Friday, March 29, 2013

Bittersweet Endings & New Beginnings

I’m happy to announce my 2013 kidding season is officially over! This year was a bit bittersweet. Welcoming the newest additions into the world was great, but each new arrival was just one more kid my mom couldn’t “Oooo & Ahhh” over with me.

I missed the smell of her overly sweet coffee (usually her 7th or 8th cup, lol) while I sat in the barn with laboring does.....There was no excited chatter about what may be coming and there wasn’t an extra set of hands and reassurance in the more stressful times. My first kidding season without her, and I missed her dearly. I had hoped that as time passed her absence would be easier to bear, but the reality of it all is the void she left behind will never be filled.

On that note, I made some rather large changes this year. I will no longer be raising Alpines. I grew up with the breed and have really enjoyed them, but going through my mother’s goat book with all of our Alpine plans is painful. You would think I’d want to continue on with all we had talked about, but the reality is, I have no desire to do it without her.

So, all the Alpine kids were sold; a total of 2 doelings, 4 bucklings and 2 grown does.
Bleuberry, my big silly goober who has starred in her own post more than once here on my blog, stays. She’s a rotten mess with an affinity for biting strangers all while doing her fabulous “devil goat” impersonation, so I just couldn’t part with her.

549864_10200174254853546_1428745250_n                                    The Last Alpine, Bleuberry
When one chapter ends, another must always begin……. Though I can’t believe I’m saying it, we have more Nubians! Years ago I owned a few… HATED them! Loud, obnoxious, dumb, annoying animals who didn’t produce worth a flip. Sold them and swore I’d never, ever do that again! But, ya know what they say about never saying never…
Last year we bought my daughter a little Nubian doeling for her 7th birthday. Miss Rosie changed my once foul opinion on Nubians. She’s quiet, calm, easy going, sweet as pie and smart. Nothing ever phases this goat and she’s very happy to go along with whatever you’d like her to do.

644620_4975733785591_545783982_n                               Rosie-Posie chewing her cud.
Rosie was bred to TLC Farms Mr. Beau Jangles and kidded on March 8th with a big, beautiful red roan buck kid and a very feminine, sweet blue roan doeling…
301661_10200170297354611_1899211645_n                            Rosie’s twins- Red roan buckling, “Lucky” & blue roan doeling, “Bonny”
Keeping with the flower name theme, we named the blue doeling Bonny, short for Bluebonnet. The buck had a rough time getting here, and for a lil bit I thought I’d be pulling a dead kid, so hubby dubbed him “Lucky” when he came into the world yelling his protest.

Typically I get rid of extra buck kids quickly, but this lil guy is such a handsome man, we decided to keep him as a companion to the buck kid we reserved..

Which brings us to Roco:

487893_10200185750340926_527733891_n                             Prairie Nights Midnight Rococo
228932_10200185764461279_533743957_n                           Showing off some of Roco’s little spots
Roco hails from Old Paths Homestead in Oklahoma. We are very thankful that Jana trusted this stunning boy into our care. His dam is Hoanbu PB Pure Graffiti…. She is such a lovely, correct doe and she has one of the easiest to milk udders I’ve ever milked. His sire is heavy on the Goldthwaite lines and I’m very excited to add these genetics into our little herd.

306007_10200236269883883_884422626_n                   Noodleville’s Nubians: Bonny, Roco & Lucky
544521_10200194474919035_328472133_n                               Roco channeling his inner artist.. Got a bit of green tattoo ink perfectly around his eye
One bonus to Nubian kids that you don’t get with other breeds is the EARS! I have had such a fun time snapping pics of flying ears, though this one of Bonny has to be my favorite:

486114_10200169421692720_450996509_n                           Airborne Bonny
IMG_20130325_114406_237                              Flying ears: Roco, Lucky & Bonny
523421_10200242738765601_225909084_n                             Lucky, Bonny & Roco playing “King of the dirt pile”
We have one more Nubian doeling due to arrive from Buttercup Acres in a few weeks and then we’ll be done adding new stock for the year.

And of course I had some lovely Lamancha kids born too, but my keeper kid from that batch is so stinking cute, she deserves her very own post!

Until next time… Happy kidding to those of y’all who aren’t finished yet… While y’all camp out with your does, I am very thankful for my nights of uninterrupted sleep. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Chain Reactions & Late Night Dashes

I had this swell plan last year that I wanted to get all of my kiddings done within a month...

When kids aren't even conceived yet, this is a sound, idealistic theory. When you have does back to back kidding, no helpers, limited towels (just 5 measly towels available for kidding) and 500 other things going on at once, it's not the brightest plan I've concocted. Either way, the deed is done, so onward we go!

