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Click here to read our 2012 Kidding Diary starting at the beginning. Scroll up for each new kidding.
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2012 Kidding Season
|China Doll||Spice Boy||
Due March 5
Kidded March 4
|Triplets: 2 does, 1 buck||2 does reserved, 1 buck reserved||$400|
|SG Marlyn||Exotic Affair||
Due March 6
Kidded March 4
|Twins 1 doe, 1 buck||2 does retained, 2 bucks reserved||$600|
|SG Joy||SG Big Splash||
Due March 5
Kidded March 5
|Twins: 1 doe, 1 buck||1 doe retained, 1 doe reserved||$450|
|SG Rose Tyler||SG Mr. Bentley||
Due March 5
Kidded March 6
|Twins: 2 bucks||1 doe reserved, 1 buck reserved||$450|
|SG Peri||SG Rio Grande||
Due March 5
Kidded March 6
|Twins: 2 does||2 does reserved||$450|
|Grace||SG Big Splash||
Due March 7
Kidded March 9
|Twins: 1 doe, 1 buck||2 does reserved||$400|
|SG Princess||SG Big Splash||
Due March 5
Kidded March 9
|Twins: 2 bucks||1 doe retained, 1 doe reserved||$550|
|Miranda||SG Rio Grande||
Due March 10
Kidded March 10
|Twins: 2 bucks||1 doe reserved||$450|
|Tasha||SG Mr. Bentley||
Due March 16
Kidded March 13
|Twins: 2 bucks||$400|
Due March 15
Kidded March 14
|Quads: 1 doe, 3 bucks||2 does reserved, 1 buck reserved||$400|
|SG Penny||SG Rio Grande||
Due March 18
Kidded March 15
|Twins: 2 does||1 doe retained, 1 doe reserved||$600|
|Celeste||SG Big Splash||
Due March 16
Kidded March 19
|Triplets: 3 does||1 doe retained, 1 doe reserved,||$400|
|SG River||SG Mr. Bentley||
Due March 26
Kidded March 23
|Quads: 2 does, 2 bucks||1 doe retained, 1 doe reserved||$450|
|SG Tarragon||SG Big Splash||
Due March 23
Kidded March 23
|Twins: 1 doe, 1 buck||1 doe retained, 1 doe reserved||$450|
Due March 24
Kidded March 23
|Twins: 1 doe, 1 buck||2 does reserved||$400|
|SG Spring Thyme||Exotic Affair||
Due April 13
Kidded April 11
|Twins: 1 doe, 1 buck||2 does reserved, 1 buck reserved||$500|
|Harmony||SG Rio Grande||
Due April 19
Kidded April 16
|Twins: 2 bucks||1 doe retained, 1 doe reserved, 1 buck reserved||$500|
|SG Poppy||Exotic Affair||
Due April 22 (or April 15)
Kidded April 25
|Singleton: 1 buck||1 doe retained, 1 doe reserved, 2 bucks reserved||$600|
Due May 19 (or May 12 - pen bred)
Kidded May 18
|Triplets: 2 does, 1 buck||1 doe reserved||$350|
Due May 4 (pen bred)
Kidded May 25
|Triplets: 1 doe, 2 bucks||$350|
Due June (pen bred)
Kidded June 14
|Singleton: 1 buck||2 does retained||$550|
Due May 6 (pen bred)
Kidded June 16
|Triplets: 1 doe, 2 bucks||1 doe reserved||$350|
|SG Brillosa||Habañero||Open||2 does reserved||$550|
Junior Does(No reservations will be taken for registered bucklings out of Junior Does)
Due April 15
Kidded April 4
|Triplets: 2 does, 1 buck||2 does reserved||$300|
Due April 13
Kidded April 10
|Triplets: 1 doe, 2 bucks||$300|
Due April 13
Kidded April 12
|Twins: 1 doe, 1 buck||1 doe reserved||$300|
Due April 13
Kidded April 14
|Twins: 2 does||1 doe retained||$300|
Due April 19 (or April 15)
Kidded April 14
|Twins: 2 bucks||2 does reserved||$350|
Due April 20
Kidded April 19
|Twins: 1 doe, 1 buck||2 does reserved||$350|
Due April 21
Kidded April 19
|Twins: 2 bucks||2 does reserved||$300|
Due April 23
Kidded April 20
|Twins: 1 doe, 1 buck||1 doe reserved||$300|
Due May 7 (pen bred)
Kidded May 5
|Quads: 2 does, 2 bucks||$300|
Due May (pen bred)
Kidded May 8
|Twins: 1 doe, 1 buck||1 doe reserved||$300|
Due May 12 (pen bred)
Kidded May 10
|Twins: 2 does||2 does reserved||$350|
Due May 11 (pen bred)
Kidded May 10
|Twins: 1 doe, 1 buck||2 does reserved||$350|
|Anatolian Livestock Guardian Dog|
|Mattie - Anatolian||Zeki - Akbash||January 3||9 pups - 3 female, 6 male||7 pups reserved||$500|
Kathryn's 2012 Goat Kidding DiaryKiddings will be listed below chronologically with the most recent first. To start at the earliest entry, click here.
Kidding Season Ends
6/22/12 We had 34 does kid this year giving us a total of 79 kids. 36 does and 43 bucks. We did lose a few kids and also lost 2 does, but in general it was a very good, busy, interesting kidding season. We have kept 11 doelings for our own herd development and sent kids off to Alaska, Oklahoma, New Mexico, California, and Washington State. Quite a few actually are staying in Arizona, too. We thank everyone who has shown faith in our animals and brought them into their herds or started new herds with them. We hope you are as blessed with these animals as we have been.
Our new breeding schedule will be posted in July. Please check it out then and put in your reservations early. Pricing is subject to change as our animals earn production awards or other titles throughout the year. Prices for reservations placed before the price increase will be honored.
Thanks for reading my kidding diary. I hope it was interesting and helpful. I hope to see you all next kidding season!
6/16/12 When we think we are done with individually breeding our does in the fall, we let out a "clean-up" buck to breed anyone that we missed. Evidently Habañero was quite the busy fella this year! He got more than his fair share of business. He did a great job, but unfortunately for us he was very sneaky about it. I saw him breed Lady and figured out her due date. Well, it must not have taken since she kidded 6 weeks later than I had planned - growing ever bigger each day.
Yesterday Lady showed the signs of imminent kidding that Rosie forgot to. Her milk was coming in very nicely and her rump was so loose that I could wrap my fingers around her tail head. But she wasn't acting ready. Just the opposite of Rosie a few days ago. Last evening I put her in the outside kidding area that Rosie had used and I had her best buddy, Opal, stay with her. David took the early watch (before midnight), I took the later watch (after midnight) checking the Kid Cam at least each hour. Lady fussed around in the pen, digging nests and having preliminary contractions.
I got up at 5 AM as usual and checked on Lady before starting my chores. I could tell that she would kid really soon, the question being would she wait until we were in the middle of milking or not. I got my chores done so that I'd be ready. Luckily, she decided to kid before milking. At around 6:00 she started into hard labor. She had several pushing sessions before a bubble finally emerged. Out came an 8# buckling in nose and toes position.
As soon as he was out she started pushing hard again. Out came a second buck weighing 7# and also in nose and toes position. Lady didn't miss a beat and went right on pushing. But she got a bit panicky so I checked inside and found nose and toes, or I guess I should say toes and forehead. I rearranged the head for a slicker entrance and out popped a lovely 5.7# doeling. Less then 5 minutes from first hoof to last. This girl is efficient!
Since it is so late in the season we are going to let Lady raise these kids. I think they are up for it since they were already jumping around before we got them cleaned up and weighed. The milking crew all waited patiently for us even though we were 45 minutes late. What a good bunch.
6/14/12 Last year Rosie had quads - 2 doelings and 2 bucklings. It took a big toll on her and she never gained enough weight back to make me happy. So this year when her pregnancy test came back as negative it was OK with me. She deserved a year off.
A couple months ago we noticed that Rosie was slowing down, not going out on walks with the herd, laying down more than usual, but actually looking like she was finally gaining some weight. Soon after that David commented that Rosie looked pregnant. Of course! That is exactly what she was acting like! A simple "hug" around her belly confirmed that someone was indeed inside. I could feel kicking and squirming.
Today Rosie left the herd and laid behind the barn by herself. Later she got very talkative and wanted my attention, acting as if she were ready to kid. But her milk was just starting to come in and her rump was still quite firm, so I didn't believe her. I did, however, go over to get a kidding pen ready for her. She followed me in and seemed content. But it was WAY too hot in the barn. I decided to set up a kidding pen outside - actually taking over part of the kid creep area. Rosie wasn't too fond of the idea but soon got to work pawing a nest and having mild contractions.
We did our evening milking with the video monitor of the area turn on so that we could keep an eye on Rosie. She started to string mucus. I worried since she just didn't seem soft enough in the rump to pass her kids through the birth canal. After getting the does milked out and all the clean up done, I went out and sat with Rosie. She seemed too busy to notice me, but surprised me by nickering anxiously if I moved too far away from her.
