Saturday, when I separated the does from the kids in the morning it was with the intent to begin weaning the kids. Two kids – the black buckling out of Spice and white doeling out of Anise were picked up by the new owners Saturday afternoon. I duly milked the does in the evening but did not return them to the pen with the kids and the kids let me know of their dissatisfaction loudly and for a prolonged period of time. The kids were still screaming Sunday morning when I got up. The screaming was intermittent all afternoon, triggered by me checking on things or one of the does moving around in the main pen. Harking back to my childhood, listening to the kids, I was reminded of the phrase “I’ll give you something to cry about” so I gathered my equipment and went out and banded the remaining buckling. Needless to say, he was not happy about the experience and did indeed scream more.
In two milkings Sunday (morning and evening) Spice gave me a total of 4.7 lbs of milk; Nutmeg’s total was 3.6 lbs of milk; and Anise, on her first freshening, gave me 2.95 lbs of milk. For reference, a quart of milk is approximately 2 lbs, so a gallon is approximately 8 lbs. Sunday’s overall total was 11.25 lbs.
It does appear that my breeding program, focused on milk production, is on target.
Addendum: Since I forgot to take photos Sunday, I did remember to take photos of Spice and Nutmeg this morning. Alas, by the time I got Anise on the milkstand I totally forgot to take a picture of her udder. I milked after dark this evening so that ruled out any photos tonight. I’ll try to remember to take an udder pic of Anise tomorrow.
In looking at these, I understand why some people shave their goats. I have to admit the udder pics of show goats are much more attractive. It doesn’t help that the does are shedding their coats and, like dogs, it doesn’t matter how much you brush, at this time of year they always look unkempt.
I’m having internet problems so photos will have to wait until later.
Results of the 2021 naming contest are: 10 votes were cast with the exception of Kid #3 who only received 9 votes ????
Kid #2 received 4 votes for Pepper (Marjorie submitted the winning name)
Kid #3 received 3 votes for Machi (and she’s on a roll, Marjorie submitted this name as well)
Kid #5 tied with 4 votes for Cassia and 4 votes for Fennel (names were submitted by Rosemary and Spooky respectively)
Kid #6 received 3 votes for Vega (submitted by two people: Cheri and Rosemary)
Kid #7 provided another tie with 3 votes for Juniper (submitted by Spooky) and 3 votes for Lyra (submitted by Rainah Myers)
I’ll take new photographs this weekend – the kids are 8 weeks and will be weaned starting this morning. Two will be picked up today and once I make my final decision on which two doelings I am keeping, hopefully the other two will have new homes very shortly.
A friend’s class provided a list of names which I’ve included below. While the names don’t match the guidelines, if you think one is appropriate, vote for it. The kids will all be getting something for their contribution whether or not their names are picked. Since there is only one buckling to be named, that made the kids’ contributions for “boy” names easy. However, I’ve put the list of “girl” names below. If you like one of those better than the proposed names for a specific doeling, select it and then put a comment in as to which doeling you think best fits that name.
I started separating does from kids during the day so that I could milk in the evenings and then put the does back in with the kids. The kids are now in the weaning pen where there is much more room. I was a little concerned that the single, larger shelter wouldn’t be adequate overnight for the three does and 7 kids but so far all are faring very well. I’m still putting Chai in the lambing jugs at night on the off chance she is still going to kid. She is as large as Anise was – not nearly as large as either Spice or Nutmeg – but she could simply be fat given that I was feeding all four does as though they were pregnant. By calendar, the last date to expect Chai to kid will be Friday.
I certainly don’t need another doe in milk so I’ll be fine if she isn’t bred. I had only bred all four because last year when I attempted to breed Spice and Nutmeg, both ballooned up hugely and bagged up but neither actually kidded so I was thinking that neither would take this year either and I’d still only end up with two does in milk.
I have a milk surplus and haven’t even weaned kids yet. Here is cheese from last Friday.
Photo before I moved the does and kids out of the lambing jugs. Nutmeg isn’t as broad as her dam Joey was – Joey used to be able to carry both her twins around on her back.
The lambing jugs were designed for short-term occupancy and are not large enough to accommodate several adult does and their rapidly growing kids so today I set up the shelter in the pen I usually use for kids during weaning to (hopefully) provide more warmth at night and then moved does and kids to the larger digs. In addition to their slide, I gave the kids an overturned water bucket and water trough to jump on. So far, they seem to have settled in nicely and are enjoying the extra space. I’ll continue putting Chai in the lambing jugs at night in case she kids overnight.
While it is possible that Chai will kid in the next two weeks, I’m putting up the 2021 Kid Naming Contest now.
As a reminder, I usually ask for names on the theme of the dam’s name. This year I’m going to expand that and allow names on the theme of the sire as well. However, if you have a name you really think fits the kid and it isn’t tied into either the doe or buck, go ahead and put it in the comments section and I’ll include it in the poll.
