wasn't due until the 31st.  So, I didn't have her in a kidding pen yet.  My plan was to put all 6 does in this round of kidding into kidding pens that evening.  But, she got in a hurry to have her kids.

When I got to the barn to start evening chores it was already dark outside.  I saw a baby goat standing in the outside door way of the LaMancha barn room.  I thought - Oh No!  Now I've got to find which doe this one belongs to.

As soon as I got into the pen, it was pretty obvious he belonged to Fawn.  She was really upset and wouldn't leave the doorway.  I looked out the door and a second baby was laying on the step just outside the door.  She couldn't tend to both of them since one was inside the barn and one was outside the barn.  The whole group of LaManchas were pretty upset by this situation.

I gathered them up and took Fawn and her two little boys to a warm kidding pen where they could better bond with each other.

 Fawn and her twin boys

I got Lady, Sissy, NaNa, Shasha and Lucy into kidding pens after milking and feeding chores.  They were due between the 31st and the 2nd of Feb.


This big snow/ice storm was predicted to hit here on Monday evening so I was really glad there wasn't any kidding on Sunday.  I took the opportunity to go get a pickup load of hay.  My hay barn was getting pretty empty and they were predicting up to 20 inches of snow.  There's only 2 days worth of hay in the barn.... not enough to be snowed in!

 Need to get some hay!

I only have to go 4 miles down the road to the barn where my hay is stored.  Martin has big alfalfa and alfalfa/grass fields and puts up the most wonderful hay!  I buy all the alfalfa/grass hay he can produce. 

 My hay for the goats
I backed up to the hay, climbed up the hay stack and started loading my pickup.

 I got 40 bales on the pickup. 
 The bales weigh 80 pounds ... so that's a lot for my F150.

I was exhausted from being sick, the day's regular farm work, and loading the hay.  I was SO glad when  Tonia and her daughters showed up to help stack the hay in the barn! I had unloaded it off of the pickup before it got dark and it was in a big pile at the front of the barn that they had to climb over to get inside.  :D

 Getting ready to stack the hay
 Zypher and Bugsy thought they'd help!
The hay bales were really heavy, but the girls got it all stacked nice and neat inside the barn.  
I am SO grateful for their help!


When I got out to the barn early Monday morning, I found Lady had delivered triplet doelings. She had done an excellent job of cleaning them and her kidding pen.  Lady is Emily's daughter. She is LaMancha Nubian cross.  Nate is the sire of her doelings.

 Lady and her triplet girls
 Looking for breakfast!
 Pretty girls


I had to get to the feed store in town on Monday before the snow storm hit.  I was close to being out of feed for the goats.  They would be pretty upset with me if we got snowed in without filling their feed barrels.

I finished morning chores and milking .... decided I'd better take one more look at the does in the kidding pens before I left for town.  Good thing!  Lucy was getting ready to deliver.

She had a boy and a girl.  Lucy is Pureblood LaMancha and Nate is the sire of her kids.

 Lucy cleaning her twins
 More cleaning
 Lucy's little girl
 Lucy and Nate's little buckling
He is the buck I'll be keeping for breeding to the does I'm keeping that were sired by RC


I still was not feeling well on Tuesday morning. I had a fever and I decided to take some medicine and my shower before going out to the barn to check on the does in kidding pens.  I figured since there weren't any first fresheners out there that everything would be okay if any of them kidded that morning.  None of the does had needed my assistance for quite a while.

I was wrong.  I felt SO bad when I got out to the barn and NaNa was in labor with the head of her doeling baby birthed, but the legs were tucked inside.  She couldn't get the baby delivered.  The doeling was already dead and NaNa was very stressed. 

I quickly assisted her by reaching inside and pulling the legs out to finish delivering the doeling.  I checked for signs of life, but there weren't any.  

I took this as a wake up call and a "kick in the butt" to get out to the barn in the early morning no matter how I felt and no matter how experienced the does were in the kidding pens.  You just never know when they'll need help.

