Thursday, February 27, 2014

Goat Midwifery!

Yesterday three new kids joined the herd at Common Sense Farm! Common Sense is a farm a few miles away from Cold Antler and it is where my Alpine doe Bonita came from, where she is bred in the fall, and where I learned the ropes of Goats and home dairying.

I was there to help and learn alongside my goat mentors. I had only planned on being there a few hours but like all things in farming, another plan trumped my one. One big mama named Opal was in the middle of labor with triplets when I arrived and I stuck around all afternoon and into the night waiting on her third to join us in the world. It was edge-of-the-seat exciting since all the kids were presented wrong. The experienced farmer present needed to turn the kids around inside the doe while the rest of us were getting ready with electrolytes in buckets, clean bedding, notes, and the barn full of kids running around with the human children.

I have birthed a lot of lambs and a had three healthy kids born at the farm last year (in the middle of Fiddle Camp, which is most likely going to happen again this year!), but there is always more to learn. Every birth is different and seeing how the farmer turned the kids inside the mother and carefully pulled them correct was the kind of thing you can't learn in books. It's certainly Dairy Season now around these parts and your parts, too. So if you are thinking about goats see if you can tag along for a birth or two. Bonus: goat kids are the most adorable animals on earth...

It was wonderful and magical and part of why I think Spring is just around the corner! Are any of you expecting kids soon?


Blogger Kris said...

No kids til the end of March. Right now my sheep are lambing. 9 so far from 6 ewes with about 5 more ewes to go. I am in the limb od lamb cuteness here! I can't stop going out there and loving on lambs and mommas and taking tons of pictures.

Sounds like you had a busy day. So did all 3 of them make it? I sure do miss my goat milk.

February 27, 2014 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger Fin said...

It's really a bit early for kidding. Mine are due in April. I'd hate to be born in this weather.

February 27, 2014 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Fin said...

It's really a bit early for kidding. Mine are due in April. I'd hate to be born in this weather.

February 27, 2014 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

It is early! But Common Sense has a barn with good insulation, heat lamps, 23 goats and a 80+ people dependin on goatsmilk and cheese that haven't had either in a few months :) They are set up for winter kidding, Bonita is due closer to April, too - end of March

February 27, 2014 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Fin said...

I'm really surprised that Alpines can even be bred that early. Mine never go into heat before October. Do they dry them off especially early? Or breed them while they're still in milk?

February 27, 2014 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger pugoata said...

I'm getting my first two goats this summer! Two little doelings. :) They're due in April, but I won't take them home until June. They're going to be Nigerian Dwarf Goats and I'm going to milk them when they're old enough. I hope to get a couple fully grown ones so I can get milk right away, but it'll depend on my budget. :/

February 27, 2014 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm expecting lambs, wasn't planning on kids this year. But, as it turns out, my banding skills need improvement. What I thought was a wether, turns out to be a buck, so my cashmere doe and my angora doe may surprise me. I don't see obvious signs yet.....but lambs end of March :)

February 27, 2014 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

First time kidding for me this spring in late March and April with some 2nd, 3rd and 5th time fresheners. I've read a lot comments on forums from people that say they don't worry about the way kids present unless the umbilical cord is in the way or the neck is turned all the way back. I'm hoping this season goes smoothly, as we bred our large girls with a smaller buck just to be on the safe side. One of our goats is 8 and this will be her last freshening before she's retired.

February 28, 2014 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Denise @ Thistleberry Patch said...

I have two Nigerian Dwarfs FF due to kid early May. This will be my first kidding season. I'm so excited, I'm counting down the days like a 5-year-old counting down for Christmas.

February 28, 2014 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger Justine said...

Ha this made me laugh Im due with my second son the middle of march so the goats and I are on the same schedule ;-). I hope you get healthy does out of Bonita this year!

March 1, 2014 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Lara said...

Good mentors are priceless!

March 1, 2014 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Montero said...

Man, that goat barn is SPOTLESS! I have barn envy now, as well as goat envy.

March 1, 2014 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Westfarm Goat Mom said...

Have 17 does due in the month of April. First due date March 30th.

March 1, 2014 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Stainonthepage: I deleted your comment by accident!!!

March 5, 2014 at 9:30 AM  

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