Tag Archives: kidding

More Baby Goats!

It’s been a busy few weeks on the farm. Rob has been traveling a lot, and when not traveling, he has been running, a lot, in preparation for his 50 K in April. Both Jasmine and Carolina kidded the first week of March.

Before Jasmine’s and Carolina’s kids arrived we were dealing with an abortion by Camellia about a month out from her due date. She ended up testing positive for CVV, Cache Valley Virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes and a threat to does in their first or second month of gestation. There is nothing you can do to avoid it, other than not breed until the mosquitoes have died off. This last fall was so warm, that wasn’t really an option. Does that contract the virus are then immune. Amanda was disappointed, of course, since Camellia is her project animal, and they have a special bond, but that is part of life on the farm. To top it off, Camellia ended up having a retained placenta, and we had to watch her carefully and give her some medications to help her clean out and recover. Camellia did not come into milk, so she will be taking the year off showing, unless she goes to a pet class or two at the fairs.

Jasmine was not due to kid until March 10, but went into labor on March 3. Her udder had been filling that weekend, so we knew something was up. She delivered three small triplet does, 6.5, 6.3 and 5 pound babies. They were 7 days early, and were a little quiet and needed to stay in the house a few extra days, but are growing and eating, weighing in in the mid teens currently. The kids named them Bahamas (Baha), Bali (the one with all the white), and Barbados (Barbie). The B babies are holding their own. Two of Jasmine’s doelings will be available. Likely Barbie, and Baha, but Quinn hasn’t finished deciding between Baha and Bali yet.

Carolina kidded on March 5. She was due on March 7, but kidded two days early which is within the normal window. Her labor stalled and we had to investigate what was going on. We found two heads, and three feet (not good). After Quinn and I trying to push one back and find the missing leg of the other for a while, but they were tangled, we decided it was time to call out our vet. The kids were big, and we just could not dislodge the first one. Of course, Rob was on travel to DC. Our vet, Cara Kneser, lives close to us and was on site in less than 15 minutes. After some pulling, pushing and lots of lube, she managed to get the first baby (a buck of course) unstuck and out, and the second kid, a doeling, was pulled right behind. They were both alive, which was a miracle, and poor Carolina was super sore and needed some tlc for a few days, but she appears to be bouncing back. The kids named the buck Crete, and the doeling Chrysi (greek island). They are both retained.

Carolina’s kids, Crete and Chrysi barely an hour old

The kids are now living in the garage pens, and we took them outside in the drive way for some play time, Chili and Pepper are up next for kidding, due on Friday and Saturday next week.

We have also been looking at ways to save on our hay bill, because as we all know, alfalfa at $50 a bale and second cut upwards of $12, the cost has been rising here in the Northeast. We decided to try out using a round bale with the goats after sourcing some nice second cut bales. We used a combo panel to wrap around the bale and covered it with an easy up. So far, the goats approve. It’s also their new favorite napping spot.

First baby goats of 2024!

Last Sunday Tulsi was due to kid. We had been bringing her in at night for a few days, as her udder was filled and her ligaments were getting soft. Sunday morning she was clearly uncomfortable breathing heavy and starting to paw, so we knew it was the day. We had ultra sounded her with twins, so that was what we were expecting. I fed her and went about morning chores. Not too long after that she went into labor and delivered twins, one doe and one buck. They were both nose and toes, though the buckling had one front leg bent back, so I had to assist a little with that.

The kids named the doeling Tahiti, and the buckling Trinidad. The doeling was 7.3 pounds and the buckling 7.5 pounds. Vacation islands is our naming theme for this year. Last year was car makes. Tahiti is the one with less white on her. The babies get to hang out with us in the kitchen for a few days, and then transition to living in pens in our garage until the winter weather has passed and they are ready to go live in the baby pen. We choose to bottle raise to socialize the kids to like people, which makes them friendly and easier to handle and show. Raising them separate from the does also allows us to keep their environment cleaner to reduce their parasite load and they can be sold sooner as bottle babies if desired.

