Archive | 3:55 pm

The Other Side of Kidding

12 Mar

I always share all the cute little kids that are born on the farm, but it doesn’t really do justice to the work that goes on during this week.  One of the biggest things is checking goats.  If they are out in pasture, I hike out there to find my girls who haven’t had kids yet.

Wanda

Luckily, I have them on the small front pasture, so it’s only five acres to hike.

Soon, they moms will start taking their kids with them out to pasture, and I’ll have to help keep track of them and make sure they don’t get left out there.  So far, that’s only 2TC, and she’s big enough to take care of not getting herself left out there.

2TC

The new moms are leaving their babies up in the buildings.

Victoria’s girls

I like giving the moms the front pasture because it’s close enough and small enough that they can go out to pasture and eat and easily come back up to take care of their babies.

Ava and Gidget

I do still give them hay and grain also.

Zinnia

It takes a lot to keep up with feeding kids.

Cutie with Reva’s kids (front) and her kids (back)

Obviously, there are also the middle of the night checks.  On good nights, I go out once and that’s it.  Some nights, I stay up late to keep checking someone and possible go out as close as every hour until someone has a baby. Occasionly, that’s the next day.  So far, it hasn’t been that bad this year.

Cutie

I like it best when I go out and find they managed to have both kids between my checks.

Cutie with her buck and doe

It’s way better than sitting there and waiting and watching for what seems like forever.

Ava

Especially when the mom is a drama queen and wants me to snuggle and hold her face the whole time she’s in labor.  They always arrive eventually though.

Ava and her buck

I also have to keep in mind personalities.  We’ve had warm enough weather, but rain all day on Monday has left the barnyard muddy, so nobody wants to just sleep outside.

Reva in the muddy barnyard

That means I have to deal with Mary.  She wouldn’t let anyone else in the greenhouse.

Mary

I had to drag her over and put her in with Victoria, and they got along fine.  It’s all about personalities.

Victoria and her girls

Then Reva wouldn’t let anyone in the greenhouse.  I had already penned Cutie with a heat lamp since I knew she was going to have her kids, but I had to add another pen for Reva and her babies just so everyone else could come in the building.  They drive me crazy.  It’s not like it’s crowded in there.  I shouldn’t have three goats hiding under workbenches cowering in fear.  Brats.

Blaze, Cutie, Cookie (in front) and Reva

Then there’s the checking udders to make sure moms don’t have mastitis and keeping a close eye on kids to make sure they are getting enough to eat.  Sometimes, the kids need help getting started nursing, especially if mom has big teats or a weird udder.

Ava’s udder

So far this year, I’ve treated Blaze for mastitis, and now I’m giving Reva’s babies supplemental bottles.  Her milk might finish coming in and increase, or I might end up supplementing them until they are weaned.

Reva

Then there’s the weird things that you have to notice, but you just can’t prepare for.  Victoria didn’t deliver her placenta.

Victoria

I had to get meds from the vet, and that did help, but she never did deliver it all.  That means antibiotics to keep her from a uterine infection.  That could be fatal.

But all the cute, healthy babies seriously outweigh all the work!

Cutie’s buck

Gidget’s buck

Now I need to start coming up with names.