Due to Bleuberry going WAY past her due date last year and giving me a monster of a buck kid that was brutal getting out, I decided I'd induce this year right before the due date and hopefully prevent freaks of nature from slithering out of her womb.

Late night shot of Dexamethasone & Lute and like clock work about 36 hours later on February 28th, we're in labor.

Like Star, we had a day time kidding in beautiful weather. 8lb twins, a super flashy, uniquely colored buck kid and a splashy little doeling:


Bleuberry’s flashy buck kid


Bleuberry’s twins. Doe kid on left, buckling on right


Bleuberry’s precious doeling.

Ginger, a mothering fiend, LOVES babies... Her antics last year almost cost me my darling Tricks thanks to her barging in and stealing the lil Lamancha buckling from first time momma Casper, while Tricks laid in her sack on the barn floor, forgotten in the confusion. Miss Ginger was VERY curious about Bleuberry during her labor... Would stare at her, poke her head in and baby talk to her and spent a great deal of time pacing in front of the barn while we delivered babies. Finally ran her off and much to my surprise, she decided to stay out of the way and go lay down by herself. I honestly didn't think of her much during the hustle and bustle of the day.

Apparently I should have paid better attention though! Bleu's laboring obviously set off a chain reaction in my goat pen....Despite still having her ligaments and showing no signs of impending labor and despite my doubts that she was even bred, Ginger was actually in labor...... I had FINALLY finished up everything on my 2 mile long to-do list and just wanted to crawl in bed. Decided to take one last peak around the barn first and color me surprised when I find Ginger in the process of cleaning a brand new baby!


Ginger’s big buck kid

Snap the lil one up and run him inside (completely soiling my PJ's in the process) and run back out to deal with Ginger. And when I say run, I do mean run! We don't have proper gates up yet so there isn't a real efficient way to get into the goat pen, so that night I did quite a bit of dashing through the dark...

Anywho, I get back out to Ginger and she's just standing there. Since I highly doubted she was pregnant anyways, and the kid I took in was good sized, I'm betting she's done.

Of course with goats you NEVER, EVER assume anything, so I decided to bounce her once to see if I could feel any babies... So I wrap my arms around her, right in front of the udder and pull swiftly up and much to my surprise something dark rockets out of the barn and flies a good 3ft or 4ft before hitting the grass and sliding even further!

OMG! WTH was that?!?! Of course if a mass goes propelling out of your goat, even if it is pitch black outside, you must run after it! When I finally caught up to the unidentified flying goat mass, I was quite shocked to see it was the cutest lil scrap of a buckling! His brother was in the 10+lb range and this lil dude was right around 6lbs... I dubbed him "the left overs".



Ginger’s tiny buckling, dubbed “The Leftovers”

I must say, airborne kids are certainly a new one for me! I can also proudly say that I ran through the dark, in pajamas covered in birth fluids, chasing and scrambling after a flying, sliding newborn goat kid and I didn't even trip!!!

Quite the accomplishment if I do say say so myself.


Yes, the fast, easy labor and rocketing kids was great fun and all, but the work afterwards just sucked. After tending to momma, heat treating colostrum, getting a few days of milk pasteurized for 4 new bottle babies, and cleaning up the nastier bits of the mess I tracked into my kitchen, it was 3:30am before I even got in the shower...... At that exact moment I really started thinking my fabulous idea to kid everyone out back to back wasn't so great...

As I type this though I can't complain. All 4 lil ones have since gone to their new homes. 3 all went together just a couple days after their birth.




Shayla with Bleu’s doeling. “Noodle” to the right, & Houdini in the background as always..

I was so sleepy, I truly didn’t think very far into the future when I sold the first 3 kids… Goats being the herd animals that they are, do not do well alone. A newborn kid alone with no one to snuggle with for warmth is simply not acceptable. So once Bleu’s twins and “The Leftovers” left, I was stuck with Ginger’s buck kid, now aptly named “Noodle”.

Noodle became a kitchen goat. Slept in a crate with Karma, our Chinese Crested, and took his potty breaks with the dogs. Poor lil guy, I do believe we gave him an identity crisis….. He left on Wednesday but I managed to snap a few pictures of him hanging out with Jasper. Little Noodle had such a great time following him around like a tiny shadow and using him as a launching platform to bounce off of…




Jasper took his baby sitting duties quite well, though I do admit he seemed very relieved when all the babies were finally gone.

We get a tiny break, Nubian kids from Rosie are up next, due March 9th with Lamancha kids right on their heels on the 14th…. Cross your fingers for doelings for me! So far, I’m at 5 bucks, 1 doe kid born…. These numbers MUST even out soon!!