Sunday, April 26, 2009

Jerry makes it look easy

Ah, Jerry. She is our biggest goat and lucky for her that she is! We saw her going into labor just before milking Sunday morning. I wasn't happy with her timing since I had to be in Casa Grande for my grandson Luke's 4th birthday party that afternoon. We put her into the kidding pen and finished the chores. It was close to 10:00 am when we were done and still no babies. I had told Wendell he would have to stay behind with her if she didn't get the show on the road. By 11:00 she had given birth to Z33, a black doeling weighing 6 pounds 12 ounces, Z34, a brown doeling weighing 8 pounds 4 ounces and Z35, a brown buckling that weighed 9 pounds 8 ounces. What big triplets! That's about 24 pounds of babies that she had. And, just in time for me to hit the road to Casa Grande. Jerry is a professional in the milk barn and does her job well :-)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spots of a different color for Carol

Our goat, Carol, is named after Wendell's sister. She is a "redhead" with white spots, or "freckles" if you will. I knew that she was starting to stray from the rest of the goats and hang out alone. I looked for other signs that were more significant, but there were none. Her udder was still small and no discharge, pawing at the ground, etc. So, I went in the house after morning chores and did some bookkeeping. It was around lunchtime for the kids so I warmed the milk and went outside to feed. When I got to the gate there was a little doe kid standing there by Carol (and Luna -- of course) staring at me - Z32. She was still wet and had not eaten yet. I called for Wendell and he brought her to the kidding pen. We didn't know if there was another to follow or not as Carol is in very good condition. We milked her hoping that would stimulate contractions but only the placenta followed pushing. That was it for her. Just one 6.6# brown doeling with black spots on her rump. We named her Taylor. She is quite spunky and is doing great.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Motherhood for Cindy

Cindy has always been a velcro doe. She is always by your side and so sweet. So, when I went out on a stoll through the doe pen, and she was in a corner, I knew it was time. To the kidding pen we went. I grabbed my laptop, sat for a spell and watched another easy delivery. Z30 is a 6.8# black buckling and Z31 is a 6.4# black doeling with a white crown and black ears like her mom. I never get tired watching the miracle of birth no matter what the species. Ask Wendell -- I love to watch baby delivery shows on cable :-) Well, Cindy didn't dissapoint me with her method of delivery, but afterward she wanted nothing to do with those critters that caused her so much pain. Not much of a mothering instinct. She wouldn't even lick them when I presented her with them. When they started standing and walking toward her, she would butt them away. Guess they can't all be good moms.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Say Cheese

You have probably noticed that all of the kids get their picture taken on a milk stand when they are one or two days old. The bucklings face away from the stanchion and the girls face the stanchion. Above is a picture of the moms watching us take their kids pictures. Roger is always interested in the new additions. Pictured from left, Juanita, Martha, Adriana, Mary Lou and Roger.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Marsha, Marsha, Marsha

There aren't many things that can get me to leave a doe that I think will kid in the next few hours. But, the funeral of a dear friend was one of those things. I didn't want to leave Marsha. I KNEW that she would kid while I was gone. It didn't matter. Some things just are too important to miss and Art's funeral was very important. I had to be there for Age and Turtle. AND, it was a Catholic funeral so there was no hope that it would be quick. After saying our goodbyes at the funeral, we went straight home to do the afternoon feeding and check on Marsha before heading over to the Ortiz family home for a get together after the funeral. When we pulled up to the dairy I told Wendell to drive straight to the doe pen. There was a kid standing there looking at me! I jumped out of the car (still in my black dress) and ran to see. Sure enough, Marsha had kidded and there was Luna with two more giving licks and kisses to them. Triplet bucks! They were pretty dry but had not eaten. I rushed to the house with the kids and Wendell milked almost a half gallon of colostrum from Marsha's huge udder. After I gave molasses water to mom, everyone was weighed, fed, navels iodined, vitamin E and B12 supplements given and the kids put in a nice straw bed in the house, we headed back to spend time with the Ortiz family. What a day! We kept the boys inside for the night since they were quite weak, but they were out with "general population" in the kid pen the next morning.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Late Night Lorene

