Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Kidding 2016, Week One

Baby goats galore, that's pretty much the story of my life right now. The amount of time it takes to do chores has quadrupled, at least. Goodness gracious though, is there anything cuter than baby goats?

Genesis kicked off kidding season on Valentines day with a buck, named Exodus, and a doe, named Truffle.

Both are staying with mama, though Truffle comes in the house some nights to keep my bottle baby company, and to learn to like humans (you know, those scary things that feed your mama every day and always want to pet you.).
Next up was Airalena. She was HUGE! Well Tuseday morning out popped a little doeling before I even got out there with towels to dry the coming babies off.
Airalena is my brother's goat and he was very happy to get a doeling out of her! He named the doeling Rosalena.

Then the waiting game began. This baby was so little, and Airalena so huge we knew she had to have at least one more baby. But, Airalena just took care of her new baby and did nothing else. Finally, after an hour she had baby number two, a little buck my brother named Pepper.

That little buck was quickly followed by a third baby, another doe! My brother named her Skylena. (Notice a theme here with the names?)

Airalena is an experienced mother at 7 years old and an excellent milk producer so she is happily raising all three babies. (And we still have to milk her once a day!)

Thursday, after a few false labors, Candy Cane was finally in labor. I was excited, Candy Cane is a Sombrita daughter, who didn't kid last year, so I'd really been looking forward to her babies.

She was clearly in labor for over 13 hours, finally, just before midnight she began to push.
It was soon evident that something wasn't right. The first baby was in the wrong position and dead. I had to re-position and pull him out. Poor Candy Cane! I knew she would have a second baby but at this point I had little hope it would be born alive. Well I was extremely surprised and happy when 15 minutes later a living, breathing, moving doeling was born! Thank God!! I got the doeling dried off then Candy Cane began to push again. Another still born buck in the wrong position who had to be re-positioned and pulled. This was the worst kidding I've had in several years. The umbilical cords were incomplete, which is what caused the two bucklings to die. It's truly amazing the doeling survived! Due to the traumatic kidding and a way to short umbilical cord (that could easily get infected) the doeling came into the house to be bottle fed. 

Now, 5 days later, Miss Peppermint Star is still doing well as a bottle baby and Candy Cane is healing from her ordeal and producing enough milk for me to feed her baby. If I never have another kidding like that one it will be too soon!

Saturday promised to be eventful, I went out to do chores and discovered three of my goats in labor! All three were first freshening 2 year olds, who came up to the trough to eat grain then immediately went back to the sheds to labor while the rest of the herd went out to the pasture to graze. Along with that, the 5 babies born at the beginning of the week were scheduled to be dis-budded.
About an hour after feeding, when I was out in the pen to get the babies for dis-budding, Sweetie, my Saanan-Alpine cross had a big buckling!

I helped her get him dried up then went to see how the dis-budding was going. About 10 minutes later, when I was returning the newly de-horned babies to their mamas, I found Sweetie about to have a second baby.

A little doeling, born much faster than her brother! Meet Sugar Plum, solid white just like her mother.

Mama and both babies were doing well so I moved them all to the pen I had set up for new babies and Mamas.

About 2 hours later, Iridessa was ready to have her babies. First out was a little buck, shortly followed by another little buck.

Once we'd helped Iridessa get her babies dried off, we moved them to the pen where Sweetie and her babies were, then went to check on the next goat in labor, Athena.

Athenalena, Airalena's 2 year old daughter. She pushed for  an hour before she finally had baby number one, a big buck my brother named Blitz. Once baby number one was out baby number two quickly followed. An hour for the first baby, less than five minutes for the second baby! That's a first freshener for you!

Another, beautiful, colorful, buck. My brother named the second one Storm, and lamented the fact he didn't get a doe out of his favorite goat. Why are the pretty babies, out of the best does, so often bucks? 

That night it was clear that Bonnie, my little sister's goat was in labor, so I stuck her in a kidding shed, went to bed, and woke up every three hours to check on her. She didn't kid. When I checked on her come morning, still no babies. She made it very clear she wanted to got out to the pasture, so I put her out there, and continued to check on her every 30 minutes. One check, she wasn't pushing or anything, 30 minutes later I went out to check again, and there was a baby!

Darned goat, apparently she wanted to have her babies in the pasture and didn't want me interfering! I lost a good nights sleep only to miss the big event come morning! Well, ok, only half the big event. She waited to have the second baby until I got out there.

Twin Does! After five bucks and only one doe the day before this was exciting! My sister named the first baby Iris and the second Orchid.

Whew, busy weekend! Needless to say, we didn't make it to church. Now after 7 goats kidding and 14 live babies, (a very even 7 bucks and 7 does) I only have three goats left to kid, and they appear to be taking their own sweet time. On one hand, this is a little frustrating, I was up every three hours last night to check on a still pregnant goat! On the other hand, the break is rather nice, until the current babies get a bit bigger, I'm out of kidding sheds! I foresee another busy weekend coming up, this time with cleaning out and moving around sheds to accommodate my growing herd!


  1. awww!! sorry bout the one that died ... :'(

  2. Baby goats are so cute! What do you do with all the babies? Keep them? Sell them? I was just curious. :)

  3. The bucks will all be sold in a few months. Once They're older we'll decide which doelings to keep and which to sell. We usually keep 3-5 per year.