Sunday, January 18, 2015

Just kidding (no, really!)

They say that when it rains, it pours. That's certainly been the case here these past few weeks, as the barnyard has turned into a soupy, muddy mess. But it's true metaphorically, too. We're kidding here at Kleinshire. Really, we are. And I don't mean that metaphorically.

I call your attention to "Oreo, the ladies' man," posted to the blog approximately 145 days ago when we purchased our very first herd sire from Starlight Farms, hosted at the time by Nigerian Meadows (whose owner has been a great goat mentor to Rosemary). The timing is significant because the gestational period for goats is approximately 145-150 days. It seems that Oreo had gotten right down to business.

The excitement began Saturday morning when Caroline, our herd matriarch, proudly displayed a pair of brand, spanking-new baby goats to me when I went to do chores. No kidding, Caroline had kidded all by herself during the night, apparently without any problems.

Here is Caroline, our her matriarch, with her two new kids on Saturday morning.
Being quite pregnant herself, Rosemary had been worrying about the goats all night, especially since both Caroline and Tam had been showing some of the signs of impending labor. I tend to like sleeping in on Saturday mornings, though, and Rosemary had been pestering me for a good half hour to get outside and do the chores. In any case, I raced back in (sauntered, Rosemary insists), and asked her with a smirk if she wanted to go check out the barn. She must have thought I was kidding, but really, the kidding was all Caroline's. So, Rosemary raced out to the barn (and yes, I'll agree that she really did race in a way that might make my racing, by comparison, seem more of a saunter).

One of the first things to do, of course, is determine what genders the kids are. We're definitely hoping for doelings as we attempt to increase our own milk production. Bucklings, on the other hand, will mostly be sold off as whethers or possibly, if they're high quality, as herd sires. All the goats are registrable, of course. Caroline, in any case, had one of each, a little black-and-brown doeling and a much bigger black-and-white buckling. Both have blue eyes, a desirable trait according to many owners of Nigerian dwarves.

"It's a girl!" Rosemary proclaims.
Caroline's kids figured out how to nurse without any problem, and have been growing and becoming spunkier throughout the weekend.

Here is Caroline's little buckling happily nursing away.

Brother and sister, looking cute.

 All this might have been excitement enough for a day, but it seems that hormones don't dissipate quite that easily when pregnant females congregate. Within hours, Tam, one of the other two pregnant does, started looking confused. First, she began trying to care for Caroline's babies, much to Caroline's consternation. Then the little kids took a liking to Tam's milk, which didn't make their mother feel any friendlier toward the interloper. Butting ensued, and the angry females began to have it out. Though we separated Tam, all the excitement probably helped to set off Tam's labor, and, no kidding (okay, maybe literally kidding) we soon had three more little baby goats.

Here's the first of Tam's babies, a doeling, being born. We posted a video of one of the other births to Facebook.
Tam gave us two doelings and one buckling. One of the doelings is on the smaller side, while the other two are larger. The larger doeling is a little stand-offish like her mother. We'll have to work on that.

Tam with her three kids.
Surely that would be enough excitement. I'm not kidding when I say I was just about through. But Edel, our last pregnant female, decided to have the last say in the matter. Now, we didn't really expect her to kid at the same time as the other two. In fact, we had assumed that she hadn't taken right away, and we had been putting her in the buck pen with Oreo as recently as last month to ensure that she would get pregnant. Lately, however, she had bagged up, and on Saturday evening, after Tam had kidded, she started to have a discharge as well as some contractions.

We were a little worried about Edel because her last kidding, right before we had purchased her, was very difficult. We separated her from the others, made her as comfortable as we could, and checked on her regularly. She may be the smallest of the females, but she's also the loudest. In any case, sure enough, Rosemary's check at 3 a.m. found Edel accompanied by a single large, spunky buckling who was already cleaned up and happily nursing away.

Edel with her single buckling.

A closer shot of Edel's buckling. He looks like he'll be a handsome buck someday. Good bloodlines and blue eyes!
All in all, it was an eventful weekend at Kleinshire. Our herd of six goats is now twelve. Those of you who are interested in purchasing or who know of someone who might be interested, please stay tuned.

Here's a shot of Tam's triplets cozily tucked in the corner of their stall this evening.

Caroline's kids are becoming very playful.

Cletus gets the final word, a word he's beginning to learn well as he awaits his own younger sibling: "BABY!"


  1. So cute! We'll have to come see them. It would or have been quite the weekend if Rosemary went into labor too!

    1. Mandi, you and Lucia should come for a visit. I am thankful I did not go into labor too. It was a pretty exhausting weekend, in a good way:')

  2. oh man! i'm sold! or rather, i'll buy. :) they're waaaay cuter than ours! and smaller! and i can't wait for our kids!

    1. J'aime, the kiddos are cute little things. I love how they are already getting so spunky and playful. I think we are going to build a playground for the goats:') Kleinshire entertainment.