When I finished with Destiny and her kid I was exhausted. After all, on top of milking and feeding, I had 6 does kid in the past 3 days. Not to mention all of those midnight feedings. I hadn't been sleeping well because I kept wondering if someone was in labor so I would get up at random hours and go out to check. I told Wendell that Lorene was going to go any time and would he please deliver her so I could get some rest. He agreed and we put her in the LDR pen outside of my bedroom window. I went to bed and Wendell rubbed my feet. That is the last thing I remember until I heard him say from outside, "We have a head and a leg!" What that meant is that his big hand could not retrieve the leg from its bad position. I jumped up wearing only my nightgown, washed and had my arm inside Lorene within two minutes! It was simple for me since there was plenty of room for my small hand. Out came Z25, a 5.12# brown buckling followed by Z26, a backward 5 pound brown spotted doeling. I didn't get much sleep but I was so glad everything went well. When we finally did get back to bed I had no problem going back to sleep!

Destiny in the afternoon

I just love it when the does show classic signs of labor. This was the case with Destiny. I had not expected her anytime soon but she had different ideas. I noticed that Luna was following her around. Luna is crazy about birthing babies :-) The remnants of the birth are her reward. I know, ugh! But, she is the best goat midwife ever. I have been keeping an eye on Luna lately and if she is following one around, the time is near. So I put Destiny in the kidding pen and sat down with my laptop and watched. Slowly but surely, two legs and a nose appeared. Not much progress was being made so I stepped in and helped to pull a striking black and white 6.4 pound buckling, Z24. Destiny drank her molasses water eagerly. It was a warm day after all, then I milked her and she headed back to the rest of her friends. The kid is doing well.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Arvilla never gets a break

Arvilla started into labor about 5:00 in the morning. I thought I would go about my chores and keep a close eye on her. Well, a couple of hours later, all I was seeing was one foot. Not good. I scrubbed up and went in to feel what was going on. The kid had one leg down and his head and other leg were in the birth canal. This means he is stuck at the shoulders. I tried to push his head back enough to get my hand past the pelvis and pull up the other leg. I have to do this slowly especially since she is a first-freshener. I finally was able to retrieve the leg and after that a 6 pound 12 ounce buckling, Z22, slid out with ease. I was drying him off and looked back at Arvilla only to see that she had popped out a 6 pound 5 ounce doeling, Z23, without missing a beat. I quickly grabbed her up out of the goo and dried her off. All are doing well. Arvilla's udder has a lot to be desired, but if she can put it in the milk tank we will keep her around. So far, so good.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Classic Connie

Connie is one of our goats that is secure enough in herself that she really doesn't need people. She and her mom, Jerry, keep to themselves. They don't even associate with the other goats much unless it is to boss them around :-) I saw that Connie was definitely in labor. Put her in the LDR pen and watched. That is about all I had to do because she did everything textbook. Both kids were born in the classic diving position and came out strong and ready to eat. A big black 9.4# buckling, Z20, came first. He was followed right away by a 6.4# brown doeling, Z21, that looks just like her mom. Thanks, Connie for the daytime and EASY delivery. Now, if you would just be nicer in the barn! She is such a dancing and kicking brat!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another Tax Day Delivery

Well, Charlotte wasn't far behind Bambi. She delivered Z18 - a 4.4# buckling and Z19 - a 4.0# doeling without any assistance. She made it look easy, but then again, they were very small kids. I thought she might have triplets since they were so small. I checked for another but no one was home. She just had two very small and very adorable babies. Charlotte is a dream in the barn. Does her job, enjoys her grain and really puts it in the milk bucket!

Bambi starts without me!

