I haven't blogged a lot this year. I've been down with acute back issues and have been seeing a spine specialist. This latest bout had me out of the barn for three weeks. Thankfully my daughter is home from college for the summer and she has picked up all of my chores.
Knowing I won't always have help available I considered a total herd dispersement. But I just couldn't see myself being completely goatless. So I am keeping three adults and 2 kids from this year. Not easy choices and some of the ones up for sale are family favorites due to their friendliness. I kept my two most standoffish does not because I don't like friendly goats, but because in such a small herd I think I can convince them to be more people friendly.
So that leaves me with an updated sales page that includes 4 blue-eyed ADGA registered adult does, two of which are in milk. Also three 2023 doe kids all with blue-eyes. Lots of great pedigrees and high LA scores behind these ladies.
After losing Violet last fall, and then having health issues of my own, and computer issues I have been rather neglectful on keeping up with the news. So here is a recap before the next round of kidding occurs.
On 3/25 Gal x Tundra produced quads, 3 bucks and 1 adorable doe kid that will be retained. Gal short cycled and I bred her to Tundra again and apparently both times took. After she delivered the placenta 8 hours post kidding with what we thought was just triplets out popped a huge single buck kid that was DOA. My best guess he is was a product of the first breeding as he had a different placenta and was almost twice the size of the other three.
On 4/16 Kaimu x Tundra kidded with a single large buckling. He was as large or larger Gal's kid that had a three weeks head start on him. We have nicknamed him Rocket man and he has such a big personality and he loves to jump. He is going to be a wether companion to his sire.
Introducing our newest buck - *B TILL-RIV TA DR PEPPER. This blue-eyed boy born in 2021 will be replacing Tundra as one of our two herd sires. Tundra will be staying locally within the county so we will be seeing him again. Doc's dam has an LA score of VEEE91 that she received as a 9 year old. In 2020 she received the ANDDA Total Performer Award.
I have been trying to write this post for months now. I still can't talk about this beautiful girl without getting choked up. If you read my blog entry from July 25, 2022 you know that we had Linear Appraisal that day and the Violet was scored VEEE 90. At that time she was 10 weeks post partum with a retained kid.
WSU veterinary hospital checked her again in Sept and said that the skeleton wasn't breaking down or encapsulating and that there was nothing to be done. They could put her down, or we could take her home with an uncertain future. "She could live another 2 days or 2 years, there is no way to know." We couldn't bring ourselves to have her put down and planned to make her time with us as comfortable as possible. She passed away during the night of Oct 15th/16th.
We buried her in the pasture and the remaining herd gathered round to watch as we lowered her into the grave. A little later I was sitting outside the barn and little Vortex walked over and stood looking over the pasture. She gave a soft mama call, and then her older half sister Valkyrie walked out of the barn and stood shoulder to shoulder with her. Just two lost sisters looking off into the distance and missing their mama.
I had managed not to cry up until that moment but that just wrecked me. Valkyrie and Violet were close, but when Vortex came along she and Valkyrie were kind of at odds with each other. So to see Valkyrie be the one to step up was so sweet.
Out of all the goats I have loved and lost over the last 16 years, the loss of my first doe Mame' and now her grand-daughter Violet who looked so much like her, have been my hardest losses. Mame' and I had a special bond and while Violet and I didn't share that same bond, I waited two years for her to be born, and all my efforts to get Linear Appraisal for my herd were so she could get the recognition I knew in my heart she deserved. RIP Violet!
I really did think I had done enough - cutting my herd back to only 12 total, but with my daughter leaving for University tomorrow, and me having a extra tough time walking the past two weeks, it has hit home that I still need to make cuts no matter how much it hurts my heart to do so. Since Violet will be on a break, that only leaves me one second freshener (my daughters doe Lotus) and 3 first freshners to kid next year. Four is doable, especially if I can stagger their kiddings out enough for me to recover inbetween times.
So I have listed Creamy and Gal for sale as does in milk. Both are two years old and have blue-eyes. Creamy is a 2nd freshener with exceptional teat length and large orifices. She is one of my all time favorite does to milk in over past 15 years, and she stands quietly for hoof trimming. Gal is a very promising first freshener who is also people friendly and has great milk stanchion manners. Her teats are not as long as Creamy's but her orifice size is good and she is easily hand milked.
I am offering a discount if they are purchased together. I have found that purchasing does in pairs tends to make their transition to a new home easier on them.
We do the biosecurity screening through WADDL and have always received negative results. 2022 results are available upon request.
Back in 2019 I signed up for ADGA Linear Appraisal (LA). If you don't know, LA is different from showing because the goat is judged against the "perfect" goat based on specific traits and structural qualities. In a show the goat is only judged against the others competing in that particular class. Which theoretically makes LA a more accurate description of a goats traits.
In 2019 I ended up on the waitlist - but they were not able to fit me in. Then in 2020 days after I had notice that I was on the list for an October LA (seriously LA in Oct when people are often in the midst of breeding season?!?) they canceled the rest of the appraisals scheduled for that year. In 2021 I was again skipped but finally this year with only a months notice we were scheduled for LA.
My biggest reason for wanting to sign up for LA was to get my lovely Violet the recognition I thought she deserved. She kidded on May 9th this year with a single very large, very stuck doe kid. It was a battle getting the kid out. I checked for a second kid, but didn't find anything. We gave her a course of penicillin but she was having a hard time recovering. About 5 weeks after kidding she still wasn't herself and I smelled something off and we hit her with a second round of antibiotics that seemed to help for a few weeks. Then she had chunky kind of discharge and I took her to WSU. WSU did an ultrasound and then an endoscopy on July 7th and discovered she had a retained kid that she was slowly passing. They said the best option for her was to allow her to pass the remains naturally and that the process could take several months. And not to breed her this fall. LA was scheduled less than 3 weeks away at that point, and I was so disappointed for her. I should not have underestimated the queen!
With only a single live kid and a retained kid Violet's udder wasn't quite what it was in years past, but I decided against scratching her on medical reasons and went ahead and had her evaluated and boy am I glad I did! Her final score was VEEE90 as a 6 year old 5th freshener. I could not be more proud of her!
In other news, GraceRidge S One Summer Night scored an +VVV85 as a first freshener. That is exactly the score I was hoping for given her sire is out of the Castle Rock herd and many of the 90+ LA does had scores in the mid 80's on their first freshening. In fact, her paternal grand-dam Castle Rock Sarafina had a first freshening LA score of VVV+85. On her last appraisal she scored an impressive EEEE92 as a 5 year old. Summer has been sold to a show home, but one of her daughters "Summer Breeze" will be staying here.
Does in milk are now $50 off their previous price and are listed at $600 each. Both of them have some very nice genetics and are unrelated to each other so would make a great starter herd pair. Or pair one of them up with Ember who is ready to be bred this fall. Ember is related to Gal as Gal's dam is Ember's great grand-dam.
We also have three cute doe kids, two of which have blue-eyes that are ready to go to their new home. Check out our Available page for details!
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.