Just goes to show you that you should keep track of every time your does are exposed to the buck. It would have been very helpful if I had been home. Then when I saw the dramatic change in her udder, that Kirk later reported to me, I could have checked last year's calendar and thought yes, she could go. and that I had better check often for the tail head to loosen and her flanks to sink in.
This is the first time I have had a doe breed and then come in cycle again and have taken the first time. (As long as you have livestock you will continue to experience something new.) It is seldom that I keep a doe that requires breeding more than once. But this was an unusual breeding year. All the does bred more than once. Since the three yearling, coming yearlings as they haven't actually had their birthdays yet, are so young their cycles are indeed rather messed up until they've gained a little age so I don't become too excited about first timers. It happens with all animals that it takes a little while for their cycles to settle in. Every had a female kitten turn six months.? They sometimes yowl like the world is coming to an end on their first cycle but not there after.
So I'm looking closely at my threee yearlings and thinking, since they haven't formed any perdictable patterns that Mercedes took the second time because she isn't showing signs that she will kids soon, tail head is low, udder small.
Madelyn on the otherhand is different. She is confusing. She is the brown one in the above photo. She is the smallest and her udder isn't very big but her tail head is as loose as I have ever seen even in a doe in full labor. Definitely not one who is as far away as she is from her due date. She will be worthy of close scrutiny. This raising of the tail head, or for those of you not familiar with the term the ridge along the top of the hind quarters that runs to the tail, is displayed in all animals and I'm sure humans too. A raised tail head is evidence that the muscles have loosened and bones shifted to allow the passage of offspring. I have witnessed it on horses, sheep, cattle and goats of course plus I'm keeping an eye on Gracie our yak for just this. I can't remember about pigs but surely so. It has been quite a few years since I farrowed for a friend.
Meagan had triplets. She had a single last year and if she continues like her grandmother she will from now on have triplets. From my observation I've noticed that it has more to do with the feed program than genetics as to multiple births. Keep in mind that the more kids a doe has then the more milk she will have also since her body gears up for the number of kids to be born. That is the rule of course and there are exceptions.
Before we leave this picture, notice the udder on Meagan who is two. She produced more milk last year than any other yearling doe I've owned. I have great hopes for her this year.
At four days past kidding she has more milk than the kids need so I took some, a quart and a third. It will be so nice to have fresh milk.
I've made a goal of not buying any store milk while the does were dry. I've used home bottled goat's milk and frozen goat milk. The home canned more than the frozen and why I bought store milk at all before slays me. I will not ever again if I can help it. I've used this milk in everything. I have learned that separated milk cans more nicely than whole since the cream separates in the jar when canned. I also like separated frozen milk better too. Of course when I separate I do so twice running the separated cream back through once more to gain heavy cream. The lighter cream goes back into the milk.
Now for the sad news. We lost the largest kid. Kirk is doing the if only I would have maybe we wouldn't haves. He has never been ahead of kidding and so this is his first experience. He's kicking himself for not doing some things and wondering if that was the cause. One never knows but he was blessed that it was on a set of triplet bucks. Bucks aren't as easy to get rid of. And the other blessing of the situation is that I'm having trouble getting Meagan to except the smallest kid as it is. She likes the middle kid. She didn't want a kid at all last year and it took a few weeks to get them to bond like they should. Two will be a stretch for her this year but I think we can get it done. It is just too far to the corrals to run back and forth to bottle feed. Can't wait to move someday and have the livestock close by.
It is especially hard to get Meagan and the littlest one, Rainbow Dash. (Yes, you heard me, Rainbow Dash) to bond since he wasn't strong enough to contend with his mom's shinanigans kicking her leg up and down. That meant I have had to let the little buck nurse for a short time after scolding Meagan into standing still and since it took too long to nurse with him being a bit weak, I mainly bottle fed for three days.
As for the Rainbow Dash name, our four year old when her sisters were throwing around names for them insisted on Rainbow Dash. Her mom tried to get her to name the kid that was dying Rainbow Dash telling her it needed a name and a loving before it went back home to Heavenly Father. To this she replied, " Oh good, he gets to go home." Then she said with a very stern voice, " I don't want a dead Rainbow Dash, I want a lives one." Meaning such a wonderful name deserves a lives recipient. So though the registration papers will not say Rainbow Dash on them for purposes of keeping the peace we will call him that until he leave and his new owner can come up with something else. LOL
Now today he has nursed from the back so she doesn't see him. Still I have to go down four times a day and scold her to get her to stand still. It would be so..... much easier if the goats were just behind the house here. If if weren't for the incredible udder she has she'd be down the road but since I lost my four year old Chicory to cancer, she is our main milker and who knows she might just take three next year after she takes two this year. She had better take two, gr......
Anyone need a good buck or two. They are from excellent milking lines. You can take the one right away and continue bottle feeding.
Hopefully the other girls have does. Just one a piece would be nice. But if they could hold off a little it would be really nice. I'd like to get these three mothered up as they say and out of this shed into another pen. The problem with the other shed is there isn't a door on it so I can lock babies and mom up close to each other. So Madelyn if you are listening, cross your legs for a while.