After the midnight feeding, I went for a stroll through the doe pen. This time Bambi's ligaments were totally gone. I knew it would be soon so I pulled her and put her in the close up pen. I checked on her when I got up at 6 am and she still looked the same so I went on about my chores looking in on her now and then. Well, she pushed half of a kid out before I could get around to my next check. It seemed that she had tired and just quit so I pulled the rest of 6 pound 12 ounce doeling Z16 into the world. She wasn't responding or breathing well so she and I did the twirl around and around while I held her by the back legs. Mucous came out and she started to breathe :-) Bambi got up and started mothering her. I didn't know if there was another to come so I gave her a few minutes. After she had been pushing with no progress, I decided it was time to go in and investigate. When I reached in all I felt was a tail. This kid was in full breech position. I pushed the bottom back in and looked for a leg or two. It took a while but I was able to get the legs in position and the kid came out with no problem. Well, there was a problem. Buckling Z17 was DOA. He had apparently drowned because of the difficult backward delivery. Mother and daughter though are doing well.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Adriana's Little Lady

After lunch, I went to check on Bambi and Charlotte -- both of which were looking close to delivery. What I didn't expect to find was a little doeling, Z15, standing there looking at me as if she were saying, "Where is my mama?" Bambi and Charlotte were still very pregnant and no doe was claiming the baby. Of course, Luna was there licking and cleaning her like she does any new baby. I called for Wendell to come and help me look at goat butts because even the kid's cries brought no attention. Wendell finally found Adriana at the feed trough with the 'evidence' on her rear end. Wendell milked her while I took "Wendy" to the house for the routine stuff. She weighed 5 pounds even and is just adorable. Adriana is happy to come into the milk barn. She just didn't want to spend time in the nursery!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tell someone you love them ...

Easter Sunday for us was very sad this year. One of our favorite people, Art Ortiz, died after heart bypass surgery. Words just can't tell you how much this man meant to us. He and his family ARE part of our family even though it is through friendship that we are related. We would like to send our prayers and thoughts to his daughter, "Age" (Adriana) and son, "Turtle" (Arturo). They are like our kids, too. He left us all behind and is now doing his Chicken Dance in heaven. We ususally spent Easter with them, this time Wendell was with him when he went to meet the reason for Easter. Please tell everyone you love that they are important to you anytime you get the chance. Art's smile and laughter will not be forgotten. We are the ones that must try to smile and laugh without him now.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Babies

I stayed at home alone on Easter because of Martha. Yes, she was showing classic labor signs and I was not going to get to go to Mary's party, or to see Art at the hospital. As I sat and cried thinking of losing a dear friend, Martha kept me occupied with her quiet talking while she labored. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. There was a light breeze, puffy clouds and the perfect temperature. The birds were chirping, the ground squirrels climbing into the wolfberry plants and gorging on berries. The cottontail rabbits were all around popping in and out of the shrubs. It was hard for me. Didn't the birds know that Art was so very sick? How could they still sing so beautifully? How could it be such a gorgeous day? It should be damp and cloudy and dreary. Then Martha's soft moans began to get more serious. That's it. LIFE goes on. I watched the miracle of life come into this world as Wendell sat with our friend that was near the end of his life. This circle is completed every day all over the world. Easter! This is what EASTER is about. I had to reach deep for the FAITH that this is God's plan. I held tight to that thought as I helped pull a little buckling into this world. It was a gorgeous little guy followed quickly by a doeling that was just as pretty. Thanks to Martha I had something to do that took my mind off of the sad things. I named the boy Arty Pants and the girl Angela.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mary Lou's Hideaway

After feeding and milking, I went to check on all of the girls. Everyone seemed to be doing well. Or, so I thought. My friend Wanda came over to help me pasteurize the milk and make cheese. After we got the culture in and the cheese set, Wanda wanted to see the girls. We went to the doe pen and the first thing Wanda said was, "What is dead over there?" Luna was standing licking it and we both took off running to the other side of the pen where it was. I was so surprised to see a tiny, cold doeling that was barely alive. The doe, Mary Lou, had gotten underneath the shelter, delivered and couldn't/wouldn't stand up or crawl out. Upon further inspection we noticed a buckling even farther back under the shelter. This little buckling was standing. So, Luna did a wonderful job keeping these two alive by licking them and cleaning their faces. What a dog!!! Wanda grabbed the little doeliing (now obviously named Wanda) wrapped her in her sweatshirt and ran to the house. I crawled under the shelter, (which has since been fixed!) and pulled out the little boy. Poor Wendell had to drag the doe out because she was not coming willingly. He brought her up to the house and we got colostrum into the babies as quickly as possible. Got little Wanda put onto a heating pad as we were not sure she was going to make it. It took her 8 hours to stand up but she is doing great now. After her 24 hour stay in NICU (Nubian Intensive Care Unit), she is now with her brother and other kids. Woo hoo! She only weighed 4.3# and her brother weighed 6.2#. They were a few days early but are doing just fine. Z11 and Z12 are cute as they can be.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Georgann is no kid, she is a calf!

