I can't believe it's the end of October. So much has happened since I last blogged. Two of my does had kids and this fall we had some buck drama. So, I will recap what happened in all three and try to make this a good story!
SURREY's KIDS 2015
On June 17th, Surrey let me know today was the day, but not until afternoon. By evening it was clear that she was going to have them overnight. Trouble with Surrey is she is very stoic. She pushes her babies out with barely a grunt, let alone a yell. So, when it got to be bedtime and she didn't seem quite ready to have them, I bedded myself down in her kidding stall to be there in case she needed me. In the wee hours of the night she came over to me and started licking me all over and then curled up with me putting her head across me. (Aw so sweet!!). Overnight she had a lot of strong labor pains that I mistook for pushing. She didn't really have a good push until 5 a.m.
At close to 6 a.m. the sun was starting to rise and I could here the chickens "talking" wanting to come out of their overnight hen house. Also, I really needed to pee! So I checked Surrey with my fingers to see if any kids were presenting and felt nothing there. SO, I dashed out and let the chickens out-- and ran into the house to pee. As I came out of the bathroom, I glanced at the iPad (monitor) of the barn cam which was focused on Surrey. To my surprise I watched a black and white KID POP OUT. Yep, thanks Surrey (LOL). She pushed that kid out the second I left after spending the night with her. I ran down there and pulled the kid around to her to clean. She was fine. But maybe a minute later, the next kid was presenting back feet first. She was so busy cleaning the first one she barely noticed. The kid was stuck halfway for a few seconds and then when born was COVERED in slime and was choking on it trying to breathe. There is always a lot of birth fluid, but she seemed to have more than her share and it was in her mouth, nose and throat. Plus she was very weak. I hung her by her feet while talking to my vet on the phone, suctioned nose, rubbed and rubbed her little body and she started coming around. If I had not been there, she probably wouldn't have made it because her mama was so intent on the first baby, she hadn't noticed the second one at all. Two healthy and beautiful doelings from my super mama Surrey. The back and white one we retained for our farm. She is adorable and beautiful too. We named her Mia Bella. Her sister was sold to a farm when she was 10 weeks old.
DILI's BIRTHING-- June 22nd
June 22nd it was Dilihi's turn to have her kid. She went into labor on her day 145 (right on time). She labored all afternoon and had her ONE big boy in the evening. It was a tough labor for her since it was her first time and he was BIG. But she did very well and took to mothering like a natural. He came out head and one front leg first and I had to pull a little and get my fingers around his shoulder, then he popped right out (she was screaming the whole time). Whew, next one will be easier, Dili! Congrats!
BUCK DRAMA-- September 2015
In September, I decided to sell Cha Ching, who had fathered most of the kids I had in 2015, and buy a new (and better) buck. Cha Ching was a sweetie but after growing up and becoming an adult, it was clear what his conformational faults were. He had a unnaturally wide chest which made him walk funny-- almost stiff legged. Also he had a "steep rump" which if inherited by any of his daughters could mean difficult births in their future. So after shopping for a new buck and selling Cha Ching, I found an older very handsome buck and traveled to Tennessee to get him. He had an outstanding pedigree and had been shown some-- so I assumed he would be easy to handle. He did turn out to be fairly easy to handle but that wasn't the problem. Introducing him to Zeus went fairly well although Zeus decided right away that he wasn't giving up his position in the buck pen. He harassed Nite Rider constantly. Just normal buck behavior-- trying to rub his scent on him and "talking" to him the way bucks do. Leela came into heat and things got hot and heavy in the buck pen but still they seemed to work it out. Leela had a really odd heat which lasted 6 days. 6 days of begging for the boys and 6 days of being bred to them. At first I bred her to Rider but she kept begging for more each day so I put her in with both boys and they both bred her. I will have to do a DNA test to see who's babies are who's when they are born (but that's another story). Anyway, after the drama of Leela's heat the real trouble started. I noticed the two bucks really going at it one afternoon. They were slamming their heads with full force into each other. After a few hours of this, I heard them in the large dog house-- Rider had trapped Zeus in there and was ramming him on his side! I ran in and grabbed Zeus and dragged him to the barn where I locked him in. He was covered in blood and obviously in pain-- panting and crying. I left them apart overnight and the next morning tried to put them back together but no way. They started fighting again. Zeus was in such obvious pain, I called my vet to come out. He said the poor guy had a concussion and his wounds were infected. He gave him antibiotics and pain killers by injection. I started to build a separate pen for them but they settled down again and I thought they had probably worked out and established who was king of the buck pen. Well that lasted about a week and then one day they were at it again. This time I was sure one of them was going to die. Rider had Zeus trapped in the barn and was ramming him again! I pulled them apart again and built a separate temporary pen where I put one of them in there at a time. At one point, Rider rammed into the fence between him and Zeus and knocked it down BENDING the cattle panel with his force. It was time to let him go. The woman I had bought him from agreed to let me bring him back and exchange for young buckling with very similar pedigree. He and Rider had the same dam (a wonderful doe with great milk and show pedigree). I drove him back there and picked up a very small 5 month old polled buckling I named Einstein (he needed a strong name to live with Zeus right?). They have become best-buds. Zeus rubs himself all over the little guy but Einstein tolerates it. When he grows up, he will one day protest, but it's unlikely they will fight to the death as they will already have established their pecking order. Welcome Einstein!!
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I love to tell the story of how I came to have these wonderful goats. I have dreamed for many years of growing my own food and being self-sufficient so when I bought my property I set out right away putting in gardens and an aquaponics system. Fast forward 2 years, my neighbor went on a special diet and couldn't have any dairy so she offered me her fresh raw goats milk she had purchased at the farmer's market. Well, I just fell in love with it! I quickly realized I couldn't afford to buy this wonderful milk but then I had a thought... I could get my OWN goats and have milk and cheese right here! Little did I know I would fall so in love with the goats!