Well, spring has finally sprung and it’s a great feeling! The only sad part about the change of season is that our goat kids, who were born in February, are already ready to fly the coop. They’re 8 weeks old now and eating solid food (while sneaking swigs from their mothers, of course) and they are more than ready to move on.
Actually, we are keeping the one female (Beauty) but we sold the three males (Beast, Bolt and Biscuit) about 4 weeks ago. They are going to become pets to a nice family in Norwich!
Now that the weather is nice, they’re running all over the place! At their new home in Norwich, they are going to have 5 acres of pasture to romp across. We are very happy for them!
We are going to miss them, too. They’ve become a staple on the farm. When you look across the yard to see them leaping and skipping in their pen, it always provides a smile.
(Below: Beast is a good eater, just like his mama).
Thankfully we are able to keep one of them, our little Beauty cutie (the pure white one below). That means that next year we will, Lord willing, have 4 mama goats and lots of goats milk. We are hoping to start a “herdshare” program to sell the milk next year!
(Below: We love her pointy ears!)
While it is hard to part with our farm’s first goat kids, we are very happy with how things turned out, and thankful for the fun time we had with them.
Beauty and Beast were born to their mother, Cammie, on Wednesday of last week, exactly one week ago. I remember that it was a Wednesday because Casey and I had Bible study later that night, and we ate a speed dinner on the way there because Cammie had just birthed her babies. Days like that make us feel like real farmers!! 🙂
If you read last week’s post about Rosie’s babies, Bolt and Biscuit, you’ll know that we missed the whole thing (our FIRST farm birth, and we missed it!). We were expecting Cammie to go into labor first because she was HUGE, so we weren’t watching Rosie as well. Well, you better believe we were watching Cammie this time. Even though 90-95% of goat births go off without a hitch, we still want to be there for those 5% of cases.. and to support our mamas!
Back to Wednesday… Casey and I went up to the barn at lunch time and found that Cammie was definitely in labor. How could we tell? Her backside was glazed with a very light pink liquid. (Sorry, folks, for any TMI) We really haven’t been able to tell they’re in labor by behavioral changes yet. It’s weird– the goats act like this whole labor process is “normal,” even though they’ve never experienced it before. Maybe us humans should take a cue?
Well, the labor could have lasted any number of hours at this point (up to 12 hours) so we went back inside where we could monitor her on the “TV surveillance system” rigged up in our bedroom.
Casey had to go back to work, but I stayed within earshot of the TV and worked on a few things before I went out to the barn to sit with Cammie. I grabbed my camera, the birthing kit and jacket and went out to join her. Luckily it was one of those random 65-degree days in February, so it was quite a pleasant day for a goat birth!
When I first got out there, I tried to time her contractions. To the best of my perception, I timed them at 5 minutes apart. Did that mean she was close or still had a while? Sometimes you realize you haven’t done your research…
Then she started pushing–I knew that sign! So I called Tyler to come out. (Casey’s brother Tyler was visiting from Michigan that week, and lucky for us, he had some experience birthing calves on a dairy farm! We were counting on him if anything went wrong… just kidding… Bahhhha.)
Here is a video of the final moments of Cammie’s labor. (If you don’t like viewing goat backsides or see slippery creatures come out of them, don’t feel you have to watch!!) My favorite part is Cammie at the end of the video. This was her first birth, so she seems really confused by this new little creature who suddenly appears in her stall! It actually took Cammie about an hour to warm up to her babies–but once she did, she became a professional mama: super attentive and a super protective. Way to go, Cammie!
We would very much welcome visitors to the goat barn at any time. We had a bunch of people come by last weekend, and we hope to have more people out this weekend! They’re so much fun and we’d love to share them with you! But hurry… goat kids grow up incredibly fast.
If you haven’t heard, we’ve had our first goat birthing at Hust Roost Farm! We’ve been waiting for this day for what seems like forever! Last year, our breeding wasn’t successful (whether it was our technique or a “dud” buck) so we waited and waited and the babies never came. This year, we knew the goats were pregnant because (1) They got HUGE and (2) One of the goats, Pepper, miscarried in January (sadly) but at least we knew the breeding worked.
Goats carry their babies for 5 months. So we measured the due date to be exactly 5 months from the day we brought Chief (our buck) in to run with our ladies.
When the due date was getting closer, we had several meetings to make sure we were ready to deliver our babies. We put together a birthing kit of everything we might need. We cleaned the stalls. We set up a camera which gives us 24/7 surveillance on a TV in our bedroom. We watched birthing videos. And we waited.
We were pretty sure that Cammie was going to deliver her babies first. Her stomach was huge and her udder was “bagging up” with milk. So we kept a close eye on Cammie and locked her in a stall, while we let Rosie stay out in the common area. Little did we know that Rosie was going to be the first momma….
Saturday afternoon, Casey’s mom stopped by the farm with her niece. They asked if they could visit the goats even though there were no babies yet. So we went on up to the barn.
When we walked into the barn, what did we see but TWO BABY GOATS standing in the corner of the barn!!! After all the preparation for birthing, we had missed the whole thing!
Rosie had already licked and cleaned the babies, and she had just moved away from them to eat some straw (mama was hungry!) While Casey’s mom called Casey on his cell phone, Rachel closed Rosie in her stall with some food, then brought the babies to join her. Now that they were taken care of, we tried to get our bearings. “Isn’t there something we’re supposed to do!?” The only thing we had to do was clean and trim the umbilical cords, and make sure the babies were drinking their mother’s milk. All of it went off without a hitch! What a gift that the first delivery was so easy. 🙂
Now you probably want to meet the babies!
Here is baby “Bolt” named for his facial markings that remind us of lightening. He’s also very lively, so it fits!
And here is baby “Biscuit,” also a male goat. He is a little smaller than his twin and a little more cuddly, but just as playful!
Mother and babies are doing great and we are welcoming visitors any time! (Just send us a text so we can make sure that Cammie isn’t in labor) Come and visit soon! They’re at the perfect age for both cuddles and cuteness and they grow up fast. But it will be just as fun to watch them frolicking around the yard in just a few weeks! We’re going to enjoy this season. 🙂