Our first PLANNED kidding by our second freshening dam Apple and her sire Fireball was Monday afternoon. Apple had a quick and smooth labor and the birth went great. I was terrified when I saw two little white hooves emerge in the pale-yellow liquid bubble while Apple groaned—and hilariously ate hay between pushes.
In December we had a surprise kidding by her sister, Candy, who was unknowingly bred just a week prior to purchase. We were concerned Apple would do the same but she held out.
Apple had shown signs of heat twice. One heat set her due day on Valentine’s Day and the other on St. Patrick’s Day by chance—an odd coincidence indeed!
The dates were easy to remember. She ended up kidding the day after St. Patrick’s Day. Now, if you listen closely you can hear my own horn tooting here—as a first year goat mama I think that’s a damn good feat to place her due date so closely.
Apple had healthy, happy, waggling-tailed, twin does who we brought inside for bottle feedings immediately. The photos with the pink and orange obscenely ugly barn blanket were taken within minutes of birth.
Apple has been milked four times daily to mimic kids nursing throughout the day. She produced a great amount of colostrum and her milk is thick and rich with the good stuff her twin need for their best start.
Bottle feeding was planned for many reasons. It creates a human bond which helps them mind better (accept in the case of Easy Girl) and reduces the chances physical harm in the stall. A few days have passed and her milk has gradually thinned and she’s beginning to increse production. These udder photos were taken were taken today 3/20 three day post-kidding. I will continue to milk four times daily through this week.
The goats all reside in a little barn. Their humble home is small, just a 20×8-foot and built for our first-year starter herd which they are quickly outgrowing. We have high hopes to sell a house we own abutting our property to build a beautiful barn with the proceeds. Until then, we are keeping all the does in about 1/3 of the barn with their own private fenced run.
The goats are all shut in at night but it’s still too cool this time of year for teeny vulnerable kids even if we did house them separately with their dam by further dividing the already small space. We do have other places they could be—but it’s not the plan. I enjoy the bonding time, even if it includes midnight feeding.
My amazing husband snuck out of bed the first night and fed them without waking me. Upon approaching them with the bottle they cried and woke me anyhow. I woke up and tried to slip out of the bed without walking Kevin—but he was gone. We had a good chuckle over it. He is a wonderful goat dad. I think I’ll keep him! After all, he agreed to having gaots walk us down the dirt road “isle” to the duck pond were we married last April. This April we are excepting LOTS of kids—with three pregnant does to go.
The little sweethearts look like their sire—moon-spotted and rusty reddish-brown. Their dam is much taller than the others here in our herd. Fireball, their sire is showy, spunky, sweet and smart in the photos below. We are selling the doe with the pink nose and smaller spots. They are pure Nubian and will be disbudded and registered. For those interested, we are open to letting a prospective new goat steward name this doeling prior to registration for a $200 deposit. We are selling her for $400 firm, and are not interested in trades.