I decided to do something a little different this year. Since most of the does kidded about the same time this year they will all be available at the same time - 4th of July weekend. So in the spirit of promoting Independence I thought I would offer the following special:
Check out our availability page to see pictures and pedigrees!
Violet was the last to kid and after a rough night she kidded with an extensive assist the morning of May 9th. She was our last doe to kid that was bred to Tundra and our last hope to get a doe kid from him. And she delivered in a BIG way.
She had a single HUGE doe kid that I had to dig deep to untangle and get her delivered. We named in honor of her paternal grand-dam the beautiful SGCH Castle Rock Polar Vortex VEVE91 who was killed in the wildfire that swept over Castle Rock Farms in October of 2020. We are very excited to have her join our herd, but very concerned about Violet who is having a difficult time recovering.
Bless her heart, Violet accepted the tiny buck kid from Summer that was born 5 days earlier and was getting pushed aside by his much larger sisters.
Sales Page Updated
The sales page has been updated with the names of the four does in milk that will be available after weaning and the dry yearling that is available now. Their info can be found on the doe page too.
In addition we have three 2022 doe kids available as we are only retaining Arctic Vortex this year in order to keep numbers down. Next year we will only be kidding out 4 does as I continue to prep for my eventual retirement from goats due to progressing disability.
I had meant to keep up with all the updates, but I became extremely sick right about the time kidding started so I missed the first two kiddings. But made it to the next three as I was the only one home, and had no choice.
Dassi kidded on Saturday night 4/30 with triplets - 2 does and a buck out of Ace. Then Creamy kidded on the morning of 5/2 with twin bucks out of Tundra.
On Tuesday 5/3 it appeared that Summer would kid that morning with Lotus and Gal probably kidding out that evening. Dassi, Creamy and their kids had to leave the kidding stalls earlier than typical to make way for the next three does. I staggered out to sit with them, and heard hollering from the main barn. Went out to see the racket was about and found Creamy staring at the big water trough and one of her babies floating. By the time I got him it was too late, he had drowned in only a few inches of water (It was purposely low- just in case.) First time in 15 years we have had a kid drown. Jump in and get wet, yes, but never drown. She cried all day for her baby, it was so heartbreaking to hear. But she seems to have moved on and is being extra cautious with her remaining kid.
Summer finally kidded around 8 pm with triplets - 2 does and a buck out of Ace. Are you noticing the pattern? Does bred to Ace seem to have triplets that include 2 doe kids. Good job Ace! Summer's first born was a tiny buckling who came tail first as was completely limp and not breathing when born. It was touch and go for awhile but I got him breathing again and when my daughter came home she syringed fresh colostrum into him and eventually he gained enough strength over the next few hours that he finally managed to stand up and nurse on his own.
Gal looked very close to kidding several times, would start to labor and then stop. I did a light exploratory around 4am but wasn't feeling anything to grab a hold of. As I sat in the stall with her she kept trying to crawl into my lap.
Lotus was in the middle pen and spent most of Tuesday screaming bloody murder non-stop. She finally settled down around 4am and then got serious about kidding just before 6am. Unfortunately she picked a spot to kid that was against the wire in the dividing panels and the kids hooves stuck between them and neither she nor the kid could move. I'd like to say I "sprang into action" but after sitting up for almost 24 hours there was no spring left. I did manage to drag her away from the fence and she pushed out a huge single buck kid. Becuase he was born on May 4th (May the 4th be with you) and was a solo kid it was only fitting that we call him Hans Solo.
I asked my friend Sarah to check on Gal for me and staggered to the house for coffee. About 8am I got a text saying one had been born. Apparently the first girl was trying to come spine first. She was deceased by the time Sarah got her out, and was probably already gone when I was trying to figure out what the problem was. The deceased was a very pretty darker version of her brother Luke Skywalker. And of course the remaining doeling will probably be named Princess Leia.
So the only one left to kid is Violet who was bred to Tundra. This is his last chance to score any doe kids for this year and I sure hope he understood the assignment.
The kidding season this year has been a bit out of our usual. Usually we start near the beginning of March and string things out until May or June. That way we are inundated with a whole lot of milk all at once, and it lets me rebuild my hand muscles gradually. But after not getting anyone bred in November, by the time the next heat came around we went a little crazy getting them all bred - well except for Lotus. We thought Lotus was due the same day as Puzzle, but she apparently is due when the other girls are and bred date didn't get updated.
All that means we have 6 does all due between the 2nd and the 5th of May. Gal, Dassi and Lotus are showing signs that they are done with being pregnant, although Lotus still doesn't look bred and all has a very small udder. However she is long bodied enough she could be hiding twins or triplets in there.
Dassi is bred to ACE and her day 147 due date is May 2nd. Normal range for Nigerians is plus or minus 5 days from that date so she could kid as early as Wednesday this week.
Dassi is Puzzle's dam and is back in our herd temporarily so she can earn her milk star. And I wouldn't mind getting another doe kid like the beautiful Puzzle out of her.
Of course I am trying to keep my herd numbers down....
Gal Kahol shares a due date with Dassi of May 2nd. She is a first freshener and was also bred to ACE. (Ace's dam scored a 91 on L.A. last year just a few weeks after he was born.)
Gal (pronounced like the actress Gal Gadot) is a half sister to our lovely Violet and a grand-daughter of my very first doe. If we are blessed with doe kids, more than likely at least one will be retained.
As explained above, we don't have a due date on Lotus. She was supposed to be bred to ACE. We will DNA check any offspring we decide to register just to be 100% sure on who the sire is. She will be a first freshener
She has a bit of roundness showing, but not a lot and doesn't have much udder, but since she started losing her mucous plug yesterday, I'm going to bet she is due at some point next week like the others.
