|Ebony and the silkies have the run of a 5 foot by 10 foot stall. I made|
Ebony a hay cave under the stairs.
|Ebony was not sure about this new home.|
Anna's Reluctant Nursing:
Anna gave birth on Monday to a lovely Lamancha buck. She had him in the wee hours of the morning without notice nor assistance. By the time Sean found the kid, Pete was already mostly dry and standing on his own. As Monday passed, Anna gave no indication of allowing Pete to nurse from her. Colostrum is imperative to a kids health. According to this paper published by the Iowa State Extension Office, ideally goat kids should receive half of their colostrum needs within 4 hours of birth and must have it within 24 hours. After that, the kid's body cannot absorb colostrum- the window is shut forever. With these thoughts in mind, it was very worrisome that every time Pete attempted to nurse, Anna would kick him off and walk away. She had no trouble cleaning him, would call if he got out of sight, but eat? No way. Through the day Monday, Sean held Anna steady for 3-4 minutes and allowed Pete to nurse. We hoped that she would settle into the swing of things and by morning, everything would proceed normally. At least we knew that Pete got colostrum within the window.
Thursday dawned with wonderful tidings. Sean walked into the barn to check on everyone and found Anna allowing Pete to nurse from her. Full on, standing still, tail waggin', nursing!!!! Success! 12 hours later and I actually sighed while writing this to you. I cannot tell you the relief this is for us.
Finally, I promised you some video of those goat kids playing. Tomorrow we begin milking four of the does who have kidded; Abby, Jane, Rachel and Keziah. We won't milk Anna this year at all. Though it was also Keziah's first year kidding, she is a year older than Anna and we planned on breeding her. She has a nice udder formed and I feel comfortable introducing her gently to milking. Anna is younger than we'd like. She bred before we wanted her to. This year, we are going to let her focus on being Mom to young Pete and not put any kind of pressure on her to give us any milk. We'll make decisions about which does will be milked this year as the others kid and we can evaluate them.
To prepare for sleeping in a separate stall from their mothers, we gave the kids some goat kid play time- away from their Moms. The mothers took it in stride. I nabbed Rachel's twins last and she yelled and yelled at me... until I took her kids. With a look of relief to her kid-sitter (me), she quietly turned her attention to eating in peace. It was hilarious. I could only imagine her yelling, "Wait! You forgot to take mine! I need 2 minutes of peace to pee in private! C'mon!" The kids had varying reactions. Some just wanted to tackle the stump. Others wanted to tackle each other. Some never made a peep and didn't notice Mom wasn't in the same stall. Others called and called until their mother stuck her head over the stall. With nine kids in the same stall, it won't take more than a night or two for the kids to settle in to the new routine.
I am excited to begin milking- even without shelter, in 8* weather. I have been missing the joy of fresh cheese. I should have enough milk to make chevre tomorrow and feta on Saturday. I am in cheese making heaven. To add to my excitement~ Sean got the spider webs ::shudder:: removed from the barn tonight. This forward progress feels soooo good. ♥
Thanks for visiting with us tonight friends. You make the journey all the more pleasant.
~Sean and Sonja ♥