Her tight rump made me concerned that the kids would have to come in proper alignment to even possibly get out. A slightly askew kid just wouldn't make it. So I had David come out to hold Rosie still while I checked to be sure that all was well with the kid position. I cleaned up Rosie's vulva area, cleaned my hands and arms, gloved up, lubed up, and very slowly worked my hand into Rosie's birth canal. It was a tight fit, but I felt a hoof and a nose. If Rosie had been looser I would have let her birth the kid with one leg back. But I just didn't think it would work. So I reached in a bit further and felt the other leg curled up just inside the uterus. I couldn't quite reach it since I was using my right hand and the leg was on the other side. Usually there is plenty of room to work, but not this time. I had to take my right hand out and use my left hand to snag that leg.
With both legs and a head in the birth canal it should have been easy. But the kid just seemed stalled. I helped pull when Rosie pushed but we didn't make any progress. I reached back inside and checked to be sure that the parts all belonged to the same kid and that nothing else was interfering. It all seemed good - but still stuck. After several sessions of Rosie pushing with me tugging nothing seemed to be working. I was getting nervous. Then when Rosie had a hard contraction and I gave a tug, something just seemed to click into place and out flew a 6.4# spotted buckling. He came out so fast that I just stared at him as David worked to clean him off. He had a strange thick gray/brown mucus on him.
When I turned back to Rosie she was pushing out more of that strange gray/brown stuff. When she was done and I picked up the rubbery feeling stuff I found a tiny goat skull and several leg bones in it. Evidently the buckling had a twin that didn't survive much past the first couple months of pregnancy. I checked inside Rosie for any other kids. I found a few more leg bones but no other kids.
We will be allowing Rosie to raise her own boy, so they are together in a pen to bond. The boy, who we are calling Nelson, is a little weak in the front pasterns so we splinted them until he gains more strength. I think they look quite stylish.
Newborn Nelson doing an imitation of a Dr. Seuss character (Left), week old Nelson showing off his strong legs and great ears.
Lame Langley And The Ladies Who Lunch
5/25/12 A couple of months ago Langley came up lame. We don't know why. Her condition worsened throughout her pregnancy until she could barely get around. We babied her a lot and hoped she would kid soon.
A few years ago we catered a luncheon for the White Mountain Women's Club. We were lucky enough to have Cynthia, David's sister from Philadelphia, here to help out then. We also had a doe threatening to kid during lunch. As the wonderful group of women were driving away, Peri laid down and delivered her triplets.
But "lightning" doesn't strike twice, does it? Apparently it does. Today we were once again catering the Women's group, Cynthia was visiting, and Langley was in the kidding pen starting into early labor. Luckily in addition to having Cynthia here to help we had two wonderful young 4-H members here also - Shelby and Madison. The girls kept an eye on Langley, helped serve the luncheon, and did whatever was asked of them.
As soon as the lunch was over I gave the women a tour of the goat barn and milking parlor. I had the Barn Cam monitor on in the parlor so I could keep an eye on Langley. She was fussing and doing some mild pushing. Once the women moved into the cheese kitchen David took charge of finishing the tour while I went out to check on Langley. Shelby and Madison were already in the pen keeping a close eye on her. I cleaned Langley's back end up and did a 2 finger check inside of her. All seemed pretty OK, there were no kids in the birth canal and she was loosening well.
I didn't want Langley to work too hard while in labor since she has been so stressed and lost so much weight since she became lame. I went to the cheese kitchen to see how much longer the tour would take since I wanted David to help hold Langley. I was surprised to find that our guests were gone already!
David came out to the barn and held Langley steady, petting her and keeping her calm. I cleaned her up again, cleaned me up, gloved up, and lubed up. Just as I was ready, Langley's water broke. There was a head in the birth canal and I found the legs close by. Out came a 5.8# buckling. The girls worked to clean him up while I went fishing for the next kid. I found two legs and rotated them into the birth canal. One hoof got a bit hung up on the edge of the cervix but with a little effort I got it moved into the birth canal. Out came a 5.5# doeling in a backwards presentation.
Once again Madison and Shelby took over cleaning while David held Langley still and I went rummaging. I found a nose and 2 feet. A 5.6# buckling slid out.
The kids are all doing well. We have left one of the bucklings in with Langley in hopes that the kid will inspire her to get better. So far it is working. Langley is already moving better and getting up and down without help.
Zoe Gives Us A Scare, But Comes Through Just Fine
5/18/12 When I checked on Zoe at 9 o'clock last night she showed no signs that she was thinking about kidding. David checked her at 2 AM and she still was being "Just Zoe". But at 6 AM Zoe sure had changed! Her milk was in and the ligaments around her tail head were totally loose. She was very hungry and kept trying to get back in line for more lead feeding.
Around 9 AM she started looking serious about losing her load. When I went to put her in a kidding pen I saw that she had a little amniotic fluid on her rear udder. It was not a good color. It was a reddish-yellow color as if a kid was being stressed. And since it was just a dab of goo instead of the normal, larger amount that means a kid's birth sack has broken, I wanted to investigate inside. But David wasn't here and I figured it would be a big job to decipher the problem. I suspected that a kid was jammed sideways at the cervix which wasn't allowing the fluid to drain out - or allowing the kid to pass.
David arrived back at the ranch just after 10 AM and held Zoe while I checked inside her birth canal. She is a roomy doe and didn't fuss very much at the intrusion. Roomy right up until I got to the cervix, which wasn't fully open yet. I massaged it and worked my hand into the uterus. It took about 10 minutes and Zoe stood like a trooper.
Once into the uterus I could feel nose and toes. Out came a 6.6# doeling. She was as discolored as the goo that had scared me, but she was feisty and ready for life. Once she was cleaned up and wrapped in a towel I went back inside Zoe. I felt "A Mystery Part". Nose and Toes are fairly easy to decipher, so are most other presentations of legs and heads. This was a hard to figure out mass. Finally I found a hock which clued me in that the "mass" was a butt and that this kid wanted to come tail first. Sure enough, I reached along side the butt and pulled a rear leg forward, then reached in along the other side of the butt and pulled the second rear leg forward. The kid still didn't want to budge so I felt back inside to straighten the stifle joint - something that I've learned to check for if the kid delivery stalls out on a backwards coming kid. Finally the 6.6# buckling was born. He too was feisty - and hungry!
Once the boy was cleaned and cuddled with his sister I went in for the third kid. I knew it was in there because I had found the head while pulling the boy's legs forward. This kid just felt wrong. It's head was upside down, the legs skewed out. I didn't feel any life or any attempt to try to be born. I told David that it was probably dead. I finally finagled a front leg and the head into the birth canal and out came a kid. There are times when it's good to be wrong!! The 6.5# doeling was just as feisty and ready for life as her siblings - she just wanted me and Zoe to do all of the work.
Zoe looks great, the kids are beautiful, healthy and hungry.
The Flood Gates Open
5/10/12 Gates and Tally are the Best Buddies. They do everything together. So having them kid within hours of each other isn't a big surprise at all. Since Tally had kidded earlier this afternoon I guess Gates felt she needed to do it too.
Around 5 PM Gates started to get serious. By 5:30, the time we start our evening milking, Gates was in hard labor. I checked inside of her and found a head. I reached in further for a leg and found...another head. I pushed the second head back and found a leg that belonged to the first kid. Before I could locate the second leg, Gates easily pushed out a 7.5# blonde buckling.
After David and Gates had him cleaned off, I checked back inside of Gates for that second head. It was in the birth canal, but no legs were with it. I reached in further and grabbed a leg. Gates then pushed out a lovely 5.5# doeling. Both kids are doing great. Mom milked out easily and made plenty of colostrum for her twins. The Milking Team waited for us as quietly as is possible for hard working goats. We thank them for their patience.
Tally of Two
5/10/12 Tally and her best buddy, Gates, spent the night in the kidding pens so that I could keep an eye on them via the Barn Cam. Both girls were getting quite soft in the rump and their milk coming in. This morning I went to let them out but they both seemed quite ready to kid so I left them in the pens. Tally protested my decision in her squeaky little voice that always makes me laugh.
At around 1 PM Tally decided to get serious and started into hard labor. Almost before I could get ready she was pushing out a bubble. And I was sitting in the barn with her at the time! It was a red fluid filled bubble, not a kid bubble. So I broke that bubble and did a two finger check inside to find out what was going on. I felt a head but no legs. I lubed up well and went hunting for legs. It was quite easy since Tally was very loose. I found one leg hung up at the cervix. I pulled it forward and the kid started to emerge, but then stopped. I reached in to find the hold up and found that the second front leg was coming along but bent at an angle. I straightened out that leg and out slid a 6.6# doeling. Hungry and active right from the start, but covered in bright yellow birthing slime. She must of pooped in her birth sack prior to being born.
Before she could get fully cleaned off, Tally started pushing out a second kid. I checked inside and felt nose and toes. Out came another very yellow kid. This doeling weighed 6.2# and was just as hungry and active as her sister.
