With three of her four kids having been sold as bottle babies, Millie was understandably worried that her remaining kid was going to disappear too. Her fear is ultimately what caused her remaining kid to be taken from her and raised as a bottle baby.
Millie hid Choc-o-latte yesterday evening and didn't give in and call her to reveal herself until it was full dark. When we found her in the bottom pasture she was wet and chilled from a light rain and obviously hadn't eaten in quite a while. Took her to the house to get warm and dry and gave her a bottle for the first time in her life. She glugged down a good portion and then snuggled in to sleep on my lap. I decided at that point that we just couldn't risk Millie doing that again. Granted the baby was hard for us to find, but I'm not so sure she would have been that difficult for a coyote to find. Plus the fact that she was chilled and hungry led me to go ahead and make her a bottle baby.
And since Itty-Bitty is the only other kid from this year that we are retaining it meant Itty-Bitty was weaned earlier than I had planned on so that Choc-o-latte will have company. And the bright side, they will both hopefully become more bonded to us since they are the two kids from this year that seem to be the most independent minded just like their dams.
We have now officially sold every kid born this year other than the two doe kids (Itty Bitty & Choc-o-latte) that we intend to keep. And despite numerous inquiries they are NOT going to be for sale either. Sorry.
Hazel, pictured here getting her lunchtime bottle from Bekah, will be going to the same home as her 3/4 sister Misty (Rita's doe kid) tomorrow morning.
We hardly got a chance to get to know Millie's quads before three of them moved to their new homes. But I am happy that they, along with Rita's two have all found good homes. Bekah is a little disappointed as she was looking forward to feeding bottle babies. However, for me that means once less thing to try to squeeze into a busy summer schedule.
Millie and her foursome are all doing well this morning and the babies all had full tummies when I checked. They weren't real thrilled to be moved from their snuggle pile so I could get some pictures in the daylight but you can't really see that the darker doe kid is actually a rich dark chocolate color (like her sire's dam) except in good light. That dark color really make her blue eyes stand out. And her sister is equally beautiful. It is going to be so hard to choose between them!
Shortly before 5pm this evening Millie finally got down to business and out popped a very tiny buck kid. Next up was a much larger kid that was a complete breech. Had to help that blue-eyed girl into this world quickly, but Millie was a trooper and she is a very healthy and vigorous doe kid.
After Millie downed nearly two quarts of molasses water and taking a short break blue-eyed kid #3 made his colorful appearance. And finally just when I was starting to think that was it, a lovely doeling rounded out the quartet. These are the FIRST quads born here on the ranch.
Millie is always such a good mother and is taking excellent care of all her babies. The littlest needed some help from a bottle but once he got a little colostrum in his belly he figured out how to get it straight from the tap.
We plan to retain one doeling for our herd, now the hard part is going to be choosing which doeling that is going to be.
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Day 144 for Millie today and she is doing her best to keep the does code of honor. After a night of "sleeping" in the barn (the cot collapsed at 4am!) I am nearly at the "babbling fool" status. And just in case you aren't familiar with the code here it is:
Does Code of Honor
The doe’s secret code of honor is as old as goats themselves and is ultimately the species best kept secret. No doe shall ever kid before it’s time. (It’s time being determined by the following factors):
1- No kid shall be born until total chaos has been reached by all involved. Your owner’s house must be a wreck, their family hungry and desperate for clean clothes, and their social life nonexistent.
2- “Midwives” must reach the babbling fool status before you kid out. Bloodshot eyes, tangled hair and the inability to form a sentence mean the time is getting close.
3- For every bell, beeper, camera or whistle they attach to you, kidding must be delayed by at least one day for each item. If they use an audio monitor, one good yell per hour will keep things interesting.
4- If you hear the words, “She’s nowhere near ready. She’ll be fine while we’re away for the weekend,” Wait until they load the car, then begin pushing!
5- Owner stress must be at an all time high! If you are in the care of someone else, ten to fifteen phone calls a day is a sign you’re getting close.
6- When you hear the words “I can’t take it anymore!” wait at least three more days.
7 -You must keep this waiting game interesting. False alarms are mandatory! Little teasers such as looking at your stomach, pushing your food around in the bucket and then walking away from it, and nesting, are always good for a rise. Be creative and find new things to do to keep the adrenaline pumping in those who wait.
8- The honor of all goats is now in your hands. Use this time to avenge all of your barn mates. Think about your friend who had to wear that silly costume in front of those people. Hang onto that baby for another day. OH, they made him do tricks too! Three more days seems fair. Late feedings, the dreaded diet, bad haircuts, those awful wormings can also be avenged at this time.
9- If you have fulfilled all of the above and are still not sure when to have the kids, listen to the weather forecast on the radio that has been so generously provided by those who wait. Severe storm warning is what you’re waiting for. In the heart of the storm jump into action! The power could go out and you could have the last laugh. You have a good chance of those who wait missing the whole thing while searching for a flashlight that works!
10- Make the most of your interrupted nights. Beg for food each time someone comes into the barn to check you. Your barn mates will love you as the extra goodies fall their way too.
Remember, this code of honor was designed to remind man of how truly special goats are. Do your best to reward those who wait with a beautiful doeling to carry on the Doe Code of Honor for the next generation of those who wait!
Millie may be barely able to waddle around anymore but that doesn't mean she has ceased to rule the herd with an iron fist! She is due June 23rd so could get bigger still before she kids.
At this point it would not surprise me if she graced us with quads - I'm just hoping if she does they will all be does!
We have decided to retain Millie's grand-daughter Itty-Bitty Blues. Her sister is more colorful and friendlier but Itty-Bitty reminds us so much of Millie at that age we just had to keep her. Wags Ranch MB Azure Mist will be up for sale if Millie gives us a nice doe kid, since we can only keep two if we hope to have room to keep any next year.
And finally, their "big brother" who has now been named Wags Ranch MB Snowflake Jasper is up for sale as a buckling. His dam, Wags Ranch SM Rita, has such a beautiful udder and is milking so well that I'm sure he would be of benefit to almost any herd.