Sunday, May 8, 2011

Goat Kids are healthy and strong

My goat kids are really growing like weeds. Everyone is healthy and strong. It's interesting to see the different qualities of the babes from the three mothers. All total I have 8 kids out of the three does, two being two years old and one is a first year freshener. Excellent stock so far, I am very impressed.

One of the more humorous parts of this whole experience is well, experience. This is our third year of having goats, second year in milk. I'm getting an average of 2.5 gallons of milk from the three does and it's my understanding that is pretty darn good for such young goats. They will come into their prime between 4-6 years. The two older ladies are only half dairy so it's even more impressive. The young doeling is mostly Nubian as her sire was a full blooded Nubian. Mom and her sister are 1/4 La Mancha, 1/4 Nubian and 1/2 Boer. So all in all, I'm very pleased.

On to the humor part. Last year, we kept two young bucks. One as a sire and one as his companion wether. Sandy, the two horned goat below is supposed to be the wether. Supposed to I say because this spring I noticed something. He had a testicle. Just one. But it explains why he and Shane, the sire had such horrific battle in the pen last fall. I was so baffled!! We castrated him (we thought) and we READ that the whethers have no interest in the rut!

It turns out that we did not get both of the little buddies when we banded him last year. One of the little buddies slipped right up and away to hide. Just to come back down later when it was safe to do so. Once we noticed that we thought well now, who is the father of all these kids?? It's my understanding that the one balled boys usually can't impregnate, but I know my luck. Sheesh.

SHANE - the unicorn and SANDY the "wether"

The second humorous story is our abysmal failure at dehorning last year. Remember, this was our first year of having to do any of this stuff. We bought our first three kids all done up and taken care of. Buck intact and all dehorned beautifully. Not only did none of our dehorning work, we have a buck, Shane, who is a Unicorn. We have poor Sandy, the supposed whether having had the bad experience of having to be dehorned twice...and he has two big horns. That poor boy has been run through the ringer of our learning process. I feel so sorry for him. He's such a sweet boy. Actually both of the boys are super sweet. I just will not go in that pen with them. They are so big and they just LOVE you to death. Gentle rubs and pushes just about ran me through the wall a few months back so I'm just not going in there again without a prod. As sweet as they are, they are goats after all. Wow! Sadly, we can't keep Sandy and he's no good as a buck, or at least that anyone would buy on a chance. So he will be in the freezer here soon.

SANDY - the supposed "wether" and dehorned, twice.

JASMINE and FAUNA on the left, wanting their bottle. JASMINE'S brother AB1 (he's going to the freezer in fall, can't name food) is to the right. Kids are 10 weeks old here. The two girls are my house girls that started out life with bottle. I'm feeding them a little longer than the other kids that I weaned at 8 weeks.

FAUNA my sweet little "heart" girl. She has a perfect little heart on her back. I love this baby. She will be a keeper of course :-)

Kids in the barn at about 6 weeks old. Learning how to battle it out for the grain feed. The black one is our new whether named Christopher (after a good friend of ours) He will hopefully replace Sandy as the companion wether to the buck, Shane (his daddy I presume)

A bunch of curious babies!

More curious kid pictures. It's kind of like having human kids. Once I have pictures I can't stand it. I have to share all of them. It was difficult to figure out which ones to leave and which to post. I behaved and did these...few. :-)

More posts to come with the milk and cheese!


Megan said...

I just love reading your posts! We are in the same learning curve here.
Our buck, Oreo, that lived in the house for severalmonths is also a one horned boy. We disbudded ourselves and had several get scur buds, hauled them all to another goat farm to re-burn. Wouldn't let them do Oreo in case of a bad outcome. Ended up with single scurs on 2 of the doelings. Oh well. This year, took first 2 kids to a vet to have them burned, well, guess what? BOTH have scurs! So, Gus did the second set of twins, and luckily no regrowth this time. Three does left to kid, should be the end of the month or so.

We have

christine_wasankari said...

Thanks Megan! I'm so glad to know I'm not the only person who owns a unicorn buck LOL!

We did our own disbudding last year too and I have video of it. Oh man, it was horrifying and we actually kind of argued and fought. Not a good time to fuss when trying to get this done. But we are animal lovers and we hate to hurt them. As you know though, it's dangerous to have horned goats, not just for us but for the other goats. I don't get why people do that, but that's just me. I don't want to have to pay vet bills all the time for all the awful injuries.

It was HORRIBLE to watch Sandy and Shane fight last year. Those two went at it just like the big horn sheep rams you see on the nature shows. It was absolutely awful. So unfortunately, Sandy is going to have to go the way of the freezer. We cannot have two bucks together :-( And once again, the poor boy, we disbudded him TWICE (he screamed bloody murder) and it still didn't work.

What did work this year was we bought a baby box to hold them in, though I still had the hold them in the box, but it was very helpful to have the box. Plus my husband kept the iron on longer this time, up to 7 seconds on each go around. Everyone but one had it work this time, thank goodness. We will have a scur but if luck hold out it will be a weak scur and falls off with heavy rubbing. I hope. LOL

Egad, what an experience this has been! I sure love the milk and cheese though. And I'm just crazy enough to say I may keep all 5 of the new doelings. o.O