Tally milked a quart of colostrum out of a gorgeous, silky soft udder. She is going to be quite a joy in the milking parlor.
Julia Joins the Milking Team
5/8/12 This morning Julia came in as usual for lead feeding. I could barely feel the ligaments around her tail. So after all the does took their morning walk I moved Julia into a kidding pen. She fussed a little, pawed a little, laid down, then fussed some more. We were very busy in the cheese kitchen since it is shipping day so I turned up the sound monitor in the doe barn and had the barn cam pointed towards Julia's pen.
At noon I checked the video monitor and saw that Julia was having hard contractions, then I heard the moaning on the sound monitor. By the time I got to Julia's pen she had a nose and two feet coming out. I broke the birth sack and soon a lovely 6.3# brown spotted doeling emerged. She was so lively that she was standing up within minutes, looking for her first meal.
Soon Julia started pushing again. Out came a 6.9# splashy brown buckling in nose and toes position. He, too, was rearing to go. Julia provided them with over a quart of colostrum, then she took a much deserved nap. I guess she had been working hard to deliver her twins, but for David and I kiddings just don't get any easier.
We did an ultrasound on Julia back in March that showed twins with their heads oriented in the same direction. It is interesting that that is how they were born. It will be fun to do more ultrasounds next year to see if that is how it usually goes.
5/5/12 Crystal is a very outgoing, goofy girl. If Grace wasn't already our Herd Clown, then Crystal would have earned that title. But Crystal wasn't clowning around when it came time to download her kids. She worked hard all of yesterday and through the night to get her kids ready to come into the world. Her sister kidded last month with triplets and that is what I expected Crystal to have even though both girls are just yearlings. Crystal was carrying a BIG load.
At 1 AM Crystal looked to be getting serious about pushing but then took a nap. I watched her on the barn cam. At 2:30 AM she was fretting so I went out and did a two-finger check inside of her birth canal to be sure that all was well. I could feel that her cervix was halfway open and there was a kid bubble behind it. I decided to let her work some more, so I went back to bed.
At 4:00 I was awakened by the sound of hard labor. David and I dressed quickly and headed out. David radioed to Hazel and Gina, who are here for a three day workshop, that we had kids coming. There was already a kid on the ground when I got to Crystal, but he was twisted and laying in a puddle of amniotic fluid. He was limp and not breathing. David worked hard to revive him but couldn't make the poor fella live.
I did a two-finger check inside of Crystal and felt nose and toes. Out came a 5.7# splashy doeling. I laid her on an empty feed sack. David and Hazel worked to clean her mouth and nose and get her dried off. She was rearing to go - hungry and vocal. I checked back inside for the third kid and found another head and leg working its way out. Soon a tiny 4.2# doeling flew out. She was stressed and limp. David took over working with her, cleaning her mouth and nose, slicking off the slime, stimulating her, clearing fluid from her lungs. It took some time, and I worried. But David got her breathing easy and cuddled in a towel. She, just like Jackie's tiny doeling that was born last month, ties the BMR record for being the smallest kid ever born here.
I bounced Crystal's belly, more out of habit than expecting another kid. It didn't feel empty! I reached inside again, this time going clear into the uterus to be sure that she was done - and I found another kid. I broke the bubble and found hocks. I rotated the rear hooves out and Kid Number Four, a 5.8# buckling, slid out. He was feisty and strong.
Crystal was a bit shocky and surprised by what had just happened, but she stood well while I milked her. I drenched her with some MFO Solution to help replace her spent calcium, then she drank some warm molasses water, ate a bunch of animal crackers, and licked on her kids. Yearlings usually have singletons or twins, sometimes triplets. I believe this is the first time that we have had a yearling kid with quads. Crystal, I feel that this was exceptionally excessive!
Bertie Gives Us a Boy
4/29/12 I commented to David today that Bertie, our Belted Galloway cow, looked a bit loose in her backend but that her milk wasn't in. Then this evening Bertie and our bull, Boone, didn't come in for feeding. I scanned the valley and saw Bertie and Boone down by the big wash that cuts through our land. They were busy keeping an eye on the bounciest bull calf that I have ever seen. This guy was running circles around them. When I went out to investigate, that bull calf came right up to me and let me pet him. Mom, a range cow and not at all tame, wasn't too thrilled. So I backed off and let them go back to their games. Bertie's milk did come in and she looks great. Boone, as always, is doing a great job of protecting his small herd.
Sarina Gives Us a Doeling
4/27/12 The good folks at Witch Hazel Dairy were kind enough to let us bring one of their lovely doelings into our herd.
Witch Hazel Dairy's Herd Queen M's Sagebrush ZAP Sarina did a great job of kidding with twin doelings. Sarina's ancestry goes back to some of the same great herds that we started our herd with many years ago. We are glad to get the chance to reincorporate those genetics. The kids were sired by Black Mesa Magic Nebula. We are excited to have this beautiful girl join our herd.
Thanks so much, Hazel. We'll take good care of her.
4/25/12 Every year I place an order for a doeling out of Poppy, and almost every year I am disappointed. This year is no different.
Just after midnight I went out to check on Poppy who had been sleeping in her usual spot out behind the dairy building. She wasn't there. I looked around and found her sleeping in a different spot, away from the herd. I got ready for kids. Even bringing out my extra kidding kit so that if she kidded while outside I'd be ready. However, something signaled the herd to meander back to the barn for some snacking and Poppy followed along.
I took this opportunity to put Poppy in a kidding pen. She fussed around for a few minutes, then laid down and started pushing. Almost before I was ready Poppy pushed out a gorgeous 7.5# black buckling with one leg folded back. Wow, what a looker! Then Poppy seemed to think that she was done, so I milked her out and brought her some molasses water and animal crackers. Unfortunately she was correct - the one buckling was all that she was carrying. While she leaves me and several other people disappointed in not getting our requested kids, I am thrilled that Poppy did so well and looks so great. Regal and beautiful as always. Her buckling certainly takes after her!
Too see more paintings by David, check out: http://xxchef.deviantart.com/gallery/
Jackie's Jumble Of Babies
4/20/12 This morning Jackie was fussing around and then left the herd to paw a nest. I moved her into a kidding pen and kept an eye on her via our Barn Camera.
At noon David and Joan fed the new kids that were born yesterday, then it was our turn for lunch. David made a great smelling penne with meat sauce, sweet peppers and melted goat cheese from our own dairy. As he served this up for us I glanced at the barn cam and saw that Jackie's water had broken. Sigh. Good thing pasta reheats well!
Joan and I got out to the barn quickly and got ready for babies to be born. Since the fluid contained meconium, which can indicate that the kid is being stressed, I cleaned up, gloved up, lubed up, and checked out the kid position. Jackie is a yearling so her birth canal was a bit tight. I massaged it and it relaxed enough to allow my hand through. I felt two heads and no legs. Reaching in further I found lots of legs. Hmmmm, figuring out which legs went with which head was a bit of a puzzle. Finally I found a leg that belonged to the closest head and out came a 6.5# buck with one leg folded back along his body.
Once Joan had him breathing well, David held Jackie still while I went back in for the second kid. I had to rummage for the legs but it was quick. Out came a 4.2# doeling. She ties the BMR record for being the smallest kid ever born here. But she is feisty, lovely, and not letting her tiny size slow her down.
Jackie did great and milked out nicely. Her udder is going to be very nice. The kids are doing great. It's been great having Joan here to help out, but this is her last kidding here at BMR - at least for this year. Thanks so very much, Joan!
Buckling on right, doeling on left.
4/19/12 Opal has been working hard all day. I had predicted that she would kid before noon. But the day wore on. While David and I did the evening milking, Joan watched Opal. When Joan told me that Opal had been alternating laying on her right side, then her left, I thought maybe she was having trouble positioning her kids. I decided to investigate.
I cleaned Opal's vulva area, gloved up, lubed up, and went in to check out what was going on. I had to massage her birth canal and cervix a bit to get her to open up as wide as possible. I felt a head starting to engage into the birth canal but no legs. I had to reach into the uterus quite far to find those long legs. Once they were pulled into the birth canal I expected the kid to slide out easily, but it didn't. The head wouldn't align properly and wanted to come out forehead first. After a couple tries I finally convinced it to come nostrils first and out came a 7.4# black and tan buckling.
Once Joan had him mostly cleaned off, I cleaned up again and reached into Opal to see what other surprises she had. Once again I felt a head with no legs. I reached in and found the legs. Out came a 7.6# black buck with red trim.
Opal gave over a quart of colostrum out of a very easy to milk udder - not bad for a little overworked first freshener!
Little Liberty Rose Has Twins
4/19/12 I put Liberty Rose in a kidding pen this morning mostly to keep Opal company as Opal worked on getting her kids in position in the next pen. Liberty wasn't totally loose in her back end, but pretty close and her milk was in.
By 1 PM Liberty's tail ligaments were totally loose. She laid down and started having hard contractions. I felt inside of her and found two feet and a nose. I straightened out the legs to help streamline the birth and with some powerful pushing by Liberty a 6.3# red doeling was born. Joan and David cleaned her off and got her cuddled in a towel.
