Archive for ‘kidding’

January 21, 2014

A week in photos

It was such a busy week! I managed to finish Rachel’s quilt for her 10th birthday, a project that’s been 2 years in the making. I fall into UFO (unfinished object) funks and quilts in particular fall to the wayside unfortunately but finishing it has given me renewed vigor to finish a few that have been on the back burner.

This was a sentiment I heard at one time. I don’t know the author to credit but suffice to say, these are borrowed words.

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King and Snow doing what King and Snow do. The sun’s out and it’s day time which means they snooze and relax and keep watch.

king

snow

Sunday was gorgeous and the goats were thoroughly enjoying the sunshine. We finally got the round bales off the trailer. The girls had pretty much eaten one entire bale down to 1/4 of what it started as. We unloaded it into the barnyard so they could munch on it. Most of them just turned in into a cozy bed . Most of the does are bred, some further along than others. It’s a time of growing good healthy babies!

Mother Daughter Flicker and Bourbon

Mother Daughter Flicker and Bourbon

hay bale free for all

Granite

Granite

While there isn’t a whole lot to eat from the looks of it, the pigs enjoy nibbling the grasses and rooting up tasty things. Ann is due to farrow around February 14.

Ann

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The chickens still range in the winter and find tasty tidbits to eat, there was still a little snow on the ground last week.

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Sunday Jeremiah and I finished the greenhouse by installing the back window and the plastic on front and back. we also put pipe insulation over the end of the panel and maybe that will cause a little less wear and tear. The strips of lumber that the plastic is rolled up in seems to be doing a good job. We had some pretty forceful winds last night and all it all looks good.I am so eager to start seeds. I went through what I saved from last year and what was left over. I hope to start a lot of flower seeds this year along with all the veg.

Front

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back

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greenhouse window from inside

Em kidded on Sunday while we worked on the greenhouse. I checked on her every so often. The first kid (boy) was totally breech but he delivered fine. The 2nd kid (doe) was still encased in her sack. I am glad I was there. Usually they are not delivered in their sack and there is no obstruction. When they are, if the doe is not attentive or there isn’t anyone there, they generally suffocate. The 3rd kid (a buck) was delivered about 20 minutes later without incident and Em looks fantastic. Shes enjoying a stall to herself to get to know her kids. I’ll post more photos later, these kids are super flashy!

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The following photo was not taken last week, but it is a reminder that we have our nuc colonies ordered from Butler Bees. Jeremiah and I are going to tackle the top bar bee hives and leave the langstroth hives to the construction class.

Well, there it was. We were at an auction Saturday and managed to bring home a pretty decent haul of lumber, a huge miscellaneous lot of trim/moulding/baseboards, 125 sheets of sheet rock and 13+ new bundles of shingles. I haven’t yet decided if we’ll shingle the new milk house, I’ll have to chew on that some more. We’re trying to stay somewhat color & material coordinated, the shingles on the house are brown, everything else is metal. We’re going with metal.

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February 25, 2013

Triplets for Pejamy

This is Pejamy’s 3rd set of triplets. As a first freshening 2 year old, she had triplet girls. As a 2nd freshening 3 year old, 2 bucks and a doe (who, incidentally, just had her first set of kids as a 2nd freshening 2 year old =) ), 3rd freshening 4 year old twin does and as a 4th freshening five year old (and looking gorgeous!) 2 does and a buck. This girl sure does know how to throw the girls, even out of a buck who has been a heavy buck thrower. They say the female has nothing to do with gender given “x” & “y” chromosomes of the whole scenario, but considering a few of my does and their tendencies, I tend not to agree entirely on that and wouldn’t bat an eye at body Ph or minerals playing at least a small roll.

The buck kid was hogging a lot of the groceries in utero  it appears, but that is generally the case. All three are a very good size and Pejamy sure does now how to grow some lovely kids! The first doe she barely on the ground when I showed up. I had been ding barn checks all morning and knew the night before it wouldn’t be long. She looked pretty content to stick it out over night though which I was thankful for because I think it dipped down to single digits. Saturday was beautiful enough. The sun was out, it was just at freezing much of the day but when that sun comes out, it feels pretty warm! There is still quite a bit of snow on the ground.

I moved her into the kidding pen around 5 AM and gave her a heat lamp. She was pretty happy to get alfalfa all to herself and after about 4 barn checks by 1 o’clock, she decided the time was right. She was cleaning the doe kid -a pretty brown roan- when the 2nd kid was at the helm. I could see though she was having a bit of a problem. She’d lay down and push but nothing, get up, readjust. Finally she had him in a good position but one leg was bent incorrectly (back) and so he was much bigger through the shoulders than what’s “easy “for them to deliver. I didn’t help much. I knew with a little more effort than normal she could get him out that way and his head and one shoulder was already delivered anyway. He’s a flashy robust buck kid and while mama tended to him, the first little doe kid was trying to stand. Those doe kids sure are vigorous. The buck kids seem to be pretty laid back so far, taking their sweet time to decide to get on with walking and eating and such.

