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    March 26, 2013 by Brandy Vencel

    Kidding season is officially over. We only have two does, so it probably shouldn’t be such a big deal to us, but they are ours, first of all, and also we have little experience, so everything is new right now. What can I say? It’s an adventure!

    My dad took all of us {including my sister and her family} on an amazing trip this past week. It was a vacation to remember. Happiest place on earth and all that.

    I couldn’t believe, however, that we were packing our Suburban and Reece still hadn’t delivered her kids. My neighbor is wonderful about watching the goats for us when we leave. She grew up on a dairy and is good with animals. But I didn’t want her to have to help deliver babies, and last time Reece really did need help. So I told my neighbor I was praying that Reece didn’t deliver until Saturday, which was the day we were coming home.

    And then I left out a bowl of cider vinegar to ease delivery, just in case.

    Apparently, I should have specified a time in those prayers. On Saturday morning we received a call that Reece was in labor. I heard Si say, “We’re leaving right now! We should be there in three or four hours!” When he hung up he told me that there would be babies on the ground by the time we got home.

    I was hoping my neighbor was wrong about that, but I should have known that someone who grew up on a dairy would know what she was talking about.

    And she did.

    We didn’t even unload the car when we drove into the garage, but raced to the window and saw…

    baby Kinder goats
    That’s right! Twins!
    Unfortunately, they are both bucks. We were hoping for at least one doe this season, but no such luck. I’ve read that cider vinegar feeding during breeding season {to pull up potassium levels} will increase the number does, so I plan to try that next time and see what happens. We’ve had five kids born in the last year, and all of them bucks. We’re due for some does, right?
    In the photos, these little guys are about 48 hours old. They are so. much. fun.
    baby Kinder buck Sandybaby Kinder buck Jet

    Kinder buckling Patch with his dam CharlotteEach doe seemed to clone herself this time. Jet looks exactly like his dam Reece {except that he came out with Pygmy ears rather than the droopy Nubian ears}, and Patch looks exactly like Charlotte. And Sandy? He doesn’t look like anybody. I wanted to name him Joseph due to his coat of many colors, but I was outvoted.

    By the way, here is Patch as of yesterday, just over three weeks old. As you can see, he is already getting huge. Goats are so tiny when they are born, but it doesn’t last very long, which is why the first two weeks are my favorite.

    We don’t usually use our four-year-old’s wagon for feeding, but we were in need of an extra trough while we were out of town. It’s the most popular hay spot on our property!

    Welsh Harlequin drakeI spent a lot of time outside yesterday morning to keep Charlotte from killing the twins. As the queen of the herd, she feels compelled to show her power, even upon the weakest members. If I can keep her from killing them the first few days, things seem to go well after that.

    While I was out, I got a shot of Sir Francis Drake in all his Welsh Harlequin glory. He may be useless, but his fantastic beauty is why I don’t eat him for supper.

    Thumper the rabbit

    I also took a photo of Daughter A’s rabbit, Thumper. He is about a year old now, and fully grown. He’s such a sweetie. Well, I say he, but recently there has been some debate about whether Thumper is a boy or a girl. I find it incredibly difficult to tell with rabbits, but we’re not letting him play with the other rabbit–which we know is a doe–just in case he really is a he. A-Age-Eight had a mini crisis yesterday when we discussed the possibility of Thumper being female. What will we call him? she wondered. Well, my opinion is that Thumper is his name. We can’t just change it because we find outr he’s a she. Suddenly, Daughter A solved the problem: We can call him Mrs. Thumper! So there you have it: Mrs. Thumper if he’s a she.

    In the photo behind Thumper you can see the dreaded foxtail weed. Once the seed heads dry and turn brown, they will torture us by sticking to our clothes and poking through the fabric into our skin. I’ll have to pull them one by one out of socks before doing laundry because they will only spread in the wash.

    Or, at least, that is how it used to be. Last year something miraculous happened. Just when I was fearing that goats did not eat foxtails and that we really would have to take care of these horrible weeds ourselves, just as they started to brown, the goats gorged themselves on them. There were none left after about a week. Apparently, goats like these weeds in the mature stage.

    So we leave the weeds to the goats and trust that they will take care of them in their own time. And when they do finally eat them, it lowers our feed cost during that time. Very handy weeds, those foxtails.

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    8 Comments

  • Reply Brandy Vencel March 31, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Yes, fencing is always an issue with goats. They *love* finding a way out. It’s like a hobby or something! 🙂

    We use 5′ hog panels, which could probably be attached to your existing fencing. We’ve owned 9 different goats so far, and only one of them {a buck in rut trying to get to a doe in heat} was able to jump that fence. Oh. And he almost broke his back doing it! He never did it again, that is for sure!

    You have a horse. How lovely! They are such beautiful creatures!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 31, 2013 at 11:23 pm

      p.s I’m glad the comments worked for you. They are working for me right now. What browser are you on? I’m just curious. It seems to be the Chrome people having the worst of it…

  • Reply Laurke Denise March 31, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I see your comments just fine. Those goats are so cute!!! Is fencing them an issue? I really would love to put one in with my horse…

  • Reply Brandy Vencel March 27, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    Aha! I changed the timestamp. I wonder if that will help…

  • Reply sara March 26, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Congratulations!

  • Reply Mystie March 26, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Well, maybe in that last paragraph you almost compel me to try goats. 🙂 We have tons of foxtails and I *hate* them so much!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 27, 2013 at 11:50 pm

      If all you want are weedeaters, you want wethers. They are faithful like dogs, and none of the hormonal issues!

      Goodness…I am STILL having comment issues. I can’t even see what I am typing so I hope this makes sense. Ba.

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