Soon Liberty started pushing again. I checked inside to be sure the kid was in good position. I felt two feet and no head. Before I could figure out if this was a problem or not, out came a brown spotted 6.1# buckling - backwards. He, too, got cleaned up. I milked out Liberty Rose for the first time in her life. She stood like a pro and gave plenty of colostrum for her kids.
4/19/12 Annabelle, a Churro cross 2 year old first time momma, lambed early this morning with twin daughters! The two lambs weighed in at 9.8# and 8.6#. Annabelle looks to be developing into a very good mom, cleaning off the lambs and getting them fed.
Harmony's Melancholy Duet
4/16/12 At first it looked like a classic kidding. Harmony separated herself from the herd and started pawing, laying down, standing up, fussing. I put her in a kidding pen and Joan stayed with her while David and I got some work done in the cheese kitchen.
Around 1:30 Joan radioed to us that Harmony had blood coming out. I went to check it out since this is not a normal thing to happen. I really don't like when not-normal things happen. So I cleaned Harmony up, gloved up, lubed up, and slid my hand slowly into her birth canal. I could tell that the cervix wasn't fully relaxed so I worked to massage it open. Once I felt it was open enough to retrieve a kid I went further into the uterus and found a kid bubble. I pulled the two legs into the birth canal and the head followed. But the head got hung up on the cervix. I waited for awhile for the cervix to open more, then I massaged it more, but it just didn't seem to want to let the kid head pass. I was still concerned about the blood that Harmony had been passing and by now I'd also seen some nasty brown fluid come out of Harmony. I suspected a dead kid, but I knew that the kid that I was trying to get out was alive - it kept jerking its legs.
Finally, I pushed the legs back into the uterus and pulled the head into the birth canal and past the edge of the cervix. I then went back in to pull the legs through. That worked fairly well though the head again got caught a little in the cervix. I worked the head through and was finally able to pull the 8.8# kid out. He is a gorgeous fella that structurally looks so much like his daddy, Rio, back when Rio was a kid. He is a good looking boy!
I went back in for the next kid and found a head coming through into the birth canal. I reached in further for the legs and found one. Out came the trouble fella - a dead buckling. I checked back inside of Harmony and didn't feel anymore kids. But a placenta came out quickly which would seem to indicate that her placenta was separating too early and that is probably what caused the death of the buckling. I got Harmony her molasses water and milked her out. I was sad that I didn't get a doeling from her - especially one as beautiful as that buckling - but I'm glad to have Harmony back on the milk stand and looking so great.
4/14/12 It wasn't quite midnight, but it sure felt like it when Mandy started into hard labor. What a shock - she wasn't even high on the list of does to watch yet. I had noticed earlier that the ligaments around her tail head were quickly relaxing and her milk was in, but she wasn't showing any signs of being in Stage One labor. No fussing, pawing, stretching, yawning. Just the usual ol' Mandy.
I was already in bed when my tired brain thought it heard grunting. Having just checked everyone an hour ago with no signs of anyone being imminent, I had no idea of who to check out on the barn camera. So I rotated it around the barn a few times, thinking it was my imagination making me hear those sounds. Finally I saw Mandy have a hard contraction. I jumped out of bed and into my barn clothes, yelled to David that we were having babies, and radioed Joan of that fact also.
By the time I got to Mandy she already had a leg coming out. I grabbed some paper towels and newsprint from my kidding kit and by the time I got back to Mandy she had the whole kid pushed out. I placed the buckling on the paper and cleaned out his mouth and nose. Then I moved him into a kidding pen and went back for Mandy. She was pretty stubborn and didn't want to go into the pen. My pants and jacket ended up getting thoroughly slimed with amniotic fluid and blood as I pushed Mandy through the gate.
David and Joan showed up to clean the gorgeous 6.3# boy off. Once the kid was wrapped in a towel Mandy pushed out her second buckling in nose and toes position. He weighed in at 6.2# Once he was born I moved him over to David to be cleaned off, but ended up wearing most of his slime on my jeans, sweatshirt, and shoes. I couldn't help but wonder if David and Joan were cleaning off the wrong thing. I was a sticky, bloody, gooey mess.
Despite my slime, I was able to get Mandy her molasses water and animal crackers, and get over three pounds of colostrum milked out of her. Mandy and her babies are doing great. I'll be doing laundry.
Cora Comes Through In Record Time
4/14/12 In one of the speediest, easiest deliveries of the year, Cora presented us with twin doelings. Actually it wasn't quite as speedy for Cora since she worked all day to get these lovely girls lined up, but for us humans it was a 10 minute whirlwind.
Cora was getting a bit serious about kidding this evening so we decided to milk the does a tad early then feed the kids. Joan stayed with Cora while we fed the kids since by then Cora was starting into hard labor. Just as the last bunch of kids got their milk Joan radioed that there were body parts coming out! I ran to the doe barn, put on my nitrile gloves, and had Joan hold Cora steady while I cleaned her up and checked inside.
I felt teeth but no legs. I felt in further and found a leg hung up at the pelvis. I pulled the leg forward and out squirted a 5.1# brown doeling with one leg folded back. Joan and I worked to clean her up, then David arrived to help out. I got out of the way and kept my eye on Cora. Soon she started into hard labor again and easily pushed out a 5.7# black doeling in nose and toes position.
Cora looks great and did a marvelous job. The kids were up running around within an hour. Great work for a first time momma! These are the first kids by our buck, Roy, and they look terrific!
Legacy Loses Her Load
4/12/12 It was a long day for Legacy. She worked hard while in the kidding pen getting her kids lined up and heading them towards the exit. She passed mucus throughout the day. By late afternoon there seemed to be a pink tinge to it. I gave her a dose of MFO Solution, got my chores and milking done, then decided to investigate inside of her.
I cleaned up her backside, gloved up, lubed up, and while David held her steady I slowly inserted a few fingers into her birth canal. I felt a kid right at the cervix in nose and toes position. It was a big kid, so I helped to stretch out the birth canal and pulled the legs forward to streamline the birth. As the kid's head was being pushed out Legacy laid down. I guessed it was a big buck head that was working through and sure enough, once the kid came out and David and Joan had him cleaned off, I was able to get a peek between his back legs to confirm that. He weighed in at 7.2#.
As the buckling was being wrapped in a towel, Legacy started into hard labor again. I checked inside and felt a bubble. I broke the bubble and red fluid poured out. Even though I could feel the kid, I could tell that the bubble I'd broken wasn't the kid bubble. It was just one of those strange and interesting things that are part of the gestation process. I worked in towards the kid, only to have to break several more fluid filled bubbles. Finally I found the bubble that contained the next kid. In nose and toes position the 5.8# splashy doeling was born.
I got Legacy her molasses water and once she stood up I was able to bounce her belly and declare her to be done. I milked her out and she gave over a quart of colostrum from an easy milking udder. Legacy is our first Exotic Affair daughter to freshen and so far she isn't letting us down.
The kids are doing great.
Surprisingly Stealthy Spring
Spring Thyme/Exotic Affair
4/11/12 Spring earned the 2011 BMR Best Surprise award last year and she just keeps on surprising us. Today she was laying comfortably in the doe barn, snoozing at times, chewing her cud at other times. Just hanging out not really seeming to be doing much. In fact, on the few occasions that she stood up I checked her for signs of kidding. Her kids had not dropped, her milk wasn't in, and her tail ligaments were only starting to loosen. I crossed Spring off my mental list of who to be watching.
After evening milking all the does were fine, no kids expected. Joan, a BMR workshop graduate, is here helping out for a few days so I showed her how to feel the tail ligaments and check the udder for milk production. I thought that Spring would kid on her due date - 2 days from now.
We had dinner, then David and Joan went out to feed the kids around 9. The does have been sleeping outside so I took a flashlight and looked around for the close-up does. They all seemed fine and not about to download their kids - except for Spring. I couldn't find her. I went to the barn to see if she was snacking at the manger or still lazing around. Spring was standing up - with a very satisfied look on her face. Running around her legs, looking for a first meal, were two dried off, healthy, and active babies. The buckling weighed in at 7.8#, the doe at 7.1#. Surprise!!
Mystic Gets Comfortable
4/10/12 Mystic has been very uncomfortable for several weeks now. She would moan, writhe, sit like a dog with a big Buddha belly hanging out in front of her. We really thought that she would kid on the same day that Serenity kidded - almost a week ago. But she didn't. She just continued to look miserable. Today the ligaments around her rump were so soft that I couldn't feel them, her milk was in, and she started stringing cervical plug mucus. I put her in the kidding pen and kept an eye on her.
Just before 3PM I saw on the Barn Cam that Mystic had laid down and was pushing. I went out and found that she had a head coming though but no legs. David showed up with the sanitizing wash water so I cleaned up Mystic's perineum area, put on nitrile gloves, and went looking for the front feet. They were stalled at the cervix so I pulled them forward and out came a 4.8# doeling. Cute as can be, alert and feisty. We cleaned her up, got her weighed, her navel clipped and dipped in iodine, cuddled in a towel, and put in a basket.
