Monday, March 16, 2015

Goat's Kidding, Boaz and Anna are Born

Sean left about an hour ago to bring Miss Caitlin to work. Usually, I take this extra 40 minutes to deeply study the insides of my eyelids, especially if Molly goes with him for the ride and the house is quiet and dark. This morning I awoke to Sean snoring up a storm. (It is ironic that Sean's relentless snoring, when I am trying to drift into sleep, is often annoying. Yet, that same sound in the middle of the night or in the early morning hours usually makes me smile to myself. It is proof that I am never alone. He is here. ♥) Once awakened, nature called and needed attending to. And, as soon as my feet hit the floor, my brain roused itself to begin the day. I tried to convince it that we could rest for a bit longer, but after a few minutes of laying awake thinking about the day ahead, I knew sleep was no longer an option. That did not mean that I had to actually leave the warm cocoon of my bed. If that is not what laptops were created for, it should've been.

I promised you all pictures and a post about the arrival of Naomi and Asher's first kids. No better time to write it for you than now...

To be completely candid, there is not so much to tell. We missed it.

It snowed about 6 inches over night and the snow was still coming down heavily Sunday morning. While I prepared a warm breakfast of fresh, homemade cinnamon buns and sausage links, Sean offered to milk Jane and Abby solo. I agreed. So, Sean milked the two does, gave them their Ivomec booster, and returned them to their kids. Then, he checked pregnant does for signs of kidding before coming inside for breakfast. I strained the milk and recorded the amounts in between working on breakfast and tending the wood stove. Over breakfast Sean commented that he thought Naomi would be kidding in the next couple days and that Keren was not far behind.

After breakfast, Sean and I made three batches of goat's milk soap, feta cheese, ricotta cheese, and a loaf of fresh Italian bread. I finished some new jewelry pieces while Sean cared for feeding and watering our animals. Afternoon chores were finished by 4:00. It felt good to have a lazy day at home. We enjoyed dinner together. The girls cleared the table for us and we gathered in the family room to watch a TV program and enjoy a slice of chocolate cake. Sean brought in Phoebe and Zeke to romp and snuggle with us.

The program ended and the kids needed to be returned outside to sleep. Sean checked the barn once more only to discover two black lumps that he could not account for in the expectant doe stall. He rushed to turn on the light so he could see better all the while worried that he was too late...

And, he was.

Naomi had kidded twins and cleaned up all on her own. Sean was greeted by two alert and completely dry, furry baby goat kids and one happy Momma looking for treats. Sean ran to the family room window and rapped to get my attention. He rattled off, "Naomi has kids!" and he was gone again. Not knowing what to expect, I grabbed my barn sweater, threw on Sean's boots, slipped my camera into the vet bag and headed outside. Since we had not yet moved Naomi into a private kidding stall, getting to her and the kids meant climbing over stall rails and dodging a couple other pregnant does. Easily enough done, but not convenient.

Proud Daddy, Asher was very
interested in his kids.
Haddie, Salome (Me-me), and Keren share the stall with Naomi. Haddie and Me-me are not due for another month with Bailey and Lilly, so we moved those two out to give Naomi some more room and less company. We'll continue to let Keren stay with Naomi for a couple reasons. First, they are buddies. Also, Keren is due any day now, too. Naomi has a strong mothering instinct. She was the doe who cleaned off Samson when Abigail rejected him last year. Since this is Keren's first kidding, it might be good to have a seasoned doe in the stall. Sean just chimed in with, "And, we'll be plum out of room if we can't double up some of the does." He has a point. Our building motto has been, plan ahead for the size we want our herd to be and then, double that. Goat math can be as tricky as chicken math. We framed out and built a 20x30 two story barn over the past two years and we're already planning a 10' x 20' addition to it for this year. We need the room.

Naomi and Boaz
Since kidding had already happened, all we had to do was check over the new kids and Mom, weigh the kids, and discover their genders. Another buck/doe combination! We named the little buck, Boaz. He is pure black and has long, floppy ears like his Momma. Bo weighed in at 6 pounds. His sister is named Anna. She is an oreo-colored doeling; black in front and back with a white band around the middle. Baby Anna has one black front leg and one white front leg and her Daddy's Lamancha elf ears! She weighed in at 5 pounds. These kids are Nigerian Dwarf/Lamancha cross. We expect them to grow to be good, medium sized goats between 80-100 pounds. This will be our first year milking Naomi, so we do not have any idea of how much milk she'll produce nor how her milk will taste. But, if she performs well, we may keep Miss Anna to add to our line. Asher's mother and sister are both excellent milk producers. His offspring may be as well.

So that is three kiddings complete; three healthy sets of twins and three proud Mommas. Three bucks and three does born. We have at least three more ahead of us this season and potentially four more. I will have some video of these new kids as the days pass, but I do not have any of their birth. Instead, please enjoy some cute images of our newest kids.

Boaz and Anna
Keren is getting close! :) 
Last night, Keren was showing signs of impending kidding. Her udder grew considerably larger through the day and her kid(s) had dropped into the right position. As of 10:30 this morning, Keren is showing signs of pre-labor; she is up and down trying to find a spot that is comfortable- mostly unsuccessfully. We suspect she has only one kid, but we aren't certain of that.

We cancelled this morning's plans to go out to "Preach the Word" choosing instead to stay home. The kid(s) could come tomorrow or even the next day, but we are fairly sure it will be today. This is Keren's first birth. We have observed how wonderfully well the instincts created within our animals work, but from time to time, a little help is needed- especially the first time. So, we'll be here. To help if she needs it; to cheer her on, if she doesn't. And, we'll keep you posted with any new developments.

Thanks for visiting with us this morning, friends.
We are sure glad for your company. :)

~Sean and Sonja ♥

PS. Originally, we planned to name Anna, "Ruth", but we changed our minds overnight. She just didn't look like a Ruth. So, Anna it is. :) 

1 comment:

  1. I love it! They are so cute. I hope all of the future kiddings go as smoothly.