|Copper, January 2013|
She also wanted a lot of petting, scratching and reassurance. I came and went from the barn, staying for a while and pulling up a chair.
The last time I came up, this is what I found. And with each contraction, Copper would yell in protest. Quite loudly. I have had some goats that don't make a sound as they give birth, some that groan a little and some that really yell. Copper fit into the latter category.
Well, I let her be for a while. She got up and moved around some which lessened her pain because she quit hollering with each
|Two little feet|
But she took to them, cleaned them and mothered them very well. All signs of a good, productive mother. Thank you. When you have a new animal or one having their first babies, there is always a question about how they will perform. It's disappointing when the results are not favorable, especially after waiting months to find out. It's great when they meet or exceed your expectations.
One of the things we do as soon after birth as possible is trim, if needed the babies umbilical cords. One to one and a half inches is a good length. Then we totally coat the cord with strong 7% Iodine. This strong solution will close off, basically cauterize, the umbilical cord and thus, the opening to the body, removing an avenue for bacterial infections which can be lethal.
I was very excited to learn that Copper's second kid is a doe. I was hoping she would have one that we could keep. This means she had to meet our color requirements. Our original herd had more color
|Penny, one day old|
Before you ask what her brother's name is you should know that we ban the boys so they become wethers, just like a bull becomes a steer. The boys are our meat on the hoof. Meat that doesn't require refrigeration or freezer space. Kind of like insurance. If the grid goes down or a long
I know some people say they just can't eat an animal they raise, but to me, it is all in the way you approach the situation. If you raise animals for a particular purpose, then you keep that mind frame. Take Velvet for instance. She is for sale. She was born here, we named her, worked with
her, trained her to milk and have had two sets of her babies. She is One Stripe's daughter and Copper's sister, but we can't keep them all or we would quickly be overrun with too many animals and be overwhelmed and give up. Believe me. We have been there and done that. Our first herd was Suffolk sheep, nine ewes and a ram, which quickly turned into 27 animals once all of the babies were born on our 5 acres. We were totally overwhelmed and instead of selling some and keeping the best, we sold them all. Not the best decision we have made. But we kept trying with other flocks and eventually switched over to goats.
And another thing we learned in the last two years, grandmothers tend to nurse their grand'kids'. Last year, Ivory's mother, Katy, did just that. She 'took over' Ivory's daughter leaving Ivory her son to
|Katy with Ivory to her left|
|Ivory in waiting|
I'll fill you in on Ivory next. I really thought she would have her babies before Copper, but that was not the case. Ivory's babies are beautiful though and arrived without a hitch. And the baby chicks are hatching and the garden is just about ready to plant. Ahhh....spring! The time of life and renewal. Take advantage of it as quick as you can. I pray things in the world don't boil over this summer. That will give us more time to learn and prepare.
Until next time - Fern