I checked back inside of Mystic. She had another kid head coming through and I had to reach in further to find the two front legs. Out came a 6.4# spotted buckling. He, too, got cleaned up, weighed, clipped and dipped, wrapped in a towel, and put in the basket.
I bounced Mystic's belly and felt a hard lump. So I cleaned us up again and checked inside. A head was coming through the cervix but, once again, no feet. I rummaged around and found a leg. I couldn't find the other leg before Mystic pushed this 7.3# splashy buckling out into the world with one leg folded back.
All the kids are wonderfully vigorous, beautiful, and hungry. They were standing up and walking around within minutes of birth. Mystic looks great and, oh, so much more comfortable. These are the first kids from our junior buck Habañero and so far we are really liking what we see.
Serenity Kids Early
4/4/12 Today was a lovely day so I hung out with the goats for a few hours - just watching them and giving scratches. I noticed a few of the close-up girls were passing some cervical plug mucus. That can happen well before they kid, though I do watch those girls a bit more closely after seeing it. Mystic had a bit of mucus and she seemed very uncomfortable. She was laying down a lot and moaning.
Once I got back to the office I called my goat mentor, Sandy of Reuel Dairy Goats to ask her a few questions. Sandy is very patient with me, helpful, and a good friend. Sandy told me about her day - and it wasn't a good story. A C-Section for one doe and the euthanizing of another. Those kinds of stories make me nervous. I went back out to hang with my herd, just to enjoy them and appreciate that they were doing well.
This afternoon I saw that Serenity had separated herself from the herd. She is a yearling and very attached to her buddies, so I suspected that we had a problem. Serenity wasn't due to kid for another 11 days. I checked under her tail and saw thick reddish brown mucus. Yes, we had a problem.
I got both kidding pens ready for occupancy and moved Serenity into one of them and Mystic into the other. I don't like to have just one doe in the barn by herself and since Mystic was so uncomfortable anyway I figured it was an easy way to keep an eye on her.
I checked inside of Serenity around 4PM but even though her ligaments were soft, she was still tight in the birth canal and I didn't feel any kids right there. So I left her to work some more on losing her babies. Around 7PM I checked inside of her again. This time she was very open and I could feel a kid bubble at the cervical opening. Due to the discolored mucus and the premature labor, I figured that she had a dead kid inside of her. I've heard over the years that live kids will help themselves be born, while dead kids, of course, can't. I have found that to be quite true in most cases and I didn't want a dead kid to puncture her uterus or get too tangled up to come out. So I popped the bubble and found two hooves and a nose. The amniotic fluid that poured out of Serenity was clear and very healthy looking! The 6.4# buckling came out quickly. He was alert and feisty, not seeming like a very premature kid and certainly not dead.
Once he was dried off, wrapped in a towel, and put into the basket, I checked inside of Serenity again. I found a hock and had to push the kid back further into the uterus in order to get the rear hoof rotated and pulled through the birth canal. I went back for the second leg. As I was rummaging around for it I found a head. That was odd since that would mean the kid was folded in half - or it was a different kid. I checked for the missing back leg on the other side of the womb and found another head! It took a couple minutes for me to find the second hock and once again I had to move the body back in order to rotate the back hoof into the birth canal. I was pretty sure that this was the problem kid and that it was dead. Sure enough, out came a dead doeling.
Since she was very obviously dead we spent no time trying to revive her and I immediately went back inside of Serenity to investigate that other head. I found the third kid, broke the birth sack and saw clear, healthy looking fluid run out of Serenity! This kid was small, but I felt life in it. Out came a 5.3# doeling in nose and toes position. She, like her brother, didn't seem 11 days premature.
We don't know why one of the kids died, but the buckling did have some bruising on his gum so possibly Serenity had fallen or gotten rammed by another goat. Serenity did great, milked well, and is developing into a wonderful addition to our milking string. The kids are eating, pooping, and peeing well, standing up on woggly legs, but are having a little trouble regulating their body temperature so they are in the office laying on that heated whelping mat that Mattie's puppies refused to use. We have high hopes that the kids will be fine.
Violet Does Great
3/23/12 While Tarragon was in the kidding pen, Violet was also working hard. I would have put her in our second kidding pen, but Tasha now lives there as she, hopefully, recovers from her p`inched nerves. So we are one pen down, with no private room available for Violet. She wasn't too worried. She made a nest over by the manger and worked to get her kids ready to come into the world.
Once evening milking was over, I moved Tarragon out of the kidding pen and moved Violet in. She pawed around a bit then went into hard labor. After a few pushing sessions I check inside of her. She had a nose and foot coming through. I couldn't get to the other leg, so her 8.3# black buckling came with one leg folded back.
Once he was dried off and doing well, I checked back with Violet. She had a head in the birth canal but no feet. I easily found the legs and pulled them forward making the birth of the 5.8# doeling much easier. She was really slimy and squiggly. David had a hard time controlling her as he tried to clean her up. She just kept sliding off the empty feed sacks that we use to lay the newborns on. She'd squirt backwards in a quick motion, only to move forward or sideways. I was having a great time watching David use all of his considerable talents to contain this newborn whirlwind of a girl. David finally won, getting her both cleaned off and cuddled in a towel. Possibly a straight jacket would have been better?
Violet gave us lots of lovely yellow colostrum to feed her beautiful kids. She looks great and really appreciated her After Birthing Treats. The kids were whisked off to the office to be fed and join the other 6 kids that have been born today.
3/23/12 I always get nervous when it's time for Tarragon to kid since she has had some bad kiddings in the past. In fact this year I was terrified since last year I thought we would lose her during the 2 agonizing hours I worked inside of her to get a head-back kid out - it was a really bad experience. So this year I planned on doing a pelvic exam as soon as Terry started to look serious about downloading her kids.
This afternoon I put Terry in the kidding pen and kept an eye on her. At 3:30 I checked inside of Terry to see what we'd be facing. That's when I had the very happy discovery of two feet and one nose! Terry has a massively wide rump and was quite roomy in the birth canal. Good thing since she easily delivered the second largest doe kid in BMR history!! 9.4# (First largest was Espeez at 9.7# back in 2006) The doeling was very yellow from the meconium that she passed, possibly indicating that Terry had been in labor longer than I realized. This is one huge doeling, but very laid back and easy going.
Once the behemoth was dried off and cuddled in a large beach towel, I checked back inside of Terry. I felt a head but no feet. I reached in further and pulled out two legs. That made the delivery of the big 9.1# black buckling go much smoother. He, too, had his birth sack filled with meconium. No one else was home, so we milked Terry and got her a bucket of warm molasses water and a bunch of animal crackers. Half an hour from start to finish - now THAT'S a good kidding! We brought the kids to the office to weigh, clip, dip, and feed. They simply tower over River's petite herd. In fact they weigh more than twice what River's doelings weigh!
Terry did great, looks great, and I am awesomely relieved at how easily the whole event went.
The River Overflows
3/23/12 River loves to lay right under the baby monitor in the doe barn and moan - loudly. And she has been so uncomfortable for the last few weeks that we have kept a close eye on her in case she kidded early. We were very glad when she reached 145 days pregnant which is considered full term even though our kidding dates are based on 150 days of gestation. But when I checked her yesterday she did not seem very close to kidding. Her milk was in but her rump had not softened and she actually seemed more comfortable than she had been.
At 1 AM I was awakened from a deep sleep by a short but powerful sounding grunt. I turned on the bedroom video monitor to check on the does but David already had control of the Pan/Tilt/Zoom barn camera and was panning around the barn looking for the source of the sound. The camera stopped at River, who was busy licking off a lovely spotted buckling.
I jumped into my barn clothes and ran out to the barn. David grabbed some sanitizing wash water and our coats before heading out. I moved the little buckling into the kidding pen and River came with us. She and David worked to clean the 6.3# fella up while I sat on a bale of straw marveling that River had fooled me. I am usually pretty good about knowing when the does will kid.
We weighed, clipped and dipped, and fed the first born while waiting for the rest to follow. River was just huge and I was expecting triplets. After an hour I decided to check inside of River to be sure that all was going well. My hand in the birth canal triggered her to have some heavy contractions and out came a tiny fella. He was only 5# and easily slipped right out.
As it was getting quite chilly and the kids were so small, I wanted to get the other one out soon so that we could move them to the office to stay warm. I cleaned up again and went in to investigate. There were lots of fluid filled bubbles in the uterus, but finally I found a kid-filled bubble. I felt two hocks so I knew it would be a backwards presentation. That's fine. Once the stifles straightened out the 4.6# doeling practically flew out.
By this point I suspected a fourth kid. So once David and River had the doeling cleaned up and wrapped in a towel, I went back inside River and pulled out a tiny 4.5# doeling in nose and toes position. She had trouble breathing and David worked hard to clear her airway and stimulate her. It was scary for me, just watching and not being able to help. But David is the expert on getting kids to live, so it was in his hands.
