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Goat Birthing Madness: The Elite Eight

We're in the midst of our own version of March Madness. Goat Birthing Madness! Finally, a week after we posted about Sandia, our first goat born on the farm, we're getting a little breather and have a minute to catch up with you. Over the intervening time we've had four more does kid and now we're awash with eight little adorable baby goats. We have one more expecting mother, Mayday, who is due on April 8th, and then our kidding season is over for the year. Despite being relatively sleep deprived and having been covered in baby goat poop, pee, milk, amniotic fluids, or a melange of the four (there comes a time when you realize that it's absolutely pointless to put clean jeans on) for the past 5 days, It's been a joy and a true privilege to see these precious little beings come into the world. 

First up, the photos, because that's what everyone really wants to see! At the end we posted a few takeaways.

The Elite Eight, in reverse birthing order:

1Oak and Santos Party House (yes, we're serious), born to Tenjune (the bad NY nightclub line)

Milk lips. Ready for a napCalima and Chinook, born to Zephyr (names of winds)

Calima, born to our Alpine buckChinook, born to our Nubian buckSabine's babies, yet-to-be-named

Twin doelings, they always sleep with their heads on each other's shoulder

Nimbly, born to Almost There (adverb line)

Nimbly's blue-grey eyes

And Sandia, born to Tijeras (the New Mexico line)
And finally, Sandia! The wildest one of them all.

A few observations about our kidding season:

From five does we had eight kids, for an average of 1.6 kids per doe, which is exactly in-line with what we'd expect.

Six were doelings, two were bucklings. We're extremely happy with the number of doelings since we're still growing our herd and we plan to retain all of them.

We'll also retain at least one buck for breeding next year, most likely Chinook since he was born to our best milker, Zephyr and he appears to be the most vigorous of them all.

With twins, the boys were larger than the girls. Sandia and Nimbly, the two singletons, were larger than the doelings born as twins.

Each kid was within the 6-10 pound range. Tenjune and Sabine's kids were the smallest, as expected (first time fresheners with twins).

Three does kidded during the daytime, two kidded at night.

Only Tenjune kidded on her due date. All does kidded within a 147-152 day gestation band. Tijeras was 3 days early. Zephyr was two days late. Everyone else was in between.

Two kids had to be pulled, Nimbly from Almost (who contracted for 45 min without pushing the full head out), and the second kid from Sabine, who was having a similar problem as Almost. 

One of Sabine's kids had to be "swung" to clear breathing passages of afterbirth.

The kidding kit we had from Hoegger Supply worked well, as do the Non Vac lamb feeding bottles.

One kid had scours, but it mostly cleared up after a day with no treatment, just regular cleaning and continued feeding. 

The kids start nibbling and eating hay within a couple days.

This year the kids are in a pallet pen in the hoophouse. Next year they'll have a separate area inside of a building. It would be nice to have a little heat in there for them and not have to bring a wild pack of baby goats into the house at night as we've had to do as it has dipped into the low 20's on several occcasions this past week. This March was very cold.

Two sleepy farmers looking forward to taking a nap.