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Kidding Log - 3

| 1/17/2012 10:04:00 PM

The playpen 
The playpen 

Since my last post 29 kids have been born to 13 is definitely the year of the white goat! Dairy goats are very prolific animals; most of the does have at least two kids, many have had triplets and two have had singles.

It's interesting to compare kidding this year to lambing at Flying Mule Farm last year. Here with the goats at Toluma we usually kid in a barn, then move the moms and babies into their own freshen pens for 24 to 48 hours so they can bond, eat and not get trampled, stressed or mixed up. It is labor and capital intensive. 

Some of our freshen pens, kind of like my cubicle in a past life 
Some of our freshen pens, kind of like my cubicle in a past life. 

When I helped with lambing last February, it was out in a leased field with no structures around. The ewes were expected to make sure their lambs were cleaned off, nursing and ready to go within 20 minutes of hitting the ground. If an ewe wasn't a good mother and her lamb died or had to be bottle raised, she usually didn't get to stay in the flock.

The goats I am working with now have not had selection pressure to be good mothers. We keep replacement does based on the amount of milk their mothers produce as well as the length of the mothers lactation cycle; a good udder, general good health and mild temperament (i.e., no kicking in the milking parlor) are also important factors.

1/19/2012 9:35:01 PM

Callie, boy you certainly are doing a lot of kidding around (pun intended) aren't you? It is strange that the male population has the upper hand this year. I'm not sure about goats but with other farm animals usually the girls out number the boys. I wonder what it all means. Thanks for the update on the Toluma farm baby situation. Have a great day.

kelly nichols
1/19/2012 12:26:31 AM

this looks terrific! I've posted it to my daughter's FB page "Emma Wants a Goat." We plan on getting a kid in the Spring and see how it goes from there. Thanks for the inspiration!

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