Since we have six goats that I am milking twice daily, we have quite a bit of milk! Way more than the goats and our family can drink. We are still waiting for processing equipment that is being shipped from the Netherlands. The Dutch people are famous for their expertise in all areas of the dairy business. In fact, Wendell got a call this morning from Van Leeuwen Dairy saying that a heifer calf was just born and they wanted to know if we wanted her. Wendell answered, "yes" right away and turned the truck around to go and get her. He did have to cancel his haircut and shave appointment with Kyle. Trust me, he really needs to get that done! But, the calf couldn't wait. We had to get colostrum into her ASAP. She and mom were having trouble "hooking up" for that first drink. Wendell called when he was close and I grabbed the frozen colostrum from Cloudy and Blondie out of the freezer and thawed it in some warm water. I put it into the bottle and went out to meet Wendell with our new girl. Not even 2 hours old, she eagerly drank the goat colostrum and is doing well. She will never have had cow's milk -- only goat milk! Wendell named her Georgann after George Van Leeuwen which was the owner of the dairy until his untimely death at 78 from a cow that gored him :-( Another reason to dehorn those baby calves and goats. He was an amazing dairyman and we hope that Georgann will be an amazing dairy girl.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Blondie's Full Moon

When one of the does gets close to delivery, I put them in the Labor/Delivery/Recovery (LDR) pen outside of my bedroom window. That is where Blondie had been spending the last two nights. This way, I can look out my window when I suspect action. Well, at 3:00 am I woke to a Blondie screaming. I just knew that she had kidded and I raced to put my clothes on (I had them layed out fireman style) and get to the baby and make sure it was breathing. Thankfully the moon was almost full. However, all I could see was a blonde head on each end of the goat! The baby was not presenting right and NO WAY were the shoulders coming out. So, I tried to push the baby's wiggling head back into the birth canal and try to bring out the legs first. Blondie did not think that was a good idea and pushed against me. The little guy was living on borrowed time as I worked to grab at least one of his legs to get him delivered. Wendell had arrived by now and was listening to my narration of what I was feeling inside. He says I do this almost talking to myself and not to him. Anyway, after sorting out the who's who of legs, I found one that belonged to the head. I pulled it up and out and with another contraction the first of THREE BLONDE BUCKLINGS was born. The next one in line was also coming head and no legs first so I had to pull that guy, too. The final one presented correctly and came much easier. Aside from the fact that I was hoping for different "plumbing," they are adorable. Each year the ADGA registry has a tattoo letter for kids born that year. This year is the letter "Z" followed by the number indicating how many have been born on the farm that year. So ... Z8, Z9, and Z10 are all doing well.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Our First Bred By Babies!

Finally, one of our kids has kidded! We have our 1st First Freshener. She is 'Black Mesa Sassy Juanita' aka Juanita. She had a 6.5# white and brown spotted buckling and a 5.0# black, white and brown doeling. Mother and kids are doing great. Juanita is a sweetheart just like her namesake, Wendell's Aunt Juanita. We named the doeling 'Crow's Dairy On T Judy' after one of Erik's aunts.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Oh, the betrayal!

So, I have been milking these girls in the barn by hand for over 2 weeks thinking the equipment was coming any day now. I enjoy milking and seeing each one every morning and evening. Had given up on the small electric milker because it is designed to use from the front and we have a parallel barn where you milk from behind. Again, I was training the girls to the new barn from the stand because the machines were on their way, no? I have enjoyed developing my handshake. Well, come to find out, Wendell had not even ordered it yet because he was back and forth between models and designs. I told him if he had been doing the milking that decision would have been made more than two weeks ago! Guess what? He is down at the Jackrabbit place right now creating tubing that will work with the one I have -- AND, the order for the real stuff was placed this afternoon. Here is a picture of Wendell milking in the barn. No wonder he finally put me at the top of his list ... Because he has never liked to milk, with or without a machine.