The little one finally stopped gasping for air and started breathing easily through her nose. Once she seemed stable she was wrapped in a towel and put with her siblings. I bounced River's belly and thought I felt a hard lump indicating a 5th kid, but when I checked inside her uterus I didn't find anyone else at home. I gave River a drench of MFO Solution and a bucket of warm molasses water. Then we carted the torrent of kids to the office to be warmed and fed.
Even in the warm office the littlest girl had trouble holding her body temperature, so I cuddled her and warmed her while David fed the rest of the crew. David finished up with that about 4AM, then he sat in the recliner with the little girl on his chest. She was covered with a towel. The two of them slept like that for what little remained of the night. When I woke them up at 6 the doeling was toasty warm and hungry, David was stiff and sore.
Celeste - The Doe Maker!
3/19/12 Last year Celeste took an extra 4 days past her due date to deliver her triplet doelings. This year she only took an extra 3 days! Yup, she did it again - triplet doelings two years in a row!
Celeste has been fussing around for a couple days now. Today she finally started pawing the straw and baby talking to her side. Even licking her side. In fact once I saw Celeste laying down with her head on her side, talking, then cocking her head as if to hear what the kids had to say inside of her. She started stringing mucus around evening milking time.
So tonight, after the does were all milked out and cared for, I decided to check inside of Celeste to be sure all was well. She had a kid bubble at the cervix and my hand being in there caused her to have some contractions that worked to push the 7.3# doeling out. The doeling came with one leg back. Celeste was delighted with her work and nickered and licked on her baby.
When the kid was fairly dry Celeste had a hard contraction. I felt a nose right at the exit but no feet. I reached in further and found both front legs. Out came a 6.9# doeling. Once again Celeste and David worked to clean her off.
At this point Celeste had an afterbirth bubble coming out. Since I expected triplets I decided to check on the third kid. In the birth canal I felt a bumpy, thick membrane - usually kid bubbles are smooth and thin. There was a kid inside! I broke the sack and worked to pull the kid out but that membrane really wanted to hold the kid back. Finally I won and the 6# black spotted doeling arrived.
All three kids are doing great. Mom looks wonderful. We will be keeping one of these kids to join the milking team next year. We are very glad to have Celeste back on the milk line.
Penny Has Problems
3/15/12 Penny was fussy this morning and acting like she would kid soon. Everything about her said that she was going to kid soon - except her rump. Her rump had not softened at all. Since she was full term on her pregnancy I went ahead and gave her a shot of Lutalyse to help the softening process.
I put her in the kidding pen this afternoon and kept an eye on her, both in person and by using the barn camera. She pawed at the bedding, repeatedly laying down and standing back up, she was stringing goo. After evening milking I got ready to check inside of her to see what was happening.
She was still very tight, but she is a very big doe so I was able to slowly work my whole hand into her birth canal. The cervix was open. I reached in further to feel the position of the first kid only to find...nothing. It was very roomy in the uterus but no one seemed home. I reached in further and felt teeth just almost out of my reach. I worked my way in further and was able to determine that the tiny head was upside down. I finally got my hand around the crown of the head and pulled it towards the exit. While doing that I also rotated it into a more normal position and even found a leg. I thought the kid was dead but I felt the leg jerk, just a little.
The kid slid out with a bit of difficulty due to Penny not being as loose as she should have been. The little doeling was gorgeous! Black with red trim and black ears, with a long sleek neck. But she wasn't breathing. David cleaned her mouth and nose, patted her side, tried draining fluid out of her, rubbed her vigorously. I gave her a dose of Dopram to stimulate breathing. We worked with that lovely little girl for a long time before giving up hope. Finally we had to admit it - the little doeling had died.
We'd been expecting triplets but Penny's uterus had seemed quite empty when I was working to pull the little black doeling out. I reached back inside Penny to see if there was another kid. I didn't feel any kid bubbles or legs or heads. I got Penny her molasses water, cleaned her up, and made sure she had food and water since she would be spending the night in the kidding pen. Then David and I went back to the dairy empty handed. That just didn't feel right.
At midnight I heard the unmistakable sound of a doe in hard labor. I jumped out of bed, into my barn clothes, and ran out to the doe pen. David, who had been working late in the office, had heard it also. He, too, ran out to the barn. Penny had a kid head hanging out of her. A front leg was bent sideways in the birth canal so I pulled it forward. The mahogany brown doeling with brown ears came out. This kid had died much earlier, in fact she smelled decayed. I suspect that the death of this kid is what triggered Penny to kid early and also caused the other doeling to be too weak to survive.
"There'll be days like this," my mama said.
(Mama said, mama said.)
Mama said there'll be days like this.
"There'll be days like this," my mama said.
(Mama said, mama said.) ♫♫
3/14/12 Today Pearl said it was her turn to kid. I put her in the kidding pen and she spent all day working on positioning her kids. After evening milking I decided to check on things to be sure that she was doing a good job. I washed her backend, gloved up, lubed up, and slowly inserted my hand into the birth canal. Her cervix was open and I felt a kid bubble right there. I felt a nose inside but no feet. I tried to pop the bubble but it was too flexible for me to poke it or pinch it. After a few tries I did get the bubble to break. By then Pearl had advanced the head into the birth canal and the legs were coming along just fine. The orangy-red 6.3# buckling slid out into the world.
David cleaned the fella up while I went to get the laundry basket that we place the kids in once the are dry - sort of a movable baby crib. Once the first born was wrapped in a towel and placed in the basket I checked back inside Pearl. I felt nose and toes in the birth canal, but it was wrong. The toes were on top of the head! Out came a 6.3# tri-color doeling that was covering her head with her legs as if to ward off an attack. Well, every year we get a kid or two that wants to try a new position for their entry into the world. No harm, no foul with this one. Just a bit of confusion for me.
I knew that Pearl had another kid inside, but it wasn't ready to be born yet. So I went to the dairy and got Pearl some molasses water. She sucked down over a gallon of the brew then got to work birthing #3. This one came with one leg folded back. The black roan fella weighed 8.3# and passed more meconium during his birth and getting cleaned up than I've ever seen a kid pass. What a messy fella.
Last year Pearl had quads. So I did a check inside to see if she still had someone in there. She did. I felt hocks. But the hocks were still in the kid bubble and once again I had a very hard time breaking it. I actually had to manipulate the kid's legs while it was still encased. It worked out fine, just a bit harder than when the bubble breaks. Out came a 7.2# black roan buckling. I went back to the feed room to get a bigger basket for all these kids.
I dosed Pearl with some MFO Solution since she had worked so hard all day. Or, rather, I let Pearl suck the MFO out of my drench gun. I'd forgotten that she LOVES to be drenched - with anything! If she sees me with a drench gun she runs over just begging to have it. Funny girl. And quite the overachiever. She has kidded with 10 kids so far - and she is only a three year old!
3/20/12 Update: Pearl has now learned that my evening glass of wine is better than a MFO drench. She can suck that down faster than I can stop her. What a lush!
Tasha's Twin Troubles
3/13/12 A few weeks ago Tasha starting having problems with her back legs, probably from her kids laying on a nerve wrong. So we have been giving her special treatment - feeding her in a private pen before letting her out with the herd, and not making her climb the steps to the milking parlor for her lead feeding. As her time to kid drew closer she got worse and worse. I decided to induce her labor early to relieve her. It's a two and a half day process to induce early labor. The day after we gave the first drug Tasha went down - and stayed down. She could no longer lift herself from laying down to standing up. I was very glad I had started inducing her for an early kidding.
This morning we helped Tasha to stand up. Once up, she remained standing for over 9 hours, reluctant to lay down when she knew she couldn't get back up. Around 4 PM I saw that her water had broken - exactly on time according to my estimates.
Both bucklings came nose and toes in what was the easiest, fastest kidding of the year. They both weighed in at 6.4#. I can't imagine how these little fellas could have effected Tasha in such a big way. We are hoping that Tasha fully recovers. The boys are active, hungry, and loud already.
3/14/12 Update: Tasha is already moving better and can even get up all by herself now. She is a real trooper.
4/2/12 Update: We worked hard with Tasha but could not fix the problem with her legs. We euthanized her and did a necropsy. It showed that she had severe damage to her stifle joints. She was quite a trooper during this ordeal and we miss her deeply.
Miranda Joins the Milking Team
3/10/12 Miranda worked all day at getting her twin boys into position to be born. Finally at 4:30 this afternoon she delivered her load. The first fella came with one leg folded back and weighed 8.7#, the second came in nose and toes position and weighed in at 8.0#. They were active and hungry right off the bat. Nice looking fellas. We are happy to have Miranda back on the milking team.
Princess Supersizes It
3/9/12 Princess has been working on positioning her kids for a few days now. It's a good thing that she did such a great job of it. Her twin boys are huge. Her first born weighed in at 9.7 pounds making him the largest kid born so far this year. He held that record until his 10.8# brown spotted brother was born.
Both boys were born in the classic nose and toes position just after 2 PM. Princess had no trouble getting these strapping big boys born.
