Sunday, April 10, 2011

Just Kidding!

Arielle holding Jasmine
Well here it is April and time for the kidding to get started here at Double L Goat Dairy.


just born kind of confused
We got started on April first by an April  fools by one of the goats.  Do they know about April fools?  They must. I went out to do my chores and low and behold one of my does looked like she was going to kid.  So, of course I was not expecting any kidding for another week at the earliest, which means I was not prepared.   Moved her into the delivery stall, with another of my expectant mothers for company.  Well, on April eighth she finally  kids one day after her due date.     I would say I was an April Fool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Maybe, next year I will fool her. ;)  All is forgive though, she had a beautiful doe and buck kid. 

I tell you during kidding season I get plenty of exercise walking back and forth to check on goats.   I do have a very high tech baby monitoring system that I do use during kidding season.   Actually, all it is, is baby monitors that I bought at the thrift stores.   I hang the base in the barn and I have two other smaller monitors one in the kitchen and one in my bedroom.    I keep those on during kidding season so I can hear new born baby cries or a baby in distress.   The monitors actually work really well,  I have been able to catch two deliveries because I heard it on the monitor.   I can also hear distress cries of babies that have gotten separated from their mommies or stuck in some other predicament. With all that said, I still walk out to check goats every couple hours.

Rosie and Rosemary
delivery stall
Rosie one of my favorite goats decided to kid outside in the sun light today, much to my surprise.  She did not look like she was ready to go anytime soon, but I guess she proved me wrong. 

We have kidding stalls all set up for the goats to deliver in, when they cooperate and kid on schedule.  Each of these two stalls are 8'X12' and each stall has a baby oven in it.   These stalls are well protected from inclement weather, and have a thick layer of bedding on the floor.  I usually put the expectant doe in with a companion goat.   If the goat delivering is a first time mommy, I put a experienced doe in with her.   (kinda like a goat mentor)


baby oven
The ovens are metal drums that my husband Dave made for me.  He turned the drum upside down cut a circle in the top for the heat lamp and cut a door out in front for the babies to  go in and out of.   These baby heater have saved many of babies from getting to cold or suffering from frost bite.  (baby Nubians ears freeze very easily in cold temp.)  This is also a much safer way of using heat lamps.  You do not have to worry about goat knocking them over or breaking the heat bulb so easily.
nursery stall
Once the babies are born we keep them in the delivery stall for 24 hours, giving them time to get on their feet, get acquainted with their mother,  and nurse.   Once they are well on their way we move them to the nursery.  
 


The nursery stall has access to the big outdoors via a ramp they have to learn to navigate.  (Fun to watch).  They stay in the nursery for a week giving them  a little time to grow and learn to use those long legs.  They also, get the opportunity to  start eating hay and grain like their momma.   Once the week is over, and if they are doing well they are put in with the rest of the  herd.  ( if the nursery  is not crowded we do let them stay a bit longer than a week)  As, you can see in the nursery stall the babies have access to another baby heater. (spoiled I know) From the nursery stall the babies can interact with the rest of the herd through the fence, letting everyone get use to each other.  

We still have three more goats to deliver this month and in May the yearlings will start kidding.    This is absolutely my favorite time of year .  Walking  out into the barn hour after hour is well worth the effort when you go out and see those precious baby goats in the barn.  I can not help but have a smile on my face. 

The boys Edward and Navajo
As, I was leaving the barn the bucks wanted to make sure I took their pictures.  They wanted to  make sure everyone knew that it was because of their hard work that we had such great babies.   Good job boys. 
 
I will continue to update this post with photo's of the newest babies so check back, from time to time.

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