Goatwatch 2015

Reader Contribution by Maggie Bonham
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So, while I’m making mead, tanning skins, and staring out at the weird weather, two of my pregnant goat does are having a race to see who will deliver first.

Need Better Note Taking

If I had kept good notes (yeah, I should, but I don’t), I’d know when Belle and Heidi will come due. I remember putting a doe in with Oreo, my buck, with a possible due date of March 29. Gestation takes around 5 months, and I seem to recall leaving the girl in for a few weeks, before switching her off with her sister, but being brainless because 5 months ago was hunting season, I failed to write anything down. So, we’re due to have kids anytime from Belle or Heidi (Belle looking most likely), but Heidi could come through if Belle got bred late and Heidi got bred early. After that, it’s Annie and then Delilah.

Who’s on First?

The problem is both does are acting like they’re about to go into labor. Both are lying down, uncharacteristically. Belle’s ligaments on her tail have vanished (a sign of imminent kidding) and Heidi, being the skittish of the two, isn’t letting me check her back there. Belle has a fuller udder, but whether the udder is full can be deceiving. So, I have no clue and I’m pretty much on kid watch. Luckily the weather has been unseasonably warm and if we have a few kids, they’re likely to be okay if they get cleaned up.

Welcome Skittles

My buck, Oreo, is on his third round of kids this year. That means he’s about four years old. Bucks are notoriously short-lived because, well, they’re bucks. Their only purpose in life is to create little goats—and that is really their only motivation. Right now, I have four daughters out of Oreo: Mocha (first breeding), Ginger (second breeding), Frost (a surprise late second breeding) and Wingnut (another late second breeding). This third round will probably be his last with the exception of maybe breeding Blaze the Boer cross again.

So, I had to look for fresh bloodlines. I found a baby buckling whom I named Skittles because he was skittish at first. Plus it was a whimsical enough name to name a goat. Skittles was only eight weeks when we got him and wasn’t quite weaned. So, he’s still a bit of a bottle baby, although he’s now getting only one bottle a day until the new kids come or the end of the month, whichever is first. Skittles is 3/4 full LaMancha and 1/4 mini LaMancha, which means he could throw small babies occasionally. The others had been giving him hell, but he’s slowly become assertive enough to get his own hay.

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