September 24, 2007. We had not planned to breed this year, but changed our mind when we got our new buck “Elvis” on May 12th. Zoë was bred to him sometime between the end of May and beginning of June. I actually wrote it down, but lost the barn records for those two weeks. UPDATE: Zoë kidded on October 19th, 2007. Her kidding was uneventful and she had one buckling and one doeling.
Zoe’s 1st Kidding – 2006
Age: 1 y 1m
1st Freshening: Gestation 146 days; 2 bucklings
Due Date: April 7, 2006 Kidded on April 3, 2006
Udder shots, 1 month fresh
Sire: Pepper, our unregistered blue-eyed Nigerian Dwarf buck
Dam: Zoë is a 75% recorded grade doe
DD: U-Say Ranch Lightning Bolt
DS: Sire: N.AZ. Anatolians Keci’s Bambi is a registered American buck
Awesome birth! Zoë did so wonderful. Both boys are doing great.
About 7:30 this morning I milked Dani, and I thought Zoë looked like she could be in early labor. She had that “zen” look about her, standing as still as a statue, stargazing. The rest of the herd was wandering around nibbling on the remainders of breakfast, drinking water, lying around chewing cud.
Here are some pictures of Zoë. I’m not so good at reading the ligaments, as far as I can tell, Brooke’s were GONE a few days ago, I can put my fingers right around her tailbone. Zoë’s seemed to be gone, too. Anyway, another telltale sign that birth is imminent is when they get a hollow look in their side. You can see that here in Zoë; the time on this photograph is 8:45am.
8:46am Zoë was pretty well bagged up, too.
8:48am Here’s a few shots of her concentrating. Brooke is concentrating, too, but no action on her part. Brooke’s due on the 5th.
So I kept going in and out checking on Zoë. Finally at about 10:10am, my ds hollered “What’s she doing out there? Is she kidding?” I went out to take a look at Zoë and she was in the barn.
Dh went to get water. Ds and I sat with Zoë for a few minutes and then he said to call him on his cell phone if she starts kidding. I told him I would. Before dh got back from the well, both kids had been born!
10:20am Right after ds went back in the house, she start pushing and I could tell the baby was starting to make its way through the birth canal, so I called him and told him he’d better hurry. He came running out, with his camcorder to tape the blessed event.
Zoë stood through a couple of more pushes, and one hoof was coming out. I know by now that as long as a mouth presents with the one hoof, one hoof is perfectly fine (two hooves is best, everyone says). So I didn’t bother to consider assisting at this point. Here is a picture after she laid down and you can see the kid’s foot and mouth and tongue. She pushed several times and I finally helped a tiny bit by pushing back a little bit on her vulva and then pulling ever so slightly on the one foot that was presented. Within seconds he was born.
As you can see by this next picture, the second buckling was born within 5 minutes of the first one.
Wow. She did so great. She let me milk her, and I got the black and white boy to suck on the bottle, no problem. But the little brown and white boy acts like I’m abusing him. I tried several more times throughout the day, but he just won’t cooperate. I was hoping to get them to take the bottle a few times, it seems to help them to be more people friendly.
And here is the little family. Not even one hour old and the little guys are up and about, all dried off and nursing great.
May 3, 2006 Wednesday
Zoë’s udder at one month freshened. We separate the dams from their kids overnight. We had separated Zoë at 6pm and we took these pictures just before milking at 5am.
I am not milking her out all the way because her kids are only one month old. The most I’ve gotten was on Monday, when I took 3.3 pounds. This morning I took 2.6 pounds. Here is what her udder looks like after taking nearly 3 pounds of milk.
Lightning’s 2nd Kidding – 2005
Age: 1 year, 11 months
2nd Freshening Gestation 149 days; 2 doelings
1st Gestation 149 days; 1 buckling, 1 doeling
March 18, 2005 Day after Lightning gives birth.
Sire: N.AZ. Anatolians Keci’s Bambi is a registered American buck
SD: Az High Country Spotty is a registered American doe
SS: Ragels Ziegenhof Keci is a Purebred Nubian
Dam: Lightning is a 50% recorded grade doe
DD: U-Say Ranch Dallas [DS: AZ Apache Valley Joseph DD: AZ Apache Vales Thelma]
DS: Jacobs Pride Peanut [DS: Six M Galaxy Milanis Pistachio DD: Six M Galaxy Aisha 5*M]
I’m very proud to share our latest birth story with all of you.
I’ve been home from work this week, on birth watch for our two does. Dallas already kidded on Sunday, and we’ve been waiting for Lightning to kid.
