Monday, March 12, 2012

New baby goats!

I'm starting to think that every spring might start off with a surprise from the goats. No sooner were the words "I meant to breed for spring kids, but I'm kind of glad I didn't" out of my mouth than I realized that Cowalily was not only pregnant but due at any moment! I did breed her in the fall, once, on a complete whim, but I didn't think it 'took'. She was with the buck for maybe all of 2 minutes. I was trying to breed the pygoras around the same time, and they were with the buck for days and no one is bred so far. I think my pygora buck is more slow-maturing than the nigerian dwarves, though, so I'm going to try again soon. Anyway, Lily hasn't been looking or acting pregnant so I assumed she wasn't, as she was with a buck for 3 weeks along with the other girls last year and she was the only one who turned up not pregnant in the spring. On thursday when I was worming the goats, I noticed that she seemed oddly subdued so while I had her cornered I checked her udder. It was definitely squishy and more prominent! I ran to the house to check my calender for her due date, and I had it written down as March 6-11th. It was the 8th! I immediately separated her from the other goats and got ready for the official babywatch. I started doing barn checks every 1-2 hours, even through the night, an exhausting process. Thankfully she didn't hold out for too long, and on the saturday evening she went into labor around 10pm and produced two beautiful kids, one buck and one doe.

It was a textbook perfect kidding, and Lily was a great mom, immediately getting to work cleaning off the kids and encouraging them to nurse. Even with me helping her clean the kids off, they started to get chilled before we could get them completely dry. The doeling was too cold to even try to nurse, so I brought everyone - Lily, too - into the house to get warm. It wasn't that cold out, but I knew that the doeling needed to get warm and dry before her body could handle a night outside. We didn't have anywhere to confine them in the house, so I just had goats loose in the living room. It's a good thing we have hardwood floors! I moved everyone back out the barn once it warmed up in the morning, and they've now spent a night out on their own just fine. The doeling likes to crawl under the milk stand and make herself little nests in the hay to sleep in, and she has a handknit wool sweater to help keep her warm.

The buckling is very dark black, a surprise as neither of his parents are! He's vigorous and alert and already taking a few experimental hops here and there.

Their sire is one of our kids from last year! Hard to believe one of those little fuzzballs is already a proud papa.

I'm pretty thrilled that I'll have fresh milk again soon. And having ridiculously cute little goats to cuddle isn't too bad either.