Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Preggo or Not?

Time is ticking away, and I'm beginning to think that our black and white Boer doe is not really pregnant. Her and our last doe to kid were with the Boer buck for four plus weeks, and we had reason to believe she was bred fairly close to the same time as Vega. So far, no udder on Tori. The buck didn't go home until the first of October, so there is possibly still time for Tori to kid. Personally, I'm just not sure that she will due to the lack of any udder development so far and no baby belly. A surprise would be nice though. We'll keep you posted.

Friday, February 20, 2009

First Kid of the Season

This was no ordinary kidding to kick off the kidding season this year. Our third-year freshener, Vega, was looking as if it was time to kid late afternoon on Thursday as her udder was filling and she had distanced herself from the rest of the herd. We hooked up the baby monitor, kept her in the little goat house with a friend overnight, and kept checking. By 12:30 a.m. Friday, it looked as if we might as well get some sleep, so off to bed we went with the monitor running.

About 5:00 a.m. there came the sound of Vega's bleating. I woke up CamoQueen and GoatPrincess, and we headed out in the chilly 27 degree night air to see what was up. Yes, Vega was streaming goo and looking uncomfortable, so we settled in on the straw to wait. Within 45 minutes or so she started serious contractions and getting down to push. But unfortunately, things did not proceed as quickly as we would have expected. After waiting a while longer, CamoQueen lubed up and decided to see if the kids were presented right. Yes, there was a front leg, another one, and the head. All should be fine. Six-thirty came and went we decided it was time to call in some help. As our dear friend was on her way, CamoQueen tried pulling the kid somewhat but there was too much resistance. Tammy arrived and confirmed that everything was lined up right and began to think that perhaps the head was too big to pass through the pelvis as it was just too tight in there. A few more phone calls and it was decided at 8:00 a.m. that since Vega had pretty much given up pushing and was totally exhausted that it was time for some intervention-perhaps even a C-section.

The back of the Suburban was loaded with straw and Vega went for a ride to our closest goat vet about 40 minutes away. Once there, she was given a once over by the vet, and he decided to try to pull the kid. Rather than go into the graphics here, we'll just say that after some tranquilizer to calm her down and a lot of bracing, he was able to extract the kid - not a whopper like we had perhaps thought, but just an average kid...a little doe looking just like her full sister from last year. The vet couldn't come up with any specific reason for her needing assistance other than her pelvic area did seem a little tight. Probably won't be breeding her to the same buck next year.

Our little girl has not been named yet although the Spanish word for crown, Corona, was suggested. She belongs to CamoQueen so the decision will be hers. All in all, she's a pretty cute little girl. She was up on her feet on the way home and had no trouble find mom to nurse once they got settled into the house. More updates will show up as those pictures keep pouring in.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

No Babies Yet...

We're waiting, but no goat kids yet. Those expectant mothers never keep to anyone's schedules. We were all impressed yesterday though by one of the kids' head firmly protruding from mama's belly. We're taking bets on at least two kids. Stay tuned.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Baby Watch

Well, the baby watch is on. Two does due this week. Rather than obsessing over them this year, we are watching for udders to fill and will then decide if they need stalled at night with the baby monitor. We did not get much sleep last year by stalling them early and "listening in" all night - cud chewing and ears flapping about do tend to keep you up all night!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

It's All About the Eggs

Yes it is all about the eggs, isn't it? Why else do we keep chickens. Since moving to our little place, we've had a hen or two on hand. The first was a throw-away Easter chicken that a friend of ours rescued in town and thought would live quite nicely out at our place. We had no chicken accommodations in the early days, so we put her out in the front pasture with our only other piece of livestock, a miniature Mediterranean donkey. Well "Daisy" the hen got pretty attached to "Holly" the donkey and soon started following her around everywhere. It was kinda cute. We put out a doghouse for her and that was where she slept. Then one day ... it happened ... screams from the front pasture and a small child running back to the house with a beautiful green egg in her hand. We were hooked and have been purchasing chicks at the feed store every year to keep ourselves in chickens.

I don't keep track anymore, but I think we have around 15 or so. They lay more than enough eggs for our use, so I usually try to sell the extra dozens for $3 or so. As you can see, some are Araucanas and lay the Easter colored eggs, but for the most part, the others that are laying the best right now are traditional breeds ... sexlinks, banties, and last year's buff orpingtons.

We allow the hens to hatch out eggs, or they do so on their own because we just don't know about it. The chicks that survived the natural course of events this year have all turned out to be roosters it would appear, so several of the following guys are going to have to go.

And another reason to keep poultry, the crowing. During the times we haven't had a rooster on the premises, we actually got to missing that sound and had to track one down to purchase. And by the way, it's only a bedtime story fallacy that roosters crow in the morning. First-hand evidence at our place indicates that roosters crow plentifully during all waking, and at times, non-waking hours.

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