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Kidding Season

We are officially one week into our very first kidding season and things are finally settling into a bit of a routine. When we purchased our goats our plan was to allow the kids to nurse off their mothers then once they were weaned continue to milk the does for soap making. What we should have expected was that nothing would go according to plan. Our first doe kidded successfully during the day completely on her own and we were surprised at chore time with a fluffy new buckling staggering around the pen. We monitored the two for a bit and Dorothy did not seem at all concerned with her new offspring. With his mother not concerned and the temperature dipping into the high teens we decided to bring the little guy inside for the evening. Which meant a late night trip to TSC for goat nipples( which admittedly should have been on hand), a lot of googling on the care of goat kids, and dog proofing a warm room for the little guy to sleep. After a week of late night and early morning feedings we had our schedule down pat but our hope was to reunite the mother and baby as the weather improved. Dorothy was doing very well with her milking routine and we even built ourselves a milking stand. (Thank God for Pinterest!) Then our doe Blanche kidded. Once again it was during the day and we found her with her doeling during evening chores. This time though she was still wet and her mother was much more attentive. With the weather finally cooperating, we decided to leave them for the night. The very next morning though we noticed that our girl Dorothy was being aggressive towards the new doeling and we separated momma and baby from the rest of the goats. After a few hours we checked on them and Blanche was bleating and pacing frantically trying to rejoin the herd and had left her little one shivering in a corner. As we had already done with our cattle, we had tried our hardest to keep our mothers and babies together but ultimately for the happiness and safety of both parties, we have decided that our goat kids will be bottle raised. It means more work for us but we can be sure that we are giving the babies the best start possible so that when they rejoin the herd they will be healthy and strong. So mommas and babies are all doing great and we are waiting on our final doe to kid in order to officially deem our first kidding a somewhat success. It has been an extreme learning curve to say the least. To all of you out there who raise goats, when you say this time of year is crazy you are definitely not kidding around! I know you have never heard that pun before😉

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