ANZ's Farms

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Oh, My!

All I wanted was milk from my does. A little breeding, a couple kids apiece and we're good to go ... right? That was the plan. A good plan. In retrospect, maybe a naive and inexperienced plan!
Last fall as the autumn air became crisp and cool, herd queen Mamma dried off. As Little One had never freshened, she was a mouth to feed with no contribution to the homestead except being sweet and adorable. So, to have both does in milk come spring, they needed to be bred. Enter Charly, our buck. All went well last September and both does became pregnant. Yeah! They remained healthy as I carefully balanced enough food to meet the demands on their bodies without overfeeding them into difficult deliveries. A mineral block was always available to prevent a copper deficiency that may have contributed to Mamma's stillborn kids delivered prematurely last year.

150 days later, each would have a couple of kids, about half doelings. We would have milk again, the doelings would be easy to sell, and the bucklings would become living brush hogs. Then reality happened Tuesday afternoon. Mamma, pictured above, delivered SIX ... yes 6 healthy kids, all bucklings except for one small doeling. So much for plan A. Labor was difficult with the first being a large kid with a breech presentation. She rested 4 hours after that ordeal, giving us cause for concern that her labor was not progressing. A bowl of warm molasses water did the trick, and within 30 minutes we had 4 more. There was hardly time to get one dried off before she started pushing again. One of those was also breech, but since it was smaller she had an easier time pushing it out. We thought all was done, and were marveling at 5 babies, when pushing began again. A 6th was born! The hour was late, we had been in the goat shed 8 hours, on our knees, cold most of the time, and we didn't know whether to laugh or cry. We chose giddy laughter.

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