Thursday, March 28, 2013

Joon's Surprise!

Joon's due date was technically tomorrow, but we got a big surprise Sunday morning 5 days early when I went out to feed everyone and didn't see Joon come out for breakfast, which is not normal.  I called her name and still no Joon, so I went to look in the goat stall and was I ever surprised to see 3 of the cutest little tiny goat kids all dry and cleaned off nursing her.  She looked up at me as if to say, "Look Mom, I did it all by myself, see I have triplets"!  Was I ever proud of her at that moment, I went in to say hi and welcome our newest additions, 2 doelings and a buckling.  The mostly black one is the buckling and the two with more white on them are the doelings.  Joon had their umbilical cords nipped just right and had licked them clean, they were all strong and nursing well.  Amazing little goat that Joon is!  I ran to the house and came in breathless to tell the wonderful news, "We have triplets"! 

I got my supplies and went back out to tie off and dip their umbilical cords in iodine, I also sprayed their feet with iodine, and gave them a BoSe shot (we are in a selenium deficient area of the country), some vitamin E, and a small dose of Probios.  Then I gave some attention to Joon to help her get all cleaned up and gave her some grain, alfalfa, and water.  I told her what a good job she did and how proud of her I was, she listened intently the whole time and loved being fussed over.  I then moved Zolena and Snowdrop out of her paddock, as I still hadn't separated them from her since I wasn't expecting her to have them for a few more days.  I wish I could have seen the birth and been there for Joon, but she seemed to handle it just fine, maybe with some love and support from her room-mates Zolena and Snowdrop.  We have doubled our goats from 5 to 10 now, with Zolena next up in the middle of April, I'm going to be ready early for her just to be sure.

My daughter Christina brings our grandson Roman over on Mondays for us to watch while she goes to work. We love having him here every week, he is now 4 and a half months old.  As he grows up he is going to love to come over and see all the baby animals we have here on the farm in the Spring.  The kids are only one day old here and this is their first time outside.  I let them outside for a few minutes for her to see them,  they are kept inside their stall the first week and then they'll be ready to go outside and play in the small paddock, I let Joon out for recess breaks and to stretch her legs.  I'll let Joon's kids in with Jersey's when I separate the mom's at night when they're two weeks old.  These kids are super friendly and love to crawl all over me and play, I've been going out several times per day to play with them they're so much fun and so cute!  We're thinking of D names, Diamond, Dazzle, Dasher for the buckling, none are for sure yet, we'll just let the names come to us as we spend time with each of them.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Jersey's Kids ~ Danny and Dublin

Danny and Dublin
Jersey delivered her twins early Monday morning around 3am.  During my sleepy 2am check I could see that she was in hard labor and getting close.  I watched her for a minute and told her "Jersey you're getting ready to have you're babies I'll be right back"!  I ran as fast as I could and got some fresh hay to spread around her side of the goat barn, it was already clean but I wanted it to be extra fresh. Then I raced to the house to get Kaley up because I promised her I'd wake up to be there for the birth, she woke up and quickly got dressed, I grabbed my basket of supplies ready by the door and we ran back out through the snow and dark to the barn.  Jersey was 2 days over due at 152 days, and I had been watching her closely, this was my second night checking on her every 3 hours.  I'm so thankful we were there for her, Kaley was a huge help to me holding the first one (an adorable buckling) as Jersey labored for the second one, which took an additional hour or more,  he came out just fine, but was in a breech position.  Kaley named the first one she was holding Daniel ( her brother's middle name, as well as a beloved uncle that is no longer with us) We'll call him "Danny".  The letter this year for the ADGA is D, so we're using names that begin with a D for all of our goat kids.
Jersey saying Hi to her new baby

Already wanting to play at one day old

As Jersey continued to labor, we were both getting cold, with temps around 30 degrees, snow on the ground, and it being the middle of the night, we felt the cold, plus there was wind which made it seem even colder.  My sweetheart of a husband came out just in time with a heater for the kids and a bigger lamp for us to see.  He put up plastic to cover the draft, and then it became toasty, Kaley also brought me a cup of hot tea, and my husband waited,  pretty soon out came the second cutest ever buckling "Dublin".  He's black with a white spot on the center of his head, white spotted ears, and brown accents on the belly, legs and face.  Danny looks alot like Jersey only with more white markings.  I was happy they both have floppy Nubian ears, being miniature Nubian's. 

