Saturday, December 24, 2011

Kidding Season 2012 (part 1)

Kidding season began here at the goat dairy on the Rockin H Ranch on Sunday, December 18th, 2011.

Since I have both Nubian and LaMancha goats, I wanted to be sure my Nubian does got bred to my Nubian buck, Latte, so they would have Nubian babies.  That would be easiest to accomplish by breeding them in July while they were still at the prior farm.  You see, the entire herd ... both Nubian and LaMancha ... would be running together once they moved to the ranch. So, Latte went into the Nubian doe pen around the 20th of July.

Latte

I expect all of my mature Nubian does to finish kidding by Christmas.  No, I wasn't thinking about how  busy Christmas time is anyway without the extra crazyness of kidding 14 does at the same week as Christmas! But, that's how it worked out.   So, here we go .........

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The first to deliver this season was Mandy ... the only LaMancha bred on the prior farm.  She came into a hot heat during July so I gave in and put her in with my LaMancha buck, Nate, for that day.

Nate (and Latte behind him)

Mandy surprised me by kidding out in the area of the goat yard where I feed their hay.  She wasn't due till the 24th, but decided to kid on the 18th.   I should have known something was up since she came in early from grazing that day.   She had a little boy and a little girl.  I'm glad it was a nice warm day.

 Mandy and babies just born

I scooped up her babies and took them into a stall in the kidding barn.  She followed closely to stay with them. 

 Boy in front and girl behind

 She's a really good momma

 At first I thought she had delivered another baby, but one of the half grown kittens had snuggled up with Mandy's babies.  He was grooming them!


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Lydia kidded next on Monday morning the 19th.  She had 2 beautifully spotted bucklings.  She is a 2 year old first freshener and the daughter of Lilah (the herd queen)


 Lydia's boys playing
 Breakfast!

 Isn't he cute?
Nothing like a kid draped across your neck to keep you warm!

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Valery  kidded mid-day on Monday the 19th.  I was in the kidding barn  building more kidding stalls when she started pushing.  I sat with her while she delivered to help dry the babies and hand them up to her.  She had triplets ... 1 spotted buckling and 2 solid brown doelings with white ears and black trim.

 Here she is with the first two. (buck and doe)

 Here's all 3 just born

 They're enjoying the heat lamp as Valery enjoys her dinner.

 They're a very playful bunch of babies!


And then it's nap time!


Here they are playing when they're a couple of days old.


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Naudia  delivered two bucklings on Tuesday mid-day the 20th.  She's a two year old second freshener. She's Nellie's daughter and has some small percentage of Boer in her background.  Her momma gives a gallon and a half of milk a day and as a first freshener Naudia was close to a gallon a day.  So, even though the Boer colors come out in some of the babies, the milking genetics is very strong too.

 Naudia's boys just born.


 They're colored up pretty loud.


 One of their favorite places is under the water bucket.


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Daisy  also kidded mid-day on Tuesday the 20th. And, she also had two boys.  I was starting to get worried that it was looking like a buck heavy kidding season!  Daisy is a 2 year old first freshener.  She's the daughter of Maggie.  I'm already having to milk a quart from her that's extra over what her boys are taking.  I'm pretty excited to see how her milking season goes.

 Daisy's newborn boys

 Two of the kittens snuggling with one of the boys.

 This big guy has a unique mink like color


That tangle of nappers in the corner there are Daisy's two boys and either 4 or 5 of the half grown kittens.  They've taken up residence with Daisy's baby goats!


This boy not only has black spots and white spots... he has blue eyes!  His grandmother,Maggie, has a little blue in her eyes.  And, his momma, Daisy, has blue at the bottom part of her eyes.  He is going to be such a beautiful buck.

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Lilah  is my 10 year old herd queen.  She may not be as fast as the younger does, but they know she's the queen.  She has a deep voice and the body language that they respect.  She kidded Tuesday night the 20th.

It looked like she may be in early labor when I made my check on the does before bedtime and I sat watching her for a while.  But, I got cold!  And, she wasn't giving any definite signs of being in labor ... so, I came back to the house and my warm bed.

When I went out to the kidding barn early the next morning, she had her nice dry babies standing there to greet me. She had a pretty tan spotted buckling and a tan doeling with white ears.

 Lilah and her doeling



 Nap time.  

If you'll notice, there's no kittens sharing Lilah's pen.  She won't allow them in.

Lilah's kids playing. 

The doeling has the big white star and the buckling has more spots.


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Between Sunday the 18th and Tuesday the 20th, There had been 13 babies born here ... 9 bucklings and 4 doelings.  I had a talk with the rest of the does in the kidding pens waiting to deliver.  I told them I needed  them to deliver more girls to catch up with the number of boys!

One of the things you may have noticed ... or not ... is that I haven't had to assist any of the deliveries.  They have all been natural and accomplished by the does without my help.  In prior years I've had several that needed help delivering their kids.... either with babies in bad birthing positions or babies too big or too small or tangled up and trying to be born two at a time.

I feel there are two big reasons for this difference.  First being that my goats have been out grazing/browsing every day for the past 2 and a half months.  Some days they walk miles as they look for the next best thing to eat.  They're getting more exercise than they've ever gotten in their entire lives living in goat yards at the prior farm.  And, they're getting to eat whatever they want to eat out there.  They eat dry leaves, cedar trees, young branches of blackberry canes, and all the green grass and other forages they want.

The second reason I think they're having an easier deliveries, is that I removed all corn and soy from their diets several months before we moved to the ranch.  The Rockin H is a "grass fed" ranch and I wanted my does to be ready for that.  I think it has made a big difference in their health.

I'm seeing much easier kidding this season and I'm very thankful for it.

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3 comments:

darius said...

What a lovely Christmas "gift" you have given me via the pictures and stories of the kidding. Couldn't be a nicer gift that seeing new life, Thanks!

OurCrazyFarm said...

Thanks for sharing Brenda! I loved all the pictures! What beautiful babies you have~ and I'm so glad that the does listened to you and the girls are winning:))

I can see which ones are related to Jacob~ all those pretty spots!

I did notice the easy deliveries this time around~ yay!

Dalyn (AKA The Queen of Quite Alot) said...

love them!!! You have some great looking goats!! Merry Christmas!