The usual prize for submitting a winning name is either a bar of soap or a dozen free-range eggs (local entrants). I haven’t made soap in over a year which means I’ll have to make soap first. That means this year the winners can even have input into the soap(s) made. Anyone choosing eggs will get a dozen delivered in February when the hens have started laying again. (Alternatively, if you are local you can get a quart of fresh goat milk as soon as the contest ends.)
Each kid is identified as #1, #2, etc so you can use that identifier for each name you submit. For those who don’t want to leave a comment, send me an e-mail and I’ll add your names in the comment section and to the poll when it goes up at the end of the month.
Quibeyn Anise x CBF KS Cowikee (names should be related to spices/herbs or bodies of water)
Quibeyn Spice x Seldom Herd DA Cosmos (names should be related to spices/herbs or galaxies/stars)
Quibeyn Nutmeg x Seldom Herd DA Cosmos (names should be related to spices/herbs or galaxies/stars)
If Chai should kid before the poll goes up at the end of the month, I’ll update with photos of her kid(s) so her kids are included in the naming contest.
Yesterday I put the slide in the lambing jugs for the kids. It didn’t take long for them to discover the new toy. Unfortunately I can’t put up video clips so photographs will have to suffice.
Five of the kids will be two weeks old tomorrow.
I’ve started milking. In the mornings when I put Chai back out in the main doe pen, I have been putting out one of the does in milk. Around 4 pm I then put that doe on the milk stand and milk her out (even though it appears I’ve milked out, the does are good at holding back milk for the kids) and then put her back in the lambing jug before I feed. Surprisingly, Anise (Spice’s daughter) gave me more milk yesterday than her mom did the day before. However, I guess it might not be too surprising since Spice is nursing Anise’s two kids as well and she is probably better at holding back milk. The good news is that Anise looks to be a promising milker and I had cereal for breakfast the other day for the first time in over a year.
Oops, I meant to publish this post on Friday. But since it is now Sunday, the post has been updated to include last night’s snow fall. [As of today, Nutmeg’s twins are a week old as well.]
A week ago this morning I went out to find Anise had twinned. That night Spice had triplets and I had two does and five kids in my house overnight. When Nutmeg twinned on Sunday night, she twinned in the house. The kids were doing well with being moved outside every morning and I finally decided to set up blankets to close off the lambing jugs at night and see if the kids could tolerate being left out at night as well.
So on Tuesday night, I used an exercise pen to close each doe into a lambing jug with her kids just before dark and attached the moving blankets and another blanket so the blankets completely covered the open front of the lambing jugs. Because the jugs were constructed with air flow in mind, there were still gaps at the back of the jugs – and for the two end jugs, on one side. I checked about 11 pm and all was well so I crossed my fingers and went to bed. The does and kids were fine the next morning even though the temperatures had dropped below 20 that night.
Wednesday was disbudding for the kids born on New Year’s Day. Unfortunately the younger twins didn’t have quite enough bud development so they will be disbudded in the next few days. While I hate to disbud (and often leave it longer than I should) it is a necessary evil and thankfully once the kids have been returned to mom, a comfort nursing session seems to erase all memories of the traumatic event.
I still have one doe that I’m expecting to kid and I brought her in a couple of nights ago, even though she wasn’t showing signs of imminent labor. Since she didn’t kid (and hasn’t yet) I then decided I’d just move her into the lambing jugs at night so every evening I’ve been going out to close off lambing jugs so kids couldn’t wander away from siblings and moms and then hanging blankets to help keep the jugs warm. It snowed last night and when I checked on everything before bed, the goats were all snug and warm.
This morning when I went out, one of Nutmeg’s twins had escaped the shelter and was happily exploring the lambing jugs.
It may no longer be necessary to close off the jugs, other than just hanging blankets.
The kids are starting to nibble on hay and are quite active.
I rarely go anywhere anymore but about twice a month I run errands. Yesterday I made a trip up to Albuquerque and while I was there I went to Harbor Freight to get more tarps and Sprouts for fresh produce. I bought moving blankets as well as tarps as I have fond hopes that when it gets a little warmer at night, the heavy blankets will help keep the lambing jugs warm enough so I don’t have to bring in goats. There is a True Value next to Sprouts so I ran inside to see if I could get an affordable wireless thermometer as the local weather station is several miles away at the airport and my temperatures are generally lower (or sometimes warmer) than the official forecast.
Any hopes I cherished that I wouldn’t have to bring goats inside were dashed when I got home. It was after dark so the temperatures had dropped and when I got out of the car to open the gate I realized I would be moving goats in the dark. On the plus side (I guess) the does have now decided to cooperate and a couple will trot along without leashes as I lead one to the house.
Photo was taken shortly before bed – note that Spice has appropriated the twins from Anise as well. The fact that kids can nurse off either doe is a big plus in my book.
Disbudding tomorrow. Will wait to tattoo ears until the kids are 8 weeks. Since the two does are feeding each other’s kids, starting Saturday, I will separate Spice out for a few hours every day and milk her before I put her back in with the kids.