2008 Kidding Continues

Samanta was our 2nd goat to kid this year. Here she is finishing cleaning up her hours old little girl this morning.

2008 Kidding Begins

Glory, our oldest goat at 8 years, was the first to kid this year. Here are her two kids, born three days ago. The girl’s in front, boy’s in back.

We Got A Dog

Some folks we know inherited a year-old male collie that they did not want. We had been thinking of getting a livestock guardian dog for while now, what the coyotes moving into the county and all, so this seemed like a good fit. Roy is nice, and smart, but has had little-to-no training, so we have our work cut out for us. We have him in a fenced-off portion of the goat shed for now, so everybody can get used to one another — in the pic below that’s him, with Glory munching down on hay nearby. We hope to get him to live with the goats soon, but for now we go on walks with him through the pastures several times a day.

Cheesemaking Part 1 of 5:Dining Al Fresco

The first step in making cheese is getting the milk. I milk outside once a day in the morning after locking the dams away from their kids at night. That way, things aren’t too taxing for me and the goat kids and I can share the milk. Any clean-up is easily done with a nearby hose and the sunlight helps sterilize the area.

Oh – I am remiss. That’s Astrid on the left and Samanta on the right. They know the drill, and are the first to come out of the barn and jump up on the stands…

Rustic Art

This is one of the scenes painted on the wall of my goat shed by various young people in the area. The paint can be obtained at places like ReStore in Winchester, Virginia for as little as a dollar a can, with the proceeds helping Habitat for Humanity. This mural was done by local artist Kelsey Davies.

Meaningful work for rural youth is difficult to come by. Working with recycled materials got my shed interior painted in an interesting and inexpensive way and provided some cash for talented young people in the area.

Grim News

It has been a bad spring here for tetanus. The 4 bred dairy does we bought from another farm last November were 2 years old and unvaccinated for Clostridial disease, as their owner did not generally vaccinate. They did well for months, then had their kids in January. This was six weeks earlier than we expected, and we had not vaccinated them — we usually vaccinate a month before kidding. In late February we found one of the new does down with what looked like tetanus. We immediately vaccinated the other 3 does and gave the sick one a hefty amount of antitoxin, but to no avail. One by one, they each died over the ensuing month. The last one’s death was a real blow, as she initially seemed to recover. (That’s her in the picture; we had been keeping her warm under a blanket, bringing her hay and water. Each night she was the the preferred sleeping spot for our youngest kids — warm and still.) None of our home stock got ill, nor did the unfortunate does’ seven kids, who we also vaccinated. It is a mystery why they all got the disease so suddenly and failed to respond – if not to vaccination (which had little time to take effect) – then to antitoxin. Though we have lost a few vaccinated does to tetanus in yeas past, it was nothing on this scale. Was this predictable and were we just stupid for not vaccinating them immediately upon their arrival to our farm? Probably so.

Goat Kids Round Two

Two goats kidded today, right on schedule. Here is Artemis cleaning the 2nd of her three (yes, triplets) …

Goat Kids Round Two [Continued]

… and here’s Iris cleaning her 2nd; looks like she had the usual twins. That’s her first on the right.

2007 Goat Babies Round One

Last week our goat babies started to arrive, several weeks before we expected them. All four of the goats that we purchased last fall already bred, had their kids last week. Luckily for all, the weather has been unseasonably warm for January. Continued…

Goat Kids 1: Colleen

Colleen was the first to go; we discovered her two kids dry and cozy in the goat shed on Wednesday January 10th. Unfortunantly, the female of the two did not make it. The boy, though, is robost and growing fast. Here he is at two days old.

Goat Kids 2: Frosty

Frosty had her two (a boy and a girl) on the afternoon of the 11th. Here they all three are yesterday, guarding their nest of hay.

Goat Kids 3: Sassy

Sassy went the next day (Friday the 12th). Here are her two the next day.

Goat Kids 4: Candy

Candy completed round one yesterday morning. Here they are just an hour old, still a bit shaky but doing fine. That’s it for the kidding for a few months.

Goat Shed Murals

Over the summer, we livened up our goat shed wither painted murals. This one is by local artist Kelsey.

Tenth Kidding

Found these two wee ones this morning, courtesy of our only registered Toggenburg doe, Royal. Judging by their coloration, we’d say that the sire was the all white, mostly Saanen Puck, not the registered Togg Pistol Pete. For a size comparison that is a six-inch wide board in the picture with them. They are both bucklings, bringing our kid count to 6 bucklings and 13 doelings. We have two yearlings, LaLa and Rose, that were exposed to the bucks but that we are unsure as to whether they settled (were impregnated).