After I had the doeling pulled, I reached in to help deliver her little buckling.  He was fine and healthy.  It took a lot of encouragement to get NaNa to stand up after delivery.  She is doing fine now, but I was really worried about her for a couple of days.

 NaNa and her baby boy
 NaNa's buckling


The overnight low on Monday night was 1*.  I had closed all the barn doors to keep the wind from blowing through and had all the heat lamps on in the kidding pens.  Even with these precautions ... one of Lady's triplet doelings froze to death overnight.

When I got out to the barn EARLY on Tuesday morning, I found one of Lady's doelings laying out in front of her and two of them snuggled behind her under the heat lamp.  The one in front of her had no signs of life when I picked her up.  This made me very sad.

The forecast temperature for Tuesday night was -8*.  I brought all the babies into the Kid Nursery in the basement before evening.

I hoped Sasha and Sissy would not kid overnight! I checked on them around 11:00 and both were calmly chewing the cud with no sighs of labor.


Early Wednesday morning's barn check revealed that Sasha had delivered overnight.  Her little doeling was cleaned off but had frozen, but her little buckling was dry and doing well.

 Sasha's buckling

I rubbed him really good with a towel to be sure he was dry and then put a kid coat on him to keep him warm.  I thought about bringing him inside, but he had survived the coldest night, so I left him with Sasha for the day.  Since we were forecast to have temps near 0* again overnight, I did bring him into the Kid Nursery before dark.  I couldn't face the heart break of loosing another kid to the frigid weather.

Sasha and her little boy in his kid coat


The rest of the week passed with being snowed in, regular milking, farm chores, and watching Sissy in the kidding pen. I was beginning to think I had her due date wrong .... but she decided to kid this afternoon (Saturday).    She delivered twins.  One doe and one buck.

Sissy is LaMancha/Nubian cross and Nate is the sire of her twins.

Sissy cleaning her babies
 The white one is the buckling and the black one is the doeling
The buckling has a little black spot on his hip just like his momma

I'm so glad this round of kidding ended on a good note.  I was very relieved when Sissy kidded successfully and that the weather has warmed to near normal temperatures!  It'll be a little over 2 weeks till the first fresheners start kidding.  I'm glad for the kidding break!



Anonymous said...

Oh Brenda, I am so sorry for the loss of the little one's. I hope you are feeling much better soon. You are so blessed to have Tonia and her daughters as nieghbors. Tonia is a treasure. Peace and may the rest of the kidding go smoothly with warm weather.

Feral Female said...

Sorry to hear about the loss, that is always tough no matter how long you`ve been goatherding.

My daughter is just in love with your Munchies!

Texan said...

Well darn, hated to read you lost some kids due to cold. Just hate that.

Cute new kids you have there, just how many full grown does do you have? I can't believe how many kids you have had born in the last several weeks! and more to kid yet? WOW

Deere Driver said...

My January was a bit like you past week. I lost one to a snowstorm too and then a week ago, another unexpected loss.
A couple more on the way along with single digits here in PA coming up. Got to get the barn tucked in as best we can.

Tree Hugger said...

You are the most amazing woman!! I just discovered your blog and have been reading for the past hour, backing up to read your older blogs. You are loving and caring with all of your girls and kids. Seems with the birthing and milking and blogging; you don't have much time for anything else. What do you do with all the milk? Do you process it and sell it or sell the milk to someone else to process?
Get well and hope it warms up for ya'll!

~Tonia said...

You know we are always happy to help when we can!
I cant believe how much Sasha's Buckling looks like my Jack when he was little! His color grew out to tans and reds but Jack is still cute!
So sorry for loosing those babies its always hard..
After this week its suppose to warm up and this next storm may not even get to us! YAH!...
Our day 145 starts Thursday.. I will be surprised is Sunshine hold on after that!
Babies as always are beautiful!!

the Goodwife said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your rough week! With this unseasonal frigid weather, I'm thankful you've had the low death loss you've had. I hope you will be able to take care of yourself and get well before the next round of kidding!

