Have you ever had an IDEA that was absolutely fool proof? It was so good that you decided to make a PLAN and you just knew this PLAN had to work and why on earth hadnít you thought of it years ago? The time and the money it was going to save you would be outstanding.
Ah, yes, the PLAN occurred to me last summer when grain prices were sky high, more than doubled their usual amount. Importantly, there was no drought last year for us. Yes, even wet West Virginia can have a drought last four or five months. Donít laugh, this would be a shock to us. We are use to having moss grow behind our ears because it is so wet here.
With the high cost of grain, we decided it was time to try the PLAN. We took our adult girls off grain all summer and gave them good minerals plus plenty of really good forage. The reason was because of breeding season coming up in August.
For years Iíd read article after article that it was important to put your does on grain about two weeks before they were to be bred to insure that they would take and that they would have twins and not singles. At that time we kept all our girls on a little grain year round, not a lot, but they got grained once a day year round. And, every year we had loads of triplets and quads and I had loads of bottle babies because the two teated girls had it too rough trying to handle triplets and quads.
This year I decided to cut back the amount of bottle babies, if not maybe not have any at all if the PLAN worked. Thus, started the PLAN. I just knew this would work and save lots of money on milk and lots of time. The girls went into the buck pens for a month in August without having nary a mouth full of grain all summer. Later on in the winter we separated the pregnant girls out and the last two months of their pregnancy we grained them and also made sure there were plenty of goat molasses tubs and goat protein blocks available.
Kidding time came around and we stood there grinning. Now we would find out. This would be the PLAN in action. Looked like two does had not taken out of the forty-five bred and the only thing we could think of that might happen with the PLAN would be that they only had singles and that wouldnít be a bit good, two kids per doe was the desirable number to help break even or show a little profit.
The first two had twins. So far, so good. The PLAN was working. Then, the main lot after that had triplets or quads.
Oh no, we moaned. What happened to the PLAN? We hadnít grained the girls at all before putting them in with the bucks. When I got up to fifteen bottle kids, I told the rest of the girls that as much as I really like bottle kids, I just couldnít handle any more. It took more than 45 minutes to fix the milk, feed the kids, and wash the bottles and I was doing this four times a day, plus trying to keep up with care of over one hundred adult goats and, of course, over one hundred kids now on the ground. And, we were finishing out kidding on a couple of the rest of the does. Lee and I were wore ragged.
The last few does that had triplets (what else?) I apologized to them and told them 15 bottle kids was all I could handle and I put those does and their kids in very large stalls to be fed well and watched over to make sure there were no problems, this being one of the coldest winters. Does with four teats were in large stalls also with their four kids getting the same treatment to make sure everyone was getting enough to eat. The rest of the does and their two kids each were outside in run-in sheds equipped with dog houses inside for the kids to get in to warm up on really cold days.
The only thing I can figure about the PLAN was I forgot to explain it to the does. Of course, once they had heard they were to get no grain all summer, there could be a possibility that they would have a PLAN to string me up the first time they caught me alone. So, maybe letting them in on my fantastic PLAN would not have been a good idea at all.
Well, so much for that PLAN. But, you know, Iíve been thinking on something else. Now, this could really be big. It would be absolutely amazing and I would save loads of money and time. All I need is a PLAN and Iím sure it will work.