Tulsi is doing great. She is producing a gallon of milk per day already, and her udder has increased capacity from last year when she was a milking yearling.

The babies have unfolded and are enjoying the attention they get from the kids when living in the kitchen, they got disbudded last night and starting tomorrow they will go out to the garage during the day, to stretch their legs and not make such a mess in the house. They are currently getting bottle fed five times a day, and will transition to the grey nipples and their lambar over the next few weeks.

Next up for kidding is Carolina on March 7 and Jasmine on March 10. Jasmine is huge, likely carrying triplets, so she might go early, Hoping for easy deliveries and healthy kids and mamas.

How bad is it?

While at work today, I walked out of a conference room following an hour and a half of meetings and picked up my cell phone. A quick glance at the screen made my heart rate skyrocket. I had 4 missed calls from Anna and the kids and more than 10 text messages. There was no voicemail notice, so it was bad enough they didn’t have time to leave a voicemail. I knew Anna wasn’t home at the time and reading the first text message confirmed my immediate suspicion: one of the goats was kidding.

Alex had gone out to do his assigned cleaning of a goat shelter and discovered an extra goat kid in the pen being cleaned off Longvu Log Tabula Rasa. Alex went inside and notified Quinn who immediately took charge of the situation and moved Tabula and her 8.8lb doe kid into the kidding stall; the 9.7lb buck kid was born a short time later. Quinn and Amanda made sure both kids got toweled dry and by the time I was bringing my heart rate back under control, everything was pretty much over. Quinn and Amanda monitored Tabula until she passed the placentas, then helped the kids nurse to ensure they got some colostrum. Alex actually left to go for a 6 mile trail run since the other had it under control.

On Sunday, Dauntless Obsidian gave us 2 doe kids that weighed in at 7.8lbs and 7.4lbs. The birth for Obsidian was pretty rough and we weren’t sure she was going to survive. Her twin does were pulled and taken into the house. Obsidian is making a recovery, but her kids will be raised as bottle babies. This means we have 2 goat kids living in a tote in the living room for now. They get will get bottles about 4 times a day plus play time with the kids (human type).

Days like today make me very proud of the kids and their level of responsibility. This brings our new total to 5 buck kids and 4 doe kids. Our last doe will kid in mid-May.

Saffron kicks off kidding season 2015

Last night,  I had an unexplained allergic reaction that resulted in a short trip to the ER. As a result of being up until 2am and the meds making me so drowsy, I went to work for only a few minutes and then to see the Dr’s. I got some more meds and came home for rest. Around noon, Anna woke me and informed me West View Swan’s Saffron was kidding. I joined Anna and Vicki for the event in the kidding stall.
Saffron is a 4th freshener 5 year old who gave 11-12 lbs of milk a day last year.


This is an udder that has “popped” meaning looks like 14 hours since it has been milked and is stretched tight. Don’t milk her, just get your kidding  supplies by the back door, because it means you won’t be waiting long.  For Saffron,  imminent signs of kidding included lots of pawing,  grunting,  visible contractions for about 40 min, and then baby goats.

We are raising all the kids as bottle babies this year.  Since Anna doesn’t want to trek back and forth to the barn all day and night, they are in the office in a dog crate starting out.



Saffron gave us 2 doe kids: the dark one is Sawyer Farm’s Milky Way and the light one is Sawyer Farm’s Caramel.  It appears this year’s name theme will be candy.

goatHere is Vicki holding Milky Way.  She is very excited to have babies to bottle feed again.

