Baby Goats are Upon Us

This fall we bred a month earlier for February births. That makes bigger for sale goats in the fall. We modified the winter housing to have three feeding areas so there’s less competition for headspace.

Newborn twins 3 hours before

7 mommas gave birth, 1 with a single, 5 with twins and one with triplets. 2 more on standby for delivery.

Triplets taking a long nap

We made three small pens for delivery and early stages of nursing. They share a fence with the rest of the flock so they are not isolated, but the kids have their mothers in a close space to help with nursing.

Newborn 5 minutes before

Most of the mothers did very good and required no intervention. Two of the mothers rejected one of their twins. That required extra management throughout the day to help drive nursing activity. Few things are as frustrating to me as a mother who won’t nurse one of her kids, they will both be sold by summer.

Isolated and sad kid too left. Milking stall to lock mother up to right. Absurd mother in foreground. Well fed kid to mid left. Overall, picture of the kidding pen.

By the end of a week in this facility, the neglected kids wear the mothers down and they can all nurse effectively now. No bottle feeding required!

One of the triplets started small and can’t hang with the big ones. That one is taking a bottle with great reluctance. She’s also the most advanced at eating grass so far.

Note the dull grass in foreground, recently cattle territory

It is very fun to turn them loose on the spring growth in the yard. Lots of running and jumping for the little ones and lots of weeds consumed from my yard.

Net fencing trials

We are trying a portable electric net to focus their grazing on the pasture. Opening test run was successful and we’re looking forward to experimenting throughout the summer.