When Violet's (left) dam was the herd queen she had an enforcer - and rarely did any disciplining. Her enforcer was Creamy's (right) dam. These girls are several years apart in age but I am seeing that same dynamic starting to crop up. Typically a herd queen does her own enforcing so their dam's partnership was a bit unusual.
Creamy and Violet were both bred to TUNDRA. Creamy has a due date of May 4th and she will be a second freshener. Violet has a due date on the 5th and she will be a 5th freshener. Creamy was supposed to be sold last year, but she has an udder like her dam with lots of capacity and long teats. She may be available after LA as a doe in milk if I can bear to part with her.
Violet has brown eyes so this will be a test to see how well TUNDRA does at passing on the blue-eyes. Violet has two blue-eyed parents, and had two blue-eyed brothers in the same litter. Right now I have only one daughter of hers in my herd, and if we are blessed to get a doe kid out of this union the odds are high I will be keeping at least one.
Today is day 145 for Puzzle who is bred to Arctic Tundra and we are eager to see their first kids. I think Puzzle will hold out for a few more days, but you can tell she has had enough of being pregnant.
As for the other 6 does that are pregnant, they aren't due until the first week of May, which is going to be one crazy week. But it is good timing IF we have linear appraisal in July as scheduled. There udders will still be relatively fresh, and their kids will be close to weaning age.
So here are all the does
*My herd kidding average is 147 days so that is what I use to calculate estimated due dates.
Puzzle x Tundra - due March 20th.
Lotus x Ace - was supposed to be due March 20th
Lotus should have been due the same time as Puzzle, but while she did test positive for being pregnant and looks pregnant she isn't uddering up like we would expect. So most likely she was rebred, but it wasn't written down on the board and she is really due the first week in May.
You can see the entirety of the schedule on the new 2022 Kidding Schedule page found here.
I am happy to report that the test results are back from the WADDL biosecurity screening (CL/CAE/Johnes) and once again all of our goats tested negative.
In case you are wondering why we had two batches of tests run, I can only manage to do blood draws on 5-6 goats at a time before my hands are shaking too badly for me to continue. Falling apart is no picnic!
These are just snapshots of the results, the full copies of the results are on file should anyone need them.
In other news, the last of the does and doe kids made their way to their new homes this week. It is never easy letting go but these last two girls were so very special to all of us that there loss will be deeply felt. And the barn seems so empty these days.
We still have Toblerone up for sale and he will make someone a fine buck. We also have three wethers to sell and then we will be sold out for the year. Cutting back the work load is much better for my health, but boy do I miss my goaties!
Due to my increasing disability we have cut back the herd again, and several more does will be heading for new pastures next week. Kingfisher will also be going to his new home in Montana and we are hoping that this handsome young man will soon be going to his new home as well. it feels weird to walk into the barn already, and not everyone that is leaving is gone. Going to miss them all, but I want them to have the best care possible and I think they have all gotten very good homes.
Last year I cut my herd in half, this year I cut my herd in half again trying to keep my work load small enough I could manage it with my increasing disabilities. And here I am again making more does available. I should just disperse my herd but after 14 years of owning goats I just don't have it in me to quit them cold-turkey. Most of the does that are staying here are staying for sentimental reasons - they are related to my very first doe Mame' and my first buck Sunny.
All three of the following does have blue-eyes and all three are in milk with a sale price of $650 each:
Wags Ranch HT Moana - 4 yr old second freshener
Wags Ranch HT Rose Pavlova - 2 yr old first freshener (this girl will be a power house milker)
Wags Ranch HT Viennetta - 2 yr old first freshener
You can see pictures and pedigree info on the doe page, (unposed pictures take taken 7/19 below)
I also have two adult bucks for sale as well and they can be seen on the buck page.
Tangled Forest BB Kingfisher - 2 yr old buck has blue-eyes and moonspots and is the gentlest, sweetest buck ever. And his pedigree is fantabulous! I drove all the way out to Maryland to bring those fantastic genetics to the western half of the US. Take a look at the dams behind this guy! $1000
Onaqui EYHO Toblerone - 1 year old buck with marble eyes. Toby is extremely shy, not just with humans but with the other bucks and bucklings too. He is not the easiest guy to catch, but once you catch him he stands still. He also has a very lovely pedigree with high LA scores on the does behind him. His price is discounted because he can be hard to catch. $500
I did not have the ability to shave goats this year so here are the boys in all their hairy glory. (Shaved pictures of Kingfisher as a yearling are on the buck page.)
After I finished the milking yesterday morning I noticed that Viennetta's udder was significantly larger than the day before and she was off by herself and even the offer of an animal cracker wasn't tempting to her. And she never turns down a "cookie".
It was a very smoky, sultry day due several wildfires near us, so rather than letting her kid outside we moved her into the kidding room and ran the air conditioner unit that has filtration so both she and I could breath easier. I spent the day in the barn with her and by late afternoon it was starting to be apparent that she probably had a kid out of position. Sure enough when she finally started trying to push in earnest, the first kid presented with a single ear. At first I thought it was a tail and while breech births can be risky they are not all that uncommon and it isn't hard to help a doe out. But no, this was an ear and the little buckling had his head turned sideways. The second I got him out, his bigger SISTER was coming right on his heels. She came out hungry and was immediately trying to get to her feet and nurse.
Viennetta is a first time mom, and while she talked to them and cleaned them up she wasn't too sure about letting them nurse. She is doing better this morning and the babies had full tummies when we took them out for a quick round of pictures.
Ember will be retained in our herd and her brother will be available as a wether.