Friday, February 23, 2007

Goat News

The 2007 kidding season has begun at Brambleberry Farm!

I came up for lunch and a little rest at 1:30 p.m. and thought I'd let the world know all about it.

The first thing I heard when entering the barn this morning was the distinctive crying that signals new babies. Simone, a rather thin goat who has only had a single birth in the past surprised me with three decent looking kids -- two females, one male. I did all the normal stuff: feed mama, get her clean water, help dry off the babies since it's chilly; iodine their navels; check sexes; supply hay; clean up afterbirth...

Because they are triplets to a small doe, I also decided to use a bottle of that frozen liquid gold, colostrum, as insurance. I drove up the hill and placed the frozen bottle in some warm water to thaw; finished the animal chores and did a little pruning, then back up for the colostrum and my palm pilot for keeping records.

When the babies were fed and all quiet, I decided to walk up the hilly pasture and check to see what else might be going on. The first thing I saw was Tatum and Harvey Llama alone on the side of the hill with some suspicious looking white lumps on the ground. Tatum was licking off her second kid, female, which had obviously just been born. The cord wasn't yet trimmed off. Meanwhile, the first male kid was being watched over higher up the hill by Harvey. My palm pilot has a camera, so I took some photos.

I gave Harvey, the midwife, a hug and brought the little guy to his mom so that she could tend both as I sat down on the hillside and watched. I guess there's something to be said about being born in the sunshine, but there was a stiff wind, so after she had done the majority of the clean up, I took the babies and lured her down the hill. Since the new nursery barn was closest, I put them in there to dry off. Thank goodness I had spent the morning sweeping up and preparing the little stalls yesterday morning. The tools and junk are still in the barn, but at least there were clean stalls and the hay baskets and feeders.

I did the new baby routine once again and then headed up for lunch. I entered the data about the new births and edited the photos.

In a little while, I'll go out again and roam the hills checking for more births or impending births. I had time to think about names for the triplets. They'll be Wilhelm, Wilhelmina, and Willa. 'Haven't quite decided on the twins' names yet. Rest time is over for this farmer.


UKBob said...

I just popped over to see your new babies. It reminded me of when I was on the farm, we would have been lambing and calving now, it was a non stop job day and night just grabbing a few minutes when I could even dropping off to sleep in the barn sometimes. One year I lambed 500 sheep and calved 120 cows usually though it was around 120 cows and 300 sheep. Its good to see you use your palm pilot to keep records, I used to use one too for just the same thing. It was so handy when away down the fields to be able to look up various bits of info on the animals. I will look forward to hearing more about your animals and I hope you don’t have too many problems. Bob.

RUTH said...

Hi! Saw your comment on UKBOB's site and thought I'd pop over and pay you a visit. What lovely news to read on my first visit.