God bless and take care!

ps..I'm glad Tonia and the gals were able to help you stack all that hay!

OurCrazyFarm said...

Oh Brenda~ I am so sorry for your hard week. One of those things (a storm, being sick, or having all those does due) would have been enough to make it tough. So sorry about the loss of the kids, too. You did your best to help your 'girls'. We had a doe expecting last winter with temps of -25 overnight....brrrrr.... I would bundle up and stay in the barn as long as I could then finally brought her up to the basement to deliver. I am glad for later babies this year! Thanks again for sharing your baby stories! We all enjoy them!

Brenda said...

Thank you all for your concerns and good wishes. I know that losses are part of working with animals, but I sure try to avoid it! I am feeling much better the past couple of days... not coughing or sneezing my head off any more.

@ Barbara - I agree! Tonia is a treasure and a wonderful neighbor!

@ Feral - I'm glad Miss Yodeling likes my Munchies.

@ Texan - I have 35 mature does with 3 of those left to kid. I have 15 yearling does with 12 of those to kid (3 aren't bred). I'm milking 31 right now and getting a little over 28 gallons of milk a day. 12 gallons a day goes to feed the bottle babies and the most of the rest is being transformed into cheese.

@ Tree Hugger - Thank you so much for your kind words and Welcome to Granny's Best! I do process my milk here on the farm. I sell the raw goat's milk to individuals and make yummy cheeses ... More on the cheeses later this spring!

@ Tonia - I thought of your Jack when I first saw Sasha's little buck. I'll bet you're getting really anxious for kidding to start with your goats. Babies!!

Kay's flowers said...

As I read your posts I am amazed by all that you do. So sorry to hear about your losses, I know how much that must hurt. So glad to hear that you're feeling better. Your dairy really sound like you've worked hard to get it where it's at. Thanks for sharing about it.

euthymic said...

We are so sorry about the loss of the kids, but grateful for the ones that survived. You really are committed to your animals. We tend to fear goats but you have made them less fearful to us:)

Mocha Barney, Ashley Pumpernickel and Winniechurchill

Missouri Gal said...

That's so sad you lost some of the kids! I'm sorry! How nice of Tonia and her girls to help you!
Saw on the news this morning by the 16th we are supposed to hit the mid 60's! Maybe that groundhog was correct! I hope anyway!

matty said...

I am so sorry that you lost kids. That is such a heartbreaking moment! It is so sad! Your little white does are so precious -- well -- actually --they are ALL precious! Don't you love 'em? Will you keep all the does??

Brenda said...

@ matty - Yes, I do love em! I'm keeping 16 of the little does from this season. Those 2 white ones are 2 I'll be keeping! They're from my heaviest milking line.

beamsjewel said...

Hi Benda!

I've been reading your blog and just love your goats! Actually I purchased one from you a couple of years ago (Rabbit), I'm sorry to hear about your loss of the little ones, but so glad to hear about the live healthy ones! I have been trying to reach you by phone, I would love to come for a farm visit if you do those and I would like to know if Sasha's buckling is for sale, thank you very much!

Nezzy said...

Don't be too hard on yourself girl. Ya can't watch those birthin' mothers 24-7. Sorry about the loss. Wow, so many place has been poppin'. We've had some calves born in these sub-zero temps. It was a whoppin' -11 this mornin' but hopefully the warm~up's on the way!

I know I'm more than ready!

God bless ya and have a beautiful day!!! :o)

Melodie said...

It is so heartbreaking to loose kids,I am sorry. When ever I get to feeling a little lazy I am just going to think of you and how much you do,even sick,and I know that will get me motivated! Hope you are feeling better!

beamsjewel said...

Thank you Brenda for giving us a tour tonight and of course that cute snuggly buckling we bought! I love him, we are calling him Chief, he is a doll, I really enjoyed visiting with you and hopefully we can do it again soon!

Kim said...

Oh I'm so sorry about your loss. That's always hard.

You have beautiful kids :) They are so adorable!