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
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.