We have just finished with October kidding. We like to kid out some full bloods in October to free up some kidding stalls for the January kidding of percentages and purebreds for 4-H projects and such, which should free up some stalls for end of Feb./March kidding, which should free up some stalls for the April kidding, which should free up some stalls... well, you get my drift. Whether by design or Ooooops we seem to kid almost year round. We do draw the line at June, July, Aug., Sept. kiddings. Too many flies that time of year and sometimes it gets so hot and humid the does will dry up on us, leaving hungry kids.
This October kidding left us with 13 full blood baby bucks and 13 full blood baby does, all cuter than bugs, just love the little things. We had eight yearling first timers kidding and six of our older does kidding. I love those older does. You can count on their reaction to kidding. Theyíve been through it before. Now, the first timers, as usual, you have to keep an eye on. No telling how they will react to kidding. With the Boers and some of the other fast growing breeds, you can kid earlier than with other breeds. So, itís like children having children. Economically you are getting ahead kidding early, but sometimes you have to be willing to put the time in with these young does. Donít leave them alone, hang them out to dry type of deal.
Take for instance Sug (pronounced Shug), beautiful Boer doe, bred at one year of age (I quit doing it at 8 months, decided to give them a little more growing time). Lee and I were up at the house when we heard a newborn kid cry over the baby monitor. Lee is faster then me and made it to the barn first.
It seems Sug had had this kid on the run. This sometimes happens with first timers, the pains scare them and they run the stall. She had dropped the kid on her head in the corner and continued running away from the crying thing. Lee found the newborn kid on her knees, crawling, her back legs too wobbly yet to stand, doing her best to keep up with mom and get to her, crying pathetically the whole time.
Sug was beside herself with terror. Something had really hurt her and now that thing was following her around! It was a true horror film for her. She wanted nothing to do with that brave little girl, which in her eyes was a slimy crying monster.
Lee said, "Sheís not going to accept it." I said, "Letís see."
I went in the stall and started toweling the little girl down, talking to Sug. Sug is one of the sweetest, tamest goats on the place. Now at first it doesnít seem like a good thing, but if Sug was not going to clean her kid, the best thing she could have done was what she did, drop her on her head. This broke the kid out of the sack so she wouldnít drown in the fluids. But, what was so surprising was how strong this kid was and how smart. She was immediately on her knees trying to follow mom. Since her daddy was Strong Man Joe, she instantly got the name Strong Girl Joelene.
While I was toweling Strong Girl Joelene, I was talking to her and talking to Sug. Sug stood there with nostrils flaring in fear, but when she saw me calmly crooning to the girl and handling her, she had to come over and see what I was doing. She took one tentative lick and she was hooked. She stood there and licked while I toweled and we had the girl cleaned up in no time and iodine put on the belly button. She even let Strong Girl Joelene nurse without moving away, another trick of first timers, not understanding the feel of a cold wet thing wanting to nurse on their udder. But, Sug had no problems with the nursing.
Sug started feeling more pains and laid down and had a handsome boy, which she immediately knew what to do with and had his face licked clean of the sack. It took her a minute or two to get use to the idea of two nursing at the same time, but she learned quickly and next year there will be no problems with Sug accepting her kids.
Two yearling sisters gave us a new experience. One sister started kidding which the other sister in the kidding stall beside her could see through the hog panel, so she laid down and started kidding. When one would holler, the other would look over at her and holler too. Very confusing. Then they both kidded at the same time and they both wanted each others kids, not noticing their own kids in the stall with them. We had to hang up a towel between them and then when they looked around and saw their own kids, they were ecstatic. We had to keep the towel up between them for a while so they wouldnít forget their own kids, but after 5 hours, they were fine.
Another yearling had two huge boys, handsome things. The first boy was up on his feet in seconds, hollering lustily, "Milk! Milk!" and heading for momís udder. The other boy was quieter, not saying a word, just looking around like he wished the world would quit spinning. The aggressive one got on momís nerves and she just down right refused him, knocking him flat, being aggressive herself. I took that kid and he became my bottle kid. Unless you are willing to sit and work with them and even then the young mother might still refuse the one, donít leave them alone together or she will kill it. Next year, this young doe will be fine, so I accepted my first Oct. í04 bottle kid.
The rest of the yearlings were great. All in all, I ended up with three bottle kids. One young mom didnít have enough milk for two, so I took the boy and one older mom had trouble with one side of her udder not working, so I took the boy there too. One older mom had three big kids and I left them on her because she had 4 functional teats, perfect for triplets and quads and given enough good food, she would raise them better then me. Sheís done it before in the past. Grand olí gal.
I did have one fright. One of the girls was kidding and I was observing with my flashlight (feeling very Farmer CSI) and watched as a foot, a nose came out, so far so good. And, then over top the head another foot and leg appeared, hanging down right between the kidís eyes. I thought, "Oh No! Another kid is trying to come out at the same time!!!!!!"
It ended up that the kid had simply got one of his own front legs up over his head and that was what was hanging there between his eyes. He came out with no problems while I was sitting there hyperventilating.
Yep, canít wait for that January kidding now.