Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Baby Goats

We had quite the week! Two of our pregnant does, Snow Flurry and Cookie, both decided to kid at the same time! Yep, within the same hour we had two goats delivering babies. It was so exciting! First, Cookie had twins...two handsome and healthy bucklings. The first one she had is one of the finest looking goat kids we have ever seen. He is multi-colored with bright blue eyes and excellent conformation. We are strongly considering keeping him as a buck. The boys named him Boone (as in Daniel), but affectionately call him, "Boonie". Her second boy is also fine looking, having a white coat with a black stripe down his back and salt and pepper dappleing around his eyes. His name is Crockett (as in Davy). While she was licking them off, her mother, Snow Flurry, barely made it into her kidding stall before delivering her first baby, a pure white little girl. The girls named her Snow White. Her second one, Boulder, came while I ran to the farm store to grab a few things that we realized we were out of. (Not expecting this many babies at once!) He is also pure white. Then the tradgedy struck...her third one needed help. It was breech and in a very bad position. David had to pull it out and to our great sadness, it had a birth defect that prevented it from living. It was a hard thing. Especially since the evening had begun in such a celebratory fashion. But, the next morning when we went out to the barn to greet our four healthy, bouncing and adorable kids the sadness faded. Both mothers were in excellent shape and the surviving babies were perfect. Then a few days later, Swanli decided that she would bless our little farm with two more healthy kids! She gave us a sweet little girl whom I named Heidi. She has a dappled gray and brown coloring with beautiful blue eyes. Her brother is a handsome little guy, too. Being white with large caramel colored spots, he is called Caramel. All of our kids in this batch have blue eyes! That makes them special. They are so much fun to watch and they are filling our days with excitement. What I find so sweet is that when it is time to nap, they will pair off with their brother or sister and find a place near the kidding pens to curl up together. They know who their sibling is. They take more comfort in their sibling than in their mother. They head out to find mom when they get hungry, but otherwise they are content to be playing with the other babies, especially their own brother or sister. Of all three mothers, Cookie is by far the best. She will always come to check up on hers and she makes sure that they are nursing enough. Snow Flurry, who is our herd matriarch and the mother of both Swanli and Cookie, is not overly affectionate with her kids after a day or two. She gives them the attention and milk that they need, but nothing more. Swanli tends to take after her mother. She is more concerned with feeding herself than feeding her babies. Cookie is much more tender and motherly. But, nonetheless, all of the babies are healthy and well fed. The only sour part of all of this is knowing that the boys must go soon. They will be for sale in around 6 weeks. We are also getting to the point now where we will have to begin choosing which girls to keep and which to sell. We only have so much room. That is the tough part for us, especially the children. We also have a litter of Shetland Sheepdogs right now that are nearly ready to leave the nest. We decided to breed Trixy one more time and she gave us an exceptional litter of three puppies, one boy (Scooter) and two girls (Molly and Honey). I am strongly considering keeping Molly. She is a chocolate brown color which is not really what you want in a Shetland Sheepdog pup, as far as markings and coloring, but that is precisely why I love her. She is fiesty and has been since the day she was born. I am quite attached to her. Quinn is in puppy love with Scooter, as is Daddy. This is why we said that we wouldn't breed Trixy again after her last litter. But, her pups were so nice that we thought we owed it to the world of Shelties to add a few more Trixy/Banjo offspring. This will be the last for sure. Our last litter went to people we know...one to my sister's family and the other to a lady who works for my sister. We get to keep in touch with the pups and they are well loved and taken care of. We are hoping for the same thing with this litter. They are beautiful dogs, smart, affectionate, and should have a strong herding instinct...what more could you want in a puppy?
So, as you can see, we are very busy around here right now! But, what fun it is!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Oh I showed the childen the pictures of all the babies, we loved them!! You are so blessed! I cannot believe they all came during that time frame, I would have lost my mind!!! But it is truly all worth it I am sure. Oh I wish I lived on a small farm nearby! I could buy goats and soap, haha! And we could Charlotte Mason with all our kids all day long, whoo hoo!!!! Okay well you have your hands full, so enjoy and get some rest too!