Jersey as a new Mom was unsure of the first kid, we brought him around to her head for her to lick and clean him and hopefully bond with him.  We cleaned his nose and mouth right away, and then she ignored him for 10 minutes or so.  We wondered if she would have mothering skills, then instinct began to take over, she finally cleaned him, and we cut the umbilical cord, tied it off and applied iodine.  With the second buckling she knew right away what to do.  She has turned into a doting mother and after being skittish when they first tried to nurse, by the end of the first day she was an old pro.  It took awhile for the kids to get the hang of nursing, especially Dublin the little black one, he wasn't as strong in the beginning.  Now on the third day they're equally running and jumping around.  They are so adorable we all just love them, below is my son Jason and his girlfriend Taylor holding them.   Jason is holding his middle namesake "Danny", he liked him the best.  Well, we like them both equal. 
Jason holding Danny, Taylor holding Dublin

Today the kids were three days old and it was time to disbud them.  Pictured below is my husband Jarin holding Dublin as we're getting ready.  It was our first time disbudding, and at first when I was setting everything up, the brand new disbudding iron wouldn't work or heat up at all.  I was so frustrated that I called the company we bought it from to tell them about it and see if they could send me another one asap.  While I was on the phone, my husband came in and said he had it taken apart and was attempting to fix it.  In the end (an hour and a half later), he had it all back together and working.  I am so thankful for a husband who is always helping me solve problems and fix things.  The disbudder I own is the Rhinehart X50, which has removable tips, I have one for the Nigerian's and one for the regular full size goats.  I used the larger tip and it seemed to work fine.  As we got ready the goats hearts were pounding as much as our own we were so nervous. First I gave them a tetanus shot, second I trimmed the hair around their horn buds, and finally I had my husband hold them tight and I put the hot iron on to disbud.  Last year the two kids we had we didn't own a disbudder in time to do them in their first two weeks, which is the ideal time to disbud, actually the first week is ideal and around 3 or 4 days old is good.  I wanted to get it done and over with I was so anxious.   This weekend we'll do their ear tatoo's, I can only do so much in one day.  They seemed to calm down quickly and I took them to their Mom so they could nurse for comfort. 
Getting ready to disbud, Jarin telling Dublin that it will be ok.

Today I also milked Jersey for the first time, she got on the milk stand like an old pro, put her head in the feeder stanchion and I proceeded to calmly clean her, then milk her. I was thrilled she has turned into such a fine milk goat.  She  has a beautiful udder and was unbelievably good, no kicking or acting up, and she had perfect sized teats for milking.  After having her for a year and 8 months we're thrilled to finally be able to milk her.  I'm planning to separate the kids at night and milk her in the morning starting at 2 weeks old, then after the morning milking I'll let the kids run with her for the rest of the day to nurse when they want.  Right now I'm just milking her in the mid morning.  Goats are fine to start milking right away, it doesn't take away from the kids because goats make more than enough milk in the beginning of their lactation.

Little Danny

Monday, March 4, 2013

I'm a Gardener Who Loves The Month of May

In just a little over two months the garden will be growing again, the leaves will be new and lush, the honey bees will be buzzing again, and the flowers will be glowing... I can hardly wait for May and rhubarb pie!  Last year I took this picture around the middle of May, and a couple days ago I put in on my computer as the background photo to give my gardener's soul hope for Spring.  Today we woke up to a beautiful and sunny March 4th day, it's 32 degrees outside, and there is frost on the ground.  The animals though are all thrilled to be in the sun and are lounging and soaking it up as much as they can.  Which is exactly what I'm headed out to do, it's a great day to be working in the orchard, so I'm off to prune the apple and pear trees, and to plant the remaining young fruit trees.