Tag Archives: goat kids

Goat Preschool

Goat Preschool

Most of the goat kids are 1 month old now and growing quickly.  We are taking their 30-day weights and most of the kids have made it to 20 pounds in their first month of life.  That’s great – it means that they are healthy and their does are producing plenty of milk for them.

Generally the kids are together in a big group that Lindsey has taken to calling Goat Preschool.

The kids are full of antics.  Every dusk they do this bouncing-around-the-paddock routine that is a combination of hide-and-seek, freeze tag, high jumping, and interpretive dance.  Sometimes the 2 Red Poll calves join in as well but they are shunned.  I can almost hear the goats saying “Too big!  Too big!”

One of the kids’ favorite activities is Cow Surfing.  The kids love to climb on everything – the wheelbarrow I leave for them to play on, the mineral tub and stand, the shade shack, each other – and they will climb on the cows when they lie down as well.  Every once in a while a kid will manage to hang on through the process of the cow standing up and will ride along on the cow’s back for a bit – Cow Surfing!

 

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Fancy’s Kids

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Kidding season officially closed tonight with the birth of Fancy’s twins.  All told, we got 12 kids.  One premature and stillborn, one premature and now deceased, and 10 healthy strapping kids – 5 bucks and 5 does.

Fancy has been our lowest-maintenance goat throughout the time we’ve had them.  No hoof trims needed, no worming, no nothing.  Which is good because she’s also the most standoffish and hardest to catch.  So I was hoping that if any of the goats needed help, it wouldn’t be Fancy.

BUT….

She had the longest labor of anyone.  She started when I got home from school around 3:30 and finally finished giving birth around 9:30 at night.  In the rain.  In the cold.  But the kids were strong and vibrant.  One dark 8-lb buck and one light 7-lb doe, so she “bucked” the trend I talked about yesterday of the dark does and light bucks that all the other does had.  In fact, her little doeling looks almost exactly like her.

Fancy cleaned her kids off well and then….

SHE WOULDN’T LET THEM NURSE!

Oh no!  Every time one of the kids got near her udder they received a swift kick to the head.  She would let them suck at her knees, her chest, her sides, but not her udder.

I sat in the rain and watched this go on for way too long wondering if I should intervene.  The kids were holding up their end of the bargain.  They were tenacious about sucking and trying to find the udder and nipples.  They searched, they sucked, they bleated, but she wouldn’t let them on.

So finally I decided that we’d have to help her get the hang of it.  I went to get Lindsey and we both trekked out in the rain.  The plan was to hold Fancy and let the kids latch on with the hope that Fancy would figure it out.  When we got out to the paddock we decided to wait 5 or 10 minutes longer and she finally did let the kids nurse.

HALLELUJAH!

After they had both gotten a good drink we carried them underneath the portable shelter to help them stay as dry as possible before we went back in for the night.

One calf to go, then only small stuff for the rest of the year.  Rabbits and chickens are much less stressful!

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Miss Priss’ Kids

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Miss Priss dropped her kids on us today – a huge 8 lb buckling and a teeny tiny 4 lb doeling.  Lindsey said that the buckling hogged all the space and food inside.  But both seem to be healthy and vigorous.  They certainly have good lungs because they both yelled really loudly when they got their #7 and #8 ear tags.

Priss is the only experienced doe we have.  All of the others are having their first kids.  Priss is much more aggressive about getting her kids up and about as well as chasing away other curious creatures – goats, other kids, calves, cows, and me!  She gave me a nice little headbutt while I was putting iodine on her kids’ umbilical cords.  Good mom!

Fancy is out in the pasture about to give birth, so there may be another post later tonight!

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Nadine’s Kids

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Today we got lucky again!  Nadine gave birth to her kids – another set of twins.  I’ll have to do some research on this, but there appears to be some sex-linked genetics happening with our goat kids.  All of the bucks are white and all of the does are colored.  I’m sure now that I’ve said it the next kids will buck the trend, but it’s interesting so far.

Nadine’s twins are BoKis – hybrids between the Boer and Kiko breed.  Hopefully they’ll display some hydrid vigor and grow especially well.  They’ve got the stockiness, nose, and ears of the Boers.  I hope the Kiko blood gives them good hoofs and elevated parasite resistance.

The doe kid weighed in at 6.5 lbs and the buck tipped the scales at 7.25 lbs – the heaviest so far.  They were both up and about quickly and sucking down their colostrum like champs.

We’ve got 2 more does left to kid this spring.  Fancy and Miss Priss (the two oldest goats) are the only ones yet to kid.  Both have udders near bursting with milk, so kidding should happen for them very soon.

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Ebony’s Kids

New mom Ebony.

While making the morning rounds this lovely Sunday, I saw that Ebony had new kids.  She must have delivered in the early morning hours.  Both kids are healthy and happily nursing.

Ebony had a doe kid first.  She weighed in at 6.25 pounds.  The buck tipped the scales at an even 7 pounds.  So far Ebony and Ivory have color coded their kids.  The bucks are white and the does are darker with black markings.  That will make sorting easier later on – I hope that trend continues!

Of course, after finding them I dipped the umbilical cords in iodine, weighed them, and gave them their new earrings – #3 and #4.

We’ve got 3 more does due any day now.  Nadine needs to deliver soon – she looks three times as wide as she is tall!

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