Robyn Scherer: From the Edge of the Ring 3-17-14
This last month has been one giant waiting game, which has left me with little sleep every night. However, that’s what it’s like when it’s baby season.
This past month has been busy. I had five wether does kid, two purebred Boer goats kid, one fullblood Boer doe and one Nigerian Dwarf kid. All together I had 19 goats born, which included three sets of triplets. We had seven born for show wether and four percentage does that will likely be retained to grow the wether program.
Most of the does were able to kid on their own, and I only needed to assist with three total. The first was the very first doe to kid, and her first baby was breach with only his tail coming first. The second doe I needed to assist had a single, giant buckling. The third was with my fullblood, who was a maiden.
Six of my seven show wethers have homes to go to, and will be shown in three different county fairs. Most of the does will be staying, and the bucks will be sold for breeding bucks.
Out of the fullblood and purebreds, I had three does and two bucks. The fullblood was a doe that I waited on for more than a week. I bought her out of Oregon in January, and she had a due date of February 28. However, that date came and went, and we still had no babies.
I contacted the breeder that I purchased her from, and learned that she could kid up to March 14 and still be in the time frame that she was exposed to the buck. She finally kidded on March 9, with two huge doelings.
She first went into labor about 1 pm, and by 4:30, I was still waiting on babies. She would lay down and push, then get up and walk around for awhile and then the process would repeat itself. I worry about does taking too long, since a baby could be stuck and could pass away.
Finally about 4:45 I decided to check her and found she wasn’t dialated very far. I worked with her, and could finally feel a kid. When she got the front feet to where I could grab them, when she pushed, I pulled. Finally the first kid was born. The second was born shortly after.
Part of the reason that I purchased this doe was to try to get a buck kid to retain as a second herd sire. It would just be my luck that she had two doe kids, so now I’ll still be looking for that second sire. Both doe kids are beautiful, however, and will be retained. I have decided to call them Josie and Kate.
The Nigerian Dwarf who freshened had triplets, and she had them much earlier than I had expected. That is because she was bred by my young Boer buck last fall instead of the Nigerian Dwarf buck. Thankfully she had triplets, and had them without any issues. Apparently this buck who pretended to not be interested in females yet had fooled me.
I’ve decided to call these little goats mini Boers, because they are they have the coloring of a Boer goat but are smaller. The two bucklings will be wethered, and they will be sold when they are old enough to be weaned. They weren’t planned, but thankfully they were heavy and at the end of the day, that’s all you can ask for.
This next month will be another busy month for me, as I have one fullblood Boer left to kid, and six dairy goats who will freshen in the next 30 days or so. Then I’ll have just one left at the end of April, and we will be done for the year.
Next year I think I will try to breed the goats to kid in a shorter window, so I’m not up every few hours for several months. It didn’t work out last year, but since I’ll have the bucks that I need to get it done this year, it makes the most sense.
This week I will be starting the pigs on their breeding synchronization program, to breed for summer litters. It looks like they will farrow towards the end of July, which will make them the right age for January and February shows. I am hoping to have three litters of purebred Hampshires, and two litters of crossbreds.
The piglets that were born at the beginning of February will be going to their new homes soon, and all I’ll have left is the one gilt that I decided to keep.
It should be a busy summer. ❖
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I have been rather preoccupied lately and haven’t been writing my editor’s note. So, for those who have called and emailed to make sure I’m still on this Earth, I’m still here.