Friday, January 13, 2012

Jersey's date last night

Jersey is almost 2 years old, which is pretty old as far as goats go for never having been bred.  I've been wanting to get her bred all through the Fall and somehow couldn't time her heat cycle where I knew she was ready, or I was at work and couldn't get her there.  I talked with the the breeder Kim and she helped me pick out a gorgeous buck named Excaliber to be the sire, I looked at him through pictures on her website.  It happens to be the same farm Jersey was born at, called My Enchanted Acres Nubian's, she has about 40 goats, all Nubian's and has been raising them for over 20 years.  They're one of the most well respected Nubian breeders in the Northwest, and I am thrilled to have her bloodlines.

Kim told me what to look for in heat cycles and that they can last for 2 to 3 days, and happen every 21 days.  I watched and watched and finally noticed her going into heat on Christmas Eve of all days, she was in full blown heat on Christmas day.  I knew I'd have to wait another 18-21 days for her to go into heat again, there was no way I could get her there on Christmas day.  There are definitely benefits to owning a buck, if I had one, we could have just put her in his pen on Christmas day and it would be no big deal.

I knew we were getting to the end of rutting season, and Nubian's are seasonal breeders, meaning the bucks go into rut from about mid August to mid January, and the does go into heat during this time as well.  The little Nigerians can breed year round, that is one of their special benefits.  I was getting worried we may have to just wait until next Fall, which I didn't want to do because I wanted to start milking her this summer along with Joon.

Yesterday I called Kim in the morning and excitedly told her Jersey was wagging her tail, bellowing , and mooning over little Cowboy (the Nigerian buck we have).  I said "I think she's ready, can we come over today".  We agreed on a time, got the pen together in the back of the truck and drove the 30 minutes over to their farm.  While we were driving her there, Jersey had her head to the wind taking in all the new smells.  As we unloaded her, she looked around at the familiar farm where she was born. I'm sure she remembers the first year of her life.  I bought Jersey through another lady who only had her for a couple months, she got her from this farm.  It was fun to meet Jersey's mom and grandma and see all the many variations of color and beauty in her goats.  At one point while we were waiting for them to get the buck, my husband called me over and said you gotta come see this.  I had been looking at the yearlings, and when I went over and peaked over the wall, there were 22 cute and curious goats looking at me, they were the older does, munching away on their hay.  I so wish I had brought my camera, but the lighting wasn't the greatest and it was getting dark.

As Excaliber came up to us, I noticed how big he was, his coloring is a creamy color and he is so handsome, as far as Nubian bucks go.  Plus we quickly realized he was also a total gentleman, Jersey didn't seem too scared, but leaned into me for courage I think.  Before I knew it, it was over, and they said, there's one.  As the four of us stood there talking along with many little goat eyes curiously watching us, he bred her 4 times in about 15 minutes.  Then as they led him away, I said "So that's it, she's pregnant now".  They said " Yes, that's all there is to it."  Well how bout that. Jersey seemed calm and happy, and we loaded her up, gave them the breeding fee, and then got to have a peek at her new 3 day old Nubian kids.  She had 4 kids already born this year, and has more to come all through the early winter and spring, they were so cute, I can hardly wait! 

I was so relieved to know that I got the timing right, and that we'd gotten Jersey bred this year.  Plus we're happy for her that she'll get to be a mom, and that we'll get to have another milk goat. This year Joon should have kids around May 10, and now Jersey around June 12th.  It worked out perfect to have the kids spread out, so the first month of their life they can be in the nursery with a heat lamp.  Such simple things like getting a goat bred make me happy today.  We also have snow predicted for this weekend, only our second time since November.  I love the snow in January and February, it just feels right, it's winter after all :)

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