The third kid (a doe) was in much the same position as the buck with the 2nd leg completely facing back.  She was smaller and easier to deliver that way though I did help pull just a tiny bit. I actually was going to try to see if I could easily bring that leg around but she ended up pushing past the largest part anyway but then stopped with the kid half way out and just stood there looking at me holding half of this wet kid like, okay, can I have her now? I told her, “Sure, FINISH PUSHING HER OUT, please.” Out with a plop and a mahogany spotted beautiful thing. Three new babies to fill Pejamy’s coffers. What a lucky mama!

The mahogany doe kid’s spots should lighten to white or a mocha brown within a few months.

One of the doe kids and the buck will probably be for sale. When, I am not sure but one of them within a couple of weeks on the bottle, of course. Pejamy has successfully raised triplets before, but she does tend to put a lot of herself in to milk and it can be hard to keep weight on her. I just LOVE this doe. She’s so quiet and easy on the stand, an absolute dream to milk and does a good job putting it in the bucket, so to speak. She has the perfect size teats and good orifices. She’s really just a very nice all around doe scoring well on appraisal, she showed well and she’s proving that patience is a virtue in regard to maturity…slower to mature but worth the wait! And in 4 of 5 freshening years, she’s given us 11 beautiful kids!

1st doe kid

1st doe kid

buck (left) & doe (upper right)

buck (left) & doe (upper right)

3rd kid (doe) spotted (spots should lighten to white or light brown)

3rd kid (doe) spotted (spots should lighten to white or light brown)

does

does

flashy buck kid

flashy buck kid

Em. is next with a due date just a couple of days away. With the weather today (blizzard warnings), she can wait. March will be pretty busy with 4 does due, then a couple in April, a break in May and the rest in June.

January 27, 2013

Dawn’s kidding (graphic)

Dawn (a first freshening 2 year old) was uddered up quite well on Saturday night but I felt confident she’s wait until Sunday so I did not bother doing a barn check late Saturday night. She still had some ligaments left and had not hollowed out. Though, this is NEVER sure fire, I read all the signs and make a decision from there. Generally I am right, though a few have slipped past–Mea and FD who quietly had two dry kids on the ground before my rounds.

By Sunday morning she was not eager to join the herd for breakfast and obviously that was a good sign something was up. Her udder was “tight and shiny” and she had hollowed out, so in to the kidding pen she went. I did the rest of my chores and went up to the house to do dishes and that sort of thing, meandered down about 11 and she already had a kid out and was working on drying her off. A brown doe kid WITH spots and a lovely Nubian head and ears…how fabulous. I walked up the house to grab some towels and heating pad and to let Rachel know her doe (who she’d raised on a bottle) was finally kidding!

It had not warmed up too much but the sun was out and a simple heating pad under a towel works really well to keep the chill off the babies for those chilly kiddings. Dawn did a wonderful job, only a small tear to her vulva and everything was textbook. Love those!

I’ll include a couple photos I was able to snap. This is a classic presentation of a kid. Head flat against the forelegs. One leg slightly ahead of another…and the tongue sticking out, that’s common too =).

Dawn's first kids

dawn's first kids 1

dawn's first kids 2

dawn's first kids 3

The black kid has very long legs, white topknot, frosted ears and a few white spots here and there with a right white side splash. So far the count is 2 does and 2 bucks.

Iris’ bouncy buck kid went to his new home yesterday with a lovely family near Winfield, Ks. He’s going to be their up and coming jr. herdsire.

Now we have about a month long lull before several others are ready at the end of February. I can only hope we’ll get the same lovely temperatures for both of these kiddings!

January 23, 2013

Newsy news

Where to begin? Knowing where I left off would be helpful. I think it had something to do with fodder (imagine that) and then it seemed everything went to hell and a handbasket and I’ve had little time to update my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marmalade-Hollow-Nubians-and-Soaps/185935851450937?ref=ts&fref=ts) let alone the blog!

A brief summary of life here the past couple weeks. One Sunday (2 weeks ago??), Iris started showing symptoms of pregnancy toxemia and went down hill real quick. Injections of CMPK seemed to do little good and with several injection sites required for each treatment, I felt so bad for her I put her on oral CMPK.

