Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
I was all set to start kidding when I realized that I made the silliest mistake figuring due dates! I forgot that this was a leap year, which threw all of my carefully made calculations into a tizzy. My girls are pretty predictable, so the usual 150 days plus 1 that I use works like a charm, but add an extra day in there, and my first three girls are actually scheduled one day early. The usual formula is 150 days give or take 5 days on either side. All this being said, my girls are hanging on to their babies for dear life and even though they look like they are going to explode, as I sit here writing this, still no babies!
For years I have been tracking the girls and comparing one year to the next. I found that if a particular doe kids one day after her due date, she is very likely to do the same thing the next year. However, NOT this year!
I’ve also been keeping track of the time of day. This is definitely without a doubt, random. I’m finding that it’s more of a group thing. One year most (not all of them, but the majority) of the does will kid during the night, the following year it’s daytime. Last year I had a doe stand and watch while one girl kidded, then she proceeded to lie down next to her and start pushing! We had five babies within minutes!
It can be quite interesting when a doe is in labor and decides “not yet”. Years ago, when we had just Angora goats, we owned a goat named “Obsession”. Yes, she was, my obsession. It was a Sunday around noon time; we had just gotten home from church and quite a few of our friends had asked if they could stop over and see our new babies. There were probably ten people that showed up! Little did I know that my Obsession (we called her Fuzzy by the way) was in labor when people started showing up. As we stood in the barn talking, Fuzzy walked up to me and bit me! It shocked me into reality. I thought for a minute and then realized that this girl needed to kid and she was NOT going to do it with all of these people standing around potentially watching her. I quickly got these folks on their way and as soon as the last one was pulling out of the driveway, Obsession proceeded to lie down and push out a pair of twins!
Kidding can also foster some unique situations. About 5 years ago, while my husband and I were standing in our smaller barn discussing how we could rearrange the inside walls to make better use of our space, one of our Angoras (Ezmarelda) nonchalantly walked into the barn, stopped, looked at us, sneezed and a baby came flying out of her! We were both so totally astounded that neither of us could move for a few seconds. We just stood there with mouths open wondering what had just happened.
Out of all of the breeds of goats we have raised, Angoras are definitely the easiest kidders. They kid quickly, easily, and without incident. We rarely had to help, except to get the babies clean and warmed quickly. Getting an Angora baby dried off is more difficult because of all those cute little curls that hold on to the dampness longer.
I had wanted this post to be full of photos of our 2012 kid crop, but, even though I’m very eager to have these new babies, like I said before, the moms are happily still carrying them around! In the mean time I hope you enjoy these Angora photos!
Goat School is coming up quickly, Saturday June 2nd and Sunday June 3rd to be exact, and we still have some room! The Soap and Cheese Making class on Monday June 4th, is filling up really fast. I have limited space for this class, so, if you are interested, please get your registration in quickly!
The photo above is NOT a dead baby! This little girl played so hard, she was just totally pooped out!
Interested in my books? Click here for more information about “The Goat School Manual” and “Goat School: A Master Class in Caprine Care and Cooking”.
I’m also developing a new booklet on pickle making. Lots of goats equals lots of goat poop. That poop makes great compost which means bumper crops of cucumbers.
Next time…I promise, baby pictures!