Clowning Around With Grace
3/9/12 After the awful time that Peri had while kidding, I have been somewhat anxious about the rest of the girls. But Grace is our Herd Clown. She is always doing goofy things and making us laugh. Why should her kidding be any different?
At 2AM I checked Grace on the Barn Cam. I saw that she was fussing around and looking uncomfortable. I got up and put her in a kidding pen. She settled in there for the rest of the night. This morning at 7 AM she definitely looked ready to kid but I took her out of the kidding pen to come in for lead feeding. For lead feeding we bring the girls that are close to kidding into the milking parlor for some grain and to get them used to the milking routine. Grace was the second one through the door (the first one through was Peri!!).
Grace didn't eat her grain, but ran to where we keep the animal crackers that she is addicted to. She ate a few of them and was sent back outside and we got the milkers milked out. I decided to check on Grace before doing the lead feeding with the other close-up girls. As I walked out of the milking parlor I saw Grace run out of the barn and across the yard. As she twirled around I saw that she had long strings of mucus hanging from her vulva. On looking closer I saw that she was doing a Push-Me-Pull-You imitation with a head on both ends! It was an attempt at a head first only kidding.
I grabbed Gracie and moved her into the kidding pen, yelling for David that we had trouble. Once Grace, David, and I were in the kidding pen I put on gloves and slid my hand along side the kid head and into Grace's birth canal. Luckily Grace was very roomy and I was able to get a front leg pulled out. The rest was easy. The 7.4# doeling slid right out, helped by copious amounts of birthing slime. Once the doeling was out and mostly dried off, Grace pushed out a 9.5# buckling in proper nose and toes position. He was also accompanied by lots of slime. Slime makes kidding go so much easier!
Gracie cleaned well and was back out in general population in record time. We tell the goats that their kidding day is their "hardest work day of the year". In Grace's case I guess it was her hardest half hour of the year. Bless her heart - we needed an easy one.
A Wild Ride for Peri
3/6/12 Peri is known for having her kids try to be born head first but with both legs folded back. So at 7 PM when her water broke I decided to check inside of her to make sure that she was doing a better job this time. Her cervix wasn't fully open yet but I could feel the kid on the other side. It didn't feel quite right. So I messaged the cervix open and reached in. I found two legs but no head. I finally located the head off to the side and upside-down. This is by far the worst birthing position that I've worked with. After an hour and a half of trying to get this kid out I called my vet to see about having a C-Section done. We discussed it and I agreed to try a vaginal delivery one more time. By then Tyler was in hard labor so we gave Peri some MFO Solution and went to work with Tyler (See the below diary entry).
Once we had Tyler's kids all dried and fed we tried getting Peri's head-back kid out. It just wasn't working. Even when I had the head engaged in the birth canal that kid just wasn't moving. I called the vet and told him that we were on the way.
We loaded Peri into the back seat of the truck and left Amanda in charge of the ranch. Thank goodness for Amanda!!! She stayed and fed all the kids and took care of things while David and I made the one hour trip to the vet. Doing 70 miles an hour in the 50 zone we got pulled over by the sheriff. David explained that we had an emergency, the sheriff looked in at Peri, and told David that it was OK to go a little fast, but not to push it. He didn't even give us a ticket!
Our vet is an old cow vet, so there was no shiny stainless steel, sanitary operating area, or even running water. He operated on Peri in very primitive conditions, outside in the wind, in the middle of the night, with both David and I assisting. David did a great job of opening the uterus and pulling the first kid out. Surprisingly it was alive!! The doeling was quickly put into the laundry basket that we had brought, her mouth and nose cleaned, and covered with a towel. The second kid was located in the uterus and pulled out, but the doeling was stuck in placental material and all three of us helped to get her out. As soon as she was free she let out a big bellow to let us know that she was fine. David cleaned her mouth and nose and put her with her sister.
Peri was sown up and we got her in the truck for the hour long ride back home. She had a very tough time with the operation and was very stressed and shocky. Between that and the unsanitary conditions, we are very worried about her. She will be on a heavy course of antibiotics and painkillers for quite awhile. Licking on her two daughters is giving Peri a will to fight. We have fingers crossed for her recovery, but it will be a hard time for her. The two doelings weighed in at 7.5# each and are lively and doing great.
3/8/12 Update: Peri asked to go back to her herd today and even came into the milking parlor for cookies. She is eating and drinking well, steady on her feet, and showing attitude. As long as she doesn't get an infection, we think that she will pull through.
3/14/12 Update: Peri fought a good fight, but in the end it was just too much for her. She passed away in her sleep last night. We are so thankful that her twin doelings continue to thrive. Thanks to everyone for their support.
Twins for Tyler
3/6/12 Tyler has been working to position her kids for days now. She stands with her front feet on risers, which also helps to move the babies towards her backend and allowing her to breath easier without the kids crowding her heart and lungs. This evening she was having contractions but not getting down to the business of pushing the kids out.
At around 9 PM I cleaned her up and went in to investigate. I felt a head in the birth canal but no legs. I reached in further and found the legs and pulled them into position. Soon a 8.6# buckling was born. Amanda worked to clean him up and I checked inside of Tyler for the next kid. I felt a bubble and broke it. Inside was a hoof and a hock. I rotated the hock back and found the second hoof. The 9.4# buckling was born backwards. The boys and Tyler are doing great.
The Depth of Joy
3/5/12 Even though five does were due to kid today, only Joy cooperated. Today Amanda saw that Joy looked to be getting ready to kid. At 5 PM I put Joy in a kidding pen to keep an eye on her. She pawed around and had some contractions. At 7 PM I gave her a dose of MFO Solution hoping it would help her with pushing. At 9 PM her water broke. As we were getting ready to catch her kids, a hoof emerged.
I cleaned up, gloved up, and checked to be sure that all was well. I felt a head in the birth canal, but not the second hoof. I reached in further but could not find the leg. The lovely brown 7.1# doeling was born with one leg folded back. She was a bit limp after delivery but David and Amanda worked to clear her nose and mouth of fluid and stimulated her. She rallied well and was trying to escape within minutes.
I checked back inside of Joy and felt a kid bubble in the birth canal. So I got out of there and waited. After a few minutes the bubble burst and amniotic fluid flowed out of Joy. I checked the position of the kid and found only a head. I reached in further to pull out the legs but couldn't find them right at the cervix. I reached in even further and still didn't find a leg. When I do a pelvic exam on a doe I usually have the doe stand while I kneel behind her. But since the legs were so very long and down deep in Joy's belly, I had to stand up in order to get my arm down that far. Finally I found a hoof down deep, about where Joy's navel is. It was just out of my reach even though I could feel it. So David pushed up on Joy's belly and that enabled me to snag that hoof! I rotated it and was able to pull it up and into the birth canal. I knew I would not be able to retrieve the second front leg while keeping hold of the first one so I went ahead and pulled the kid with one leg back. It was an 8.4# black buckling with magic spots. The kids and mom are doing great.
Marlyn Gives Us Twins
3/4/12 Around 4PM I went out to check on the does that are close to kidding. Marlyn was standing in the pen playing Bowling With Puppies. Our recent litter of pups was out just minding their own business, but whenever one came too close to Marlyn she'd push it with her head and the pup would go tumbling away. Since all the does are usually fine with having the puppies around I took this as a sign of impending kidding. Around 5PM, I found Mare laying down away from the herd. I got her up and moved her into a kidding pen. She made herself as comfortable as possible, but she was obviously having mild contraction and doing the preliminary work of getting her kids ready to come into the world.
I kept an eye on Marlyn all evening via the pan/tilt/zoom camera in the doe barn. She continued to do her work, looking quite regal even while having contractions. At 10 PM she had thick yellow mucus hanging from her vulva and there was a touch of blood in it. I decided to do a vaginal check to make sure all was well. I cleaned her perineum area, and my hands and arms, gloved up, lubed up, and went in to investigate. There was a hoof and a nose in the birth canal. I felt around for another hoof and found one. When they started out into the world I could see that one leg was brown and one was white. That gave me a scare thinking that there were two different kids coming through. Luckily it was just an ultra colorful 8.4# buckling. Amanda took charge of him but as she was working to dry him off she saw that his umbilical cord was still pulsing blood. Amanda had to clamp off the umbilical cord for awhile until it stopped.
Before the boy was dried off, another nose and toes entered Marlyn's birth canal and moved out into the world. David took over cleaning up this blonde, 8.1# doeling. I checked inside Marlyn to see if she was done and she was. She drank down several gallons of hot molasses water and had a snack of alfalfa and Goat Chow. She is doing great. The kids are terrific.
And We're Off - With China Leading The Way
China Doll/Spice Boy
3/4/12 Last night China didn't settle in to sleep. She stood at the barn door and looked towards the milking parlor, then moved to stand on the riser along the manger, then went over to eat some hay, over to the water tank, and back to stare at the milking parlor door. Around and around, all night long. Since her milk was coming in and her ligaments getting very loose, I knew that today would be the day.
