February 08, 2011

Kidding Weekend Extravaganza 2011

We started kidding season out with a bang. Of course we knew we would – this is what happens when you bred 9 does in 2 days, but at least we get to have a head start on looking at our kids and evaluating them.
We timed our kiddings out so that ideally we would have 8 does kid over the weekend and they would be nearly evenly split between the two days. We didn’t want all the first fresheners to kids first because we wanted to make sure there was enough colostrum to go around. The advantage of having a clean herd is that we can feed milk and colostrum around without worries. Everyone has tested clean so it’s safe to use. We were going to start out with 3 does Saturday morning, 2 Saturday evening and 3 Sunday morning. Being animals they had to play games with us but at least they did all kid successfully.
Saturday morning started out going to check on Yodel at 7am (hours before anyone was supposed to start kidding). We found her in the later stages of labor and by 7:30 she had produced a beautiful set of triplets for us. 2 bucks and 1 doe – believe it or not, it works out perfectly since we had a buck reservation and we wanted to be sure we had a buck for ourselves and one doe to complete the package. A perfect early surprise.
There was then a long holding pattern (much to the disappointments of the first set of 4Hers) where no one wanted to kid. Well they must have decided collectively that the sun was at the right position in the sky because Katie, Ziggy, and Ysis all kidded within 40 minutes of each other. Katie, who has given us 4 does in 3 years and nothing else, decided to change things up and deliver 2 bucks this year. Personally I think she is regretting the decision since she seems to be fed up with their desire to wander in opposite directions instead of sleeping where she put them. Boys! Ziggy gave us a lovely set of buck/doe twins nearly all black. She delivered nearly sitting in her owner’s lap – but we all need moral support now and then right? Both kids seem to be doing great although Ziggy seems to be overwhelmed at times with this mothering thing. Last year Ysis gave us cream and white triplets. This year she gave us buck/doe twins who are somewhere between silver and brown. Beautiful, leggy and amazing color. As a Saanen breeder I am always stunned by the colors we get.
Fritter waited until late in evening and had an overall rough time with the whole kidding process. Since Ziggy will be leaving us to go home to her owner about the time that we need to start weaning doe kids we had decided that if we could swap doe kids we are keeping with any buck kids she had this would work great. Once mommy is gone weaning becomes much easier. So we took Fritter’s lovely Togg colored doe and swapped it for Ziggy’s little boy. He seemed fine with the whole thing and Fritter took him with absolutely no argument. Ziggy was a little surprised with the change but judging from the doe’s stomach this morning – Ziggy is feeding and mothering her with no objections and doesn’t seem to notice that her “daughters” have different shaped ears.
The next day (Sunday) we had 3 more does to kid. Arizona and Zaire kidded within 30 minutes of each other and seemed to be trying to support each other during labor since they were laying nearby for a large portion of the time. Arizona – who was bred to Arabica for our desired senior Lamancha kids from him, delivered twin bucks. They are gorgeous both in terms of their apricot white color and their long frame and flat bones – I just wish they were girls. Arizona has been rather miserable for the last week and half or so and although the kidding was not a difficult delivery, she seemed to be exhausted afterwards. We gave her some pain medication and is doing much better. Zaire gave us our only full Lamancha senior kid. A beautiful solid black/brown doe with what apparently in rabbits is termed “gold tipped fur”. Already a stunning kid she was up and eating faster than her light chamoise brother, she definitely has a lot of spunk.
Thistle was the last to kid and took a very long time with the processes. She is a stunning example of why does should kid out young and not wait until they are older. One goat keeper explained it to us that the bones seem to fuse together making delivery that much harder. Her first doe kid was not that large but somehow the head was positioned slightly wrong so it took extra effort to get her out. She gave us a beautiful second doe kid next for a set of twin doe kids. Devastatingly when I went out to check on her and her kids, no more than an hour later, she had accidently laid on the second kid, most likely in a contraction, and had killed it. I know these things happen and she didn’t do it on purpose, but it doesn’t make them any easier. Fortunately she still had the first doe kid and seems to be mothering her well. Another beautiful white Saancha kid to add to our lovely grades from this weekend.
In conclusion the total currently stands at 6 doe 9 bucks
Yodel: 2 bucks 1 doe (Toggs)
Ysis: 1 buck 1 doe (3/4 Lamancha)
Katie: 2 bucks (Lamancha)
Zaire: 1 buck 1 doe (LM)
Ziggy: 1 buck 1 doe (½ LM ½ Alpine)
Arizona: 2 bucks (LM)
Fritter: 1 doe (3/4 Togg)
Thistle 1 doe (½ LM ½ Saanen)

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