Lightning seemed uncomfortable last night. Grinding her teeth, yawning, stretching. But there was only a little bit of discharge. No “copious” amounts. So we got the baby monitor set up and went to bed. I set my alarm for 2am, but didn’t sleep well, fretting about Lightning. I got up before the alarm went off, and went out to check on her. I had to go into work for a few hours and decided to go ahead and leave right away, thinking maybe she would wait until I arrived home several hours later. I felt she was going to kid soon, in spite of there still being little discharge.
I got 20 minutes away from home and my cell phone rings. My ds says, “Can you hear this?” He puts the phone by the baby monitor and I hear this god-awful screaming, grunting, growling, moaning, roaring. I know the sounds well! It was Miss Lightning pushing out a kid!!!!!! I found the nearest turnaround (I was on the highway) and dashed back home as quickly as I could. Speed limit in town is 35mph, I did a bit over that (shhhh! don’t tell!) and drove at 80 once on the highway again. About 8 minutes back toward home I got a call that she’d had one kid. I got home in about 15 minutes, parked outside the gate, let myself in and rushed into the house to get some warm water with molasses, the camera, a towel, newspaper — things I knew were not with the kidding kit.
I rushed out to the barn and found she had just pushed out the second kid. This second one has a beautiful white belt across her back and chest. Just gorgeous. Notice Lightning’s matching belt across her left side.
I stuck around a while and helped dry off kids, milked mom and tried to get the kids to take the bottle, no dice. They were screaming indignantly. We had already decided to let the dams raise their kids this year, but I wanted to get the babies to take a bottle first just in case we would need to give them a bottle.
We feel so blessed and thrilled to have these two little girls. With their genetics, they should make awesome milkers. Their granddam gives 2 gallons a day, the genetics on the dam side are heavy milkers with lots of stars.
AND it was an uneventful birth!!! We did not force Lightning to dry up; we continued to milk her until she dried off by herself naturally on her 121st day of pregnancy (gestation is 150 days).
Notice how Zoë’s standing on her back legs. She is not standing on them properly. Irene Ramsay said she should straighten out within a few days, and she did. Note in the picture dated 4-17-5 how straight she is standing on her legs.
July 25th, 2005. Lightning’s doelings are a bit skittish, so we have started working with them on the milking stand. Both doelings come out of the kid pen with the dam, while she is being milked. They are both doing well. I am also training them to allow me to lift their feet while on the stand, so I can do hoof trims more easily.
August 29th, 2005. Zoë’s udder started feeling thicker about 3 days ago. I wrote for opinions on Holistic Goats, and Irene Ramsay is the only one that responded. She said we may need to milk Zoë out, especially if her udder is swollen and tight. Well, it was not swollen and tight, but there was a pea-sized nodule at the top of her left teat, so I decided to see if there was anything in her udder. She has milk in there! Irene calls an unbred doe, a maiden milker. It was very difficult to milk her, I could not direct the milk into the can I was using at all. The tiniest streams of milk came out, and her teats are very small yet. They are maybe an inch long, and about as big around as a drinking straw. I decided to milk her out in the afternoon as well. Now she thinks she should live with the big girls, because she’s a milker. 😉
We decided to allow Lightning’s doelings to continue nursing until they are six months old. Irene says they need the milk in order to become good milkers. There are also a couple of books that make this recommendation.
November 12, 2005. Lightning and her eight month old doelings. We did allow the doelings to nurse until they were six months old, and then kept them from their dam for 6 weeks or so. We tried putting them back in with their dam at a couple of weeks, but they kept nursing and she let them. But now they are totally weaned and living with the adult does.
We have decided to not breed Lightning this year, but are going to see how she does “milking through”. It is very common (in the US) to breed one’s does every single year. But some believe (folks who live in other countries) it is hard on the doe to produce kids every single year, and some believe the doe produces as much or more milk (if she is capable of “milking through”; this will be dependent on her milking background) if she is not bred every single year. Some people find it more advantageous to breed their does every single year, especially if they are into showing and have very high quality purebred stock. When they can command $400 for a kid, it makes economical sense to produce many kids every year. Plus, having kids every year gives the chance to see if you can produce a champion.
However, we are not into showing, and our does are recorded grade. They are registered, but they are not purebred.
Lightning’s next kidding will not be until Spring, 2007.
UPDATE: We changed our minds; Lightning was bred to Bambi and her due date is April 26th, 2006. Read Lightning’s Kidding for 2006.