I put China in a kidding pen around noon. She proceeded to dig a nest, flinging dirt and straw everywhere. By 1:30PM she had one hoof pushed out. I cleaned up her backside and my hands and arms, put on nitrile gloves, lubricated my hand, and did a check inside of China to see where the rest of the kid was. I felt the head in the birth canal but no second leg. I reached in a bit further, found the other leg, and pulled it forward. Soon a 7.1# doeling was born. She is black with a flurry of white spots, red trim, and black ears. She was feisty and raring to go. Amanda, a friend of ours and my "birthing buddy", is here for a few days to help us kick off this year's kiddings. She took over cleaning and drying the newborn. Then we weighed her, clipped her navel cord, and dipped the navel cord in iodine. China didn't seem interested in getting on with birthing the next kid so I milked some of her colostrum into a bottle and David got her fed.
After a long wait China started pushing again. Finally another doeling emerged. She also weighed 7.1#. She also got dried, her navel cord clipped and dipped, and fed.
After another long wait I gave China a drench of MFO Solution - a mixture of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and potassium - to help her have stronger contractions. She fussed around, laid down, got up, dug another nest, looked uncomfortable. I cleaned up, gloved up, and reached inside of her uterus to find the last kid. He reluctantly was born. He weighed 7.5# and quickly decided that being out with his sisters wasn't too bad - especially once he got fed.
China looks great, the kids are amazingly vigorous and sturdy. A great way to start our kidding season!
2/27/12 There is no denying the inevitable. Our barn is full of heavily pregnant girls that are planning on losing their loads soon and letting us do the babysitting. We are working hard to get ready for the onslaught.
My name is Kathryn and I'm the goat herd manager here at Black Mesa Ranch. My husband, David, is the cheese maker. Since this is a two person operation we also wear many other hats. In addition to working with the goats, I keep the website updated, care for the cows, chickens, peafowl, ducks, and dogs, plus oversee the ranch business (which is just a more polite way of saying that I boss David around). Besides working hard as the cheese maker, David is the ranch maintenance man, sales manager, pig-slopper, product packaging expert, welder, gardener, computer wizard, road grader, feed hauler, and all ‘round good guy. He is also a trained gourmet chef and does all the cooking!! In what little extra time he has he does pen and ink sketches, or digital art, of the goats, landscape, and buildings of Black Mesa Ranch. He is an awesomely nice, and talented, guy.
Our goats are a great bunch and work hard throughout the year making milk for David to turn into cheese. At this time most of our does are pregnant and should kid between now and the end of May. The girls are all looking great, acting great, and eating us out of house and home.
David and I are excited to meet the new kids. I hope that you enjoy reading about our adventures as those kids come into the world.
BMR Goat Herd Manager
More Early Babies
2/12/12 As I mentioned before, we didn’t want any babies until March. But what we want and where life ends up taking us are not always in agreement. Today we got to meet our two new Jacob’s Pride doelings. They are both gorgeous and should make awesome additions to our herd. Since they are the only goat kids around right now, we suspect they will be ultra spoiled before too long. How could we resist?
We thank Debbie, of Jacob's Pride Nubians, for allowing these lovely girls to come to our ranch.
1/3/12 David and I decided that we didn't want to have babies born in January or February due to the cold weather. So we bred our goats to start kidding in March. However, Anatolian Mattie had other plans. Before coming to join the Black Mesa Ranch gang last November, she snuck in a "play date" with an Akbash LGD named Zeki at her breeder's place. No one, except Mattie and Zeki, realized how seriously they were "playing". A few weeks after Mattie arrived here I began to suspect that I had gotten more than I bargained for. Mattie's vulva was swollen and her teats were starting to show.
Having never whelped a litter before, I did lots of research. I learned that a dog's temperature will drop right before she whelps. Since I didn't know the breeding date I monitored her temperature twice a day for over a month. But on the morning of January 3rd I didn't have to check her temperature to know that today was the day. Just like with goats about to kid, her body language spoke quite loudly. So I went to put her in the whelping pen that we had made in the goat barn. Mattie was used to sleeping in there so she didn't mind. However I did notice that the ammonia level in the barn was high. Usually when I notice the ammonia I sprinkle the bedding liberally with baking soda then put down a new deep layer of straw. But the baking soda (which we get in 50# bags) was still on backorder. Being worried about the new little puppy lungs that would soon be breathing this air, I asked David if he could do a blitz cleaning of the barn.
The loafing area of our barn is about 1400 sq ft and requires the tractor to move out the feed bunks, then the loader to remove the bedding. It is about a 5 hour job. But David is a great guy and immediately got to work. I raked out Mattie's whelping area and got it newly strawed and ready for her. I wasn't too worried about her since everything I read said that dogs usually whelp at night. OK, I was actually a bit concerned since the things I read also said to have a calm, quiet place for the dog to whelp or she might stop having contraction and need a C-section. Well, the barn that day was FAR from calm or quiet, and while I cleaned the pen Mattie lay under the manger working on whelping her first pup. It was 3 o'clock in the afternoon - so much for nighttime whelping! As soon as I let Mattie back into her newly cleaned pen, even though the tractor was still making runs back and forth in the goat area, Mattie laid down and pushed out her first puppy. In fact, she had three pups born before we finished cleaning the barn. This girl was one cool cucumber!
Over the next 10 hours she whelped a total of 9 puppies. Healthy, active, and FAT. I'm used to goat kids that are pretty much just skin and bones when they are born, gangly and long-legged. These pups were squiggly fat sausages! They all weighed about 1 pound each and quickly figured out how to latch on to mama for their first meal. Even though we had a heating pad and heat lamps set up for these crazy pups that where born in single digit temps, they didn't want anything to do with that luxury. They crawled to the other end of the pen and let mom warm them with her body. David even stayed out with the newborn pups all night in the freezing temperatures to be sure they were OK, but those silly pups never did want supplemental heat - other than their mom's, that is.
All the pups are doing great and Mattie seems quite pleased with herself.Mattie with her newborn pups
Bucklings must be preordered!
Click here to place a deposit or payment. Be sure to discuss your selection with Kathryn first.
Click here to email Kathryn or call her at (928) 536-7759 for more information on how to reserve the kids of your choice. If you are not sure about which kids might work best for your herd Kathryn would be delighted to discuss this with you.
The above listed prices are for reserved kids. Prices for kids purchased after they are born may be higher. Updates to our Goats for Sale page are posted regularly.
We try to limit reservations to two doelings and two bucklings from each breeding on Senior does, and one doeling from each breeding on Junior does. If you are interested in getting a kid from a doe that is already "booked up" let us know and we can put you on a waiting list.
Occasionally a different buck will be used than is listed. Reservations on these breedings can be honored, changed, or deposits refunded at the buyer's request.
For more information on how to use the above breeding chart click here
Prices and Policies
We offer fine Nubian Kids and Goats for sale from time to time. All of our Nubians are purebred and can be sold registered.
Goat Sales Prices
- Registered Does and Bucks $400 and up
- Doe Kids and Buck Kids with Registration Application $300 and up
(10% Discount on purchases of 5 or more kids from this category)
- Unregistered Bucks $200 and up
- Wethers $100 and up
Goat Sales Policies
We require a $100 deposit per reserved kid with the balance due within 7 days of the birth of the kid. If payment is not received within that time the buyer will forfeit their deposit money. Prices for reserved kids are for kids picked up by 3 weeks of age. After 3 weeks of age reserved kids will incur an additional $7.00 per day boarding charge. This is due to the cost of feeding the kids our pure fresh goat milk (instead of us being able to make cheese from the milk). While all reasonable care is taken to ensure the health and safety of the kids, Black Mesa Ranch will not be responsible for sickness or death of a reserved kid after it is three weeks old.
Deposits are refunded if your choice of kid is not born or if the kid is not up to our standards of quality. Deposits will not be refunded on cancelled orders. Refunds on deposits paid by credit card may incur a transaction fee. We will honor all reservations for kids to the best of our ability, however we do reserve the right to retain any kid as a replacement in our breeding program.
All goats are guaranteed free of CAE and CL. They are also all G6S Normal and carry the double high casein protein gene for better cheese making. All of our kids are sold disbudded. Any kids purchased as wethers will be castrated (banded) before leaving the property unless other arrangements are made and a refundable deposit given. There is a $20 fee for any replacement registration paperwork.
We prefer all kids and goats to be picked up at the ranch though other arrangements can be made.
Airport runs by BMR for shipping kids by air are $200 due to the 10 hour round trip from the ranch to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Buyers wanting to fly their kids are also responsible for having an appropriate shipping crate delivered to the ranch at least one week prior to ship date, and for reserving the flight (Flight Schedule must be approved by BMR first). Buyer is responsible for the cost of the flight, the crate, the health certificate, and the airport run. Due to airline heat restrictions for flying, we may not be able to fly kids after May 1st (earlier if a heat wave comes in).
If you are interested in buying a goat, please contact us for availability (or to be put on our waiting list) by emailing Kathryn or calling (928) 536-7759.
Sale prices, terms and conditions subject to change prior to sale confirmation.