Delivery of the kids is the best treatment for this but because Dawn had still not kidded, I thought for sure I had messed up January breeding dates altogether. As it turns out, Dawn was not bred before Iris at all but another dry coming 2 year old who was sold last Fall. I did not figure that out until the doe’s owners emailed me to say that the doe had delievered a healthy buck and doe…a day after “Dawn’s due date”. OH, WHOOPS!!! I could have induced Iris to kid 5 days prior to her due date, but with due dates up in the air from my mishap with the breeding dates of does, I did not want to risk loosing the whole bunch to prematurity! So, I induced her on her due date and she delivered a healthy set of twins (1 buck & 1 doe) on Jan. 16. A lovely day it was too.

Meanwhile, I was still drenching her with CMPK (for a while there every 2 hours round the clock!), injecitons of B-complex to try and help stimulate her appitite, Nutradrench and immune supporting herbs, etc.

Fast forward to a week later and the kids are bouncing bundles of fluff. Iris is still with us, though she is pathetically thin and still does not seem to want to eat very much. She came down with a horrid snotty nose so I am now giving her LA-200 every evening and double blanketing her. She picks at her food but going on 2 weeks now, she’s obviously eating enough to keep her alive and drinking rather well. She is locked up at night alone with her kids with enough hay of every kind of I have to feed a threshing crew but she’s not real eager to get to it as any of it like other does would be. So, we are just taking it day by day and hoping she regains her will to eat. I know she’s got it. I am supplimenting her kids with a bottle. A lot of people have mentioned taking the kids away so they are not “draining her”. I know Iris and if I were to do that, she’d give up her will. So, she keeps her kids and they have lots of forms of Mom that come out to feed them several times a day and this seems to work. I’ve told Iris she just has to decide what she wants to do…I have stopped with the CMPK and so we’ll just see what happens…if 2 summers ago is any indication (when she just adamately flat out refused to eat much of anything for 2-3 months), she’ll just up and decide one day to eat again and that will be that. She’s a strange one that one…but strong despite it all and bull headed…fine! Me too.

I would post photos of the new kids but if you can imagine this…both of our home computers are on the fritz. The main computer is barely limping along and will have to be replaced but I am least thankful to have it sort of working though I cannot have any more than one tab for the internet, nor any other programs open at any one given time, it will crash. So, posting photos will have wait. My laptops charger cord is fried and so I am waiting on a new one. There are photos of thekids up on the FB page (address above), if you’d like to visit and see them.

The fodder journey is going very well. I have ordered enough tubs to give me 3 tubs a day…all of the girls are more than happy to eat it every day, even though right now it’s barely more than a snack when divided out between  them all. I’ve added in sunflower seeds as well…ther germination rate is okay, but not great and some of the girls turned their noses up at the fodder with that in it so I think I may just stick to leaving it out.

I found out I can get 3 different varieties of field peas at the local co op so that’s great news. They are somewhat pricey but would certinatly calm any fears I have about the girls getting enough calcium, especially the milkers.

I have comissioned Jeremiah to “build” me a fodder trough. I need nothing more than a piece of rolled stainless steel to make a trough long enough for everyone to eat at and then just attach the trough to a couple piece of 2×4’s in an “X” shape at each end for legs. As it is I have to stand on one side of the fence and feed each doe a biscuit individually because there is not enough to go around for a full meal and if I left it up to them to decide, the faster eaters would get a full meal and the slower eaters would get none but that’s because there’s not enough for a full meal. Plus too…I have to cut the biscuits up small enough they can eat it in a mouthfull otherwise they try to flip the biscuits around to chew some off and end up throwing them all on the ground and then won’t touch them, of course so that’s totally wasteful. So, I find myself cutting up the biscuits really small to begin with and that seems to work very well.

With the mishap on Dawn’s due date, we’re now looking at the end of the month/beginning of Feb. for her. She’s filling her udder nicely and so we’ll see what becomes of all that.

We’re supposed to be in for a nice 55 degree day and there’s lots that can be done with that! Jeremiah and I removed the cattle panels that made up our back yard fence. Now that the dogs are finally staying where they belong, we no longer need a fenced area for any dog and I have several good uses in mind for more panels! A person cannever have too many of those!

One of these weekends I’d like to finally get a panel hoop greenhouse put in. I’ve gone through countless photos of what I want and I think I’ve got a pretty good plan in my head of how it will look and should not require the purchse of too much more than a piece of plywood since we have everything else.

Speaking of dogs, if Snow settled her pregnancy back in Nov. we should be expecting pups here fairly soon after the first of Feb. She started digging a new den under the stock trailer back when she was in heat and did not work on it for a long time but the past couple of days I’ve seen new earth being dug up so she’s back at it and looking rather plump these days. We’ll see what becomes of all of that. What’s very odd is that she cycled twice in 2 months time…dogs don’t generally do that. We were expecting pups in Jan. as of last Oct. until she cycled again which pushed it out a month more but she’s doing all the thing she should be doing so here’s to a healthy litter in about 2-3 weeks.

