December 25, 2009
Taking pictures of bucks is dangerous work. First the buck is smelly and then he is large, so unlike the does you want to touch him and irritate him as little as possible. We were able to borrow this buck so we wanted to get pictures of him before he left. Of course it meant that we had to work with him to the point of behaving. I swear in that first picture (bottom picture) he is thinking of all the ways he can make this an experience. Then of course he is demonstrating his powers. (middle picture) Finally we figured out if we walk him and then pause mid step he will actually look pretty nice. (top picture) I'm going to have to remember this for a certain doe is refuses to set up.
December 18, 2009
It is the most exciting part of waiting for kids is feeling them kick. There is nothing quite like giant reassuance of knowing that indeed you goat is not making it up and they really are pregnant and the kids really are alive. Thistle is special to me because she was one of Rosie's first kids. When we bred her to be a 2yr old freshener she lost the kid. This was sad at the time but then she was used to feed her triplet sister and brothers when Rosie did not have enough milk. She is lovely but unfortunately she was cut in the great college reduction. Then last spring I was able to get her back from the people who I stole her to. Besides putting on a little weight she was in good condition and still looked lovely. We bred her to the buck on the property and she took in Aug but becuase of her last (and only) pregnacy I will admit I was holding my breath the whole time. What if she aborts this year again? What if I never get kids out of her? Then last weekend we were feeling for kids and there it was, the kicking. I can finally let out this giant sigh of relief becuase there is at least 1 live kid there. Maybe it will be a buck and I will be extremely diappointed, but maybe it will be a doe and I will actually have a kid out of her as a 6 year old milker. One can hope right?
December 08, 2009
I have come to determine that the dairy goat world is divided into 3 seasons. In the spring time there is kidding season which usually lasts from February to late May. Then there is show season that goes from late April until September. Finally there is breeding season which goes from August to December or January. Breeding season is always the longest and hardest of any of the season. Once a doe kids you no longer have to worry about her and can sit back and enjoy playing with and watching the new kids grow. During the show season you can plan ahead and prepare and be ready the day of the show. But during breeding season I feel like I am holding my breath. "When will she come into heat??" "Will she take this time?" "Will I have to re-bred her in 3 weeks?" "Is this a real heat cycle or is it a false heat?" Thank goodness for blood tests to confirm pregnancy, at least there is less guessing. Still we have 2 does that are having problems settling and 2 young does that we bred late so here I sit holding my breath that when I go out back there will be no little waggily tails