Are you kidding? A crazy day on the farm

Today was the first Saturday in a while that didn’t have kid swimming lessons at 8:30. Since Anna and I were up late (again) talking about the decision of which house to buy, we decided to sleep in. So, when Alex and Vicki showed up in the bedroom at 6:45, we sent them to play and rolled over in bed. By the time we got up and ready for chores, the kids were driving me nuts. I sent them outside to check on Mary and Betty, 2 of the Oberhaslis due to kid today. Since I checked them at 11:30 last night, I didn’t expect any surprises.
I was caught off guard when Alex came running in yelling “Mary has a baby sticking out her butt!” We grabbed our jackets and ran out the door. Anna moved Mary into the kidding stall. She was obviously in distress and the kid’s face and feet were starting to dry off. Anna quickly pulled the buckling and we started to work on getting Mary and the baby help. Mary wasn’t doing well so we got the emergency frozen colostrum warmed for the buckling. After about an hour, both seemed to be stable, so we continued with chores.
As I went to feed the bucks and does in a different pen, I discovered Frosty had 2 kids nursing! I called Anna and I quickly commandeered a horse stall and shuffled Frosty with her doeling and buckling to the horse barn. Frosty was specifically surprising because, after we bred her, the bucks kept showing interest and rebreeding her every 3 weeks. If she was pregnant, we didn’t expect kids until June. However, last night, I told Anna “Frosty is starting to build and udder. I guess she is pregnant.”
Then, I got a phone call and had to head in to work to deal with a problem. I left Anna to deal with the 3 new goat kids and chores for the day.
When I called her later in the day to say I was on my way home, she informed me Betty was now in labor. By the time I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a babysitter, it had been almost an hour. I walked in the horse barn to the second commandeered horse stall to find Anna yelling at me “I need help, the kids are stuck!” I took off my jacket, rolled up my sleeves, and headed in.
30 minutes later, another buckling and doeling were on the ground. Betty got some meds and we made sure all the kids were nursing on their mommas. A quick milking of the other does and round chores for us inside and out of the cold. We both ran through the shower and headed out the door to the Dolphin Scholarship Auction. Now, I am sitting here on my iPhone writing this during the auction. We will head home in a while and check on all the kids. Then to bed.
Hopefully tomorrow will have fewer surprises. The next goat isn’t due until April. We think.
Here are some pictures of Frosty’s kids.
Vicki has named the doeling Black Sapphire and Alex named the buckling Bedrock.





Baby Goats!

Maggie (one of our Oberhasli mix doe) was due to kid last Monday. After the bad experience with Farrah (who has recovered fine) we were anxiously awaiting her kidding. Each day her udder grew, but no babies arrived.
This morning, I fed Maggie and thought she looked close. I locked her in the kidding stall and proceeded about the day, checking occasionally. When nothing had happened by lunch, I let her out with herd, planning to put her in for the night.
As I came out to give the goats fresh water, I noticed Maggie was missing. I was pleasantly surprised to find her in the shelter with 2 minutes old babies!

I shuffled them inside with the heat lamp. While they would probably be fine outside, why chance it.
We have an 8.3lb buckling and a 7.3lb doeling. By comparison, the buckling of Farrah’s that was breech and didn’t survive was 10.9lb!
Both kids and momma seem to be doing fine. They are happily nursing and momma is talking to them and continuing the cleanup job.
Here are some pics from under a heat lamp. More when they go out I a couple of days.




A night in the kidding stall

Goats normally kid at 150 days +/- 5. On Wednesday, Farrah was at day 153. Anna came into the house about 7 and announced that Farrah was in the kidding stall and had some mucas discharge. Some friends who live a couple of miles down the road were interested in seeing what signs of kidding are, so they came over. About 8, we went to check on Farrah and she was in early labor. Vicki and our friend’s daughter got to hang out in the shed watch for a while. Things didn’t really progress, so the girls went to bed around 9. As the evening continued, Farrah’s labor didn’t improve.
By 10:30, it was time to intervene. I gloved up and reached in and found back legs. The kid was in breach position and I was not at all able to rotate the baby. We had no choice but to pull him out back leg first. Once the kid was out, he was not breathing. Despite our best efforts to clear lungs and do goat CPR, the kid never revived. He was a 10.9lb buckling. There were no other kids. Farrah will get some antibiotics to help prevent infection and we have already begun milking her. We will dump the antibiotic laced milk and then start harvesting for the family.
A disappointing start to kidding season. Hopefully Maggie will do better. She is due in 4 days.