With the new baby goats coming and being expected, I think the dogs really sense this and are hanging back at the barn more and more or one will be at the barn full time (usually King) and one is the patroller (usually Snow). One of the cats came out to say hello this morning and keep me company while I fed and did barn chores and King was none too happy about her coming close to the new goat kids. It’s rather comical. He had to be gently reminded that other creatures are not always out to harm “his” animals. Normally the cat is more than happy to rub herself up and down the dogs but I think she was a little put off that the dog yipped at her. She’ll get over it, I’m sure, and I am sure King now knows she could care less about some goat kid, she just wanted to see what the new black things were.

That’s all for now and all until I can get a computer up and running and not just limping!

 

 

February 6, 2011

Operation Kidding Pens

I have put off making up a kidding pen for entirely too long! I have said I was going to get at least one up for the past few weekends and in the end, in true style, we waited until practically the last minute. Our first doe of the year is due Friday. I have to wonder if she’ll hold out until then. She still has her ligaments but her back side’s looking pretty swollen and she’s stretching an awful lot. Taking it all in stride though. We’re in for some nasty weather Tuesday and Wednesday but this weekend looks pretty nice. I hope, for her sake and for the kid’s sake, she just waits.

I have probably never mentioned how much I love pipe corral gates. Our first goat shelter was sectioned with gates that hung off the walls for new mamas and eventually they convert over to kid penning areas for overnight separation. I love that they can be swung up against a wall, out of sight out of mind. They make making pens really easy!

kidding pen 2011

I have a lot more room in this barn than I have before and I’ve asked Jeremiah to weld up some panels for me to be installed at the back of the barn. I need a total of 4 kidding pens. I have 4 does due within days of each other and once the panel is welded up, I’ll have 4 separate areas and the front of the barn will then be for the does who are not bred or those who have kids old enough to be separated. In reality I need 5 areas but one of the pens will be big enough for two does and their kids and a kidding pen will then convert to a separation pen. 

kidding pen 2011- gate open

This particular pen is in the “open” area  that the does are not allowed into. The wooden wall is the milk room and behind the pen is where the other kidding pens will go. Right now it’s their favorite sleeping area but they’ll be pushed forward a bit to make room for the new pens. From the t-post to the opposite wall (left hand side of the photo) there will be a welded panel section with gates and the back of the barn will be split in two with another panel section. The back pens will be about 7 foot deep and just shy of 6 foot wide. The pen made with gates is 6’x6′. It’s a bit smaller than I would like but they won’t be in them for weeks on end. If the weather is nice enough, they will all be let out for outside time within 24 hours. And for now, that whole back area of the barn can be closed off to the main herd by another swinging gate as shown in the photos below.

The small piece of panel going from the t post to the wooden wall is on a hinge and just closes with a clip (see photo below). The opening is large enough for a non-pregnant doe to move through and she could easily have more room to get out into until the other pens are made up.

panel gate

The 4th pen will be substantially larger and will sit in the middle of the barn between the long separation gate (seen below and in front of the back kidding pens.) This area would be plenty large enough for 2 or even 3 does and their kids. 

separation

view of front of barn

We store our hay in the same barn as the one I am taking photos in (see photo below and I apologize, with the storm that went through, things got a little rough in there). The set up makes feeding easy and there are pros and cons to having the feed storage and main living quarters/sleeping quarters separate. We’ve talked about storing hay elsewhere and I think this may be something we’ll do next year so that I can have more “goat” areas. The barn is cut in half front to back-hay storage on the east side, goat area on the west. We did that earlier in the year (the photos for that can be seen on this post). For now, with the number we’ve got, it will work just fine this year.

future kidding pen

So, I hope that was all easy to understand. I really like having my kidding pens in with the herd. My does get stressed out when separated and putting them in confinement away from their mates would cause problems. I can appreciate keeping all together (but separate) too because of the ease of getting everyone fed and watered. Eventually, if I feel they need more “alone time”, they could be moved to any of the 3 open pens as each has has its own 3 sided shelter. But I wouldn’t move dams with kids in the weather we’ve been having so I’m happy to have the pens in the main barn. It’s just to cold to trust they’d be okay in a 3 sided shelter. More on 3 sided shelters in another post though. I’m off for tonight…completely exhausted after a full 12 hours spent working to get things ready for kidding.

I will add that my adoring husband installed 3 new electrical receptacles in my milk room, one on the outside of the milk room and a new double utility light up in the rafters giving me excellent light into the new kidding pen(s). There were 5 regular household lights in the barn rafters, and they’re still there, but now there’s enough light that I don’t have to worry about working in the dim shadows. What a guy!