Thursday, February 17, 2011

Full Moon Surprise

The Full Moon seems to have quite an affect on living things.  If you ask people who have worked in nursing homes, you'll get stories about strange things happening during the Full Moon.  And, if you talk to nurses who work in maternity wards, you'll find out that more births happen during the Full Moon.  I know the Full Moon sure affects goats and kidding!

I had put the 4 yearling does who are due to deliver early next into the kidding pen area yesterday.  It's a good thing because Caramel decided the pull of the Full Moon was more than she could resist.  Today is day 144 for her. She's not really due til the 23rd.

But ..... when I got home from making a quick trip into town..... I started to take my things into the house ... but saw the Full Moon rising and decided that I'd better go check on the does in the kidding pens first.  When I stepped into the barn I saw the cutest little kid beside Caramel.  She had just delivered him a few minutes earlier.

 Caramel's little boy

Caramel is Myrtle's yearling doe from last kidding season.  She is Nubian/Alpine.  His sire is Cappuccino.  Cappuccino is Emily's yearling buck from last kidding season.

 Caramel giving her baby boy kisses

He is colored so pretty.  He has gray Moon Spots.  How appropriate for being born on the Full Moon!

Caramel's buckling

Finding that Caramel had kidded was a great surprise .... but not the only surprise of the evening!

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Angel delivered a buckling while I was in town also.  If you don't know Angel's story and how she came to live here at the farm you can read the full story here

When she arrived on December 10th, she was extremely thin.  When I posted the photos of  her on January 7th, she had gained quite a bit of weight, but was still very thin.

 Angel on January 7th

By the end of January, I was getting suspicious that she may be pregnant.  But, I didn't quite know ... maybe she was just gaining weight and growing a better rumen with all the good food she was getting now.

 Photo taken late January

By the first of February she started making more of an udder.  That's when I knew for sure that she was pregnant!  I was really hoping that she would be in good enough shape to have a healthy baby and stay healthy herself.  I watched her every day ... several times a day.  I had no idea of when her due date would be.

 Udder development



 Here she is just a week ago.  She is still thin, but does have a baby bulge.

Here's her big baby boy born this evening.  It's hard to imagine this big baby was in there.  He is strong and healthy. And, Angel is doing great too.

 Angel's baby boy

 Angel is a really good momma

Angel and her baby

I'm glad both Angel and Caramel delivered their kids without needing any assistance.  They gave me a very nice Full Moon surprise.  Their babies are so pretty.

So, I guess this means that Kidding Round 3 has started!

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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.

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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!

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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

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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

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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


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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.

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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

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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!

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