Sunday, March 16, 2008

Surprise!: or Las Tres Cabritas!

Rejoice with me! My predictions have turned out to be correct! I accurately predicted the number of kid and the approximate time of Violet's birth: Triplets and this morning while we were at church.

Yep, Anna came running up from the barn following church to scream out the news of three squiggling, squirming babies squiggling and squirming on the floor of the main pen.

Violet has always delivered her kids without any notice or signs or even any cries of pain. The first year she freshened [for all you non-'caprine' people, "freshen" means to give birth and come into milk] Elle and I watched her calmly eating grass in the pasture, then found 2 kids dumped in a mudpuddle upon our return an hour later. She could have dropped them on the grass or in the straw or even in the dirt somewhere. But noooo, she just had to drop them in the muddy mess where water runs off the barn roof. The second year (last year) Violet delivered in the middle of the night to triplets. That time, she let one freeze, licked one off then let it crawl out of the pen under dad's giant wood pile (Matt had to squirm underneath to reach it). Wouldn't it figure that the only one she took care of was a buck kid? (at the time, buck kids were the least valuable)

This year, however, she's "done me proud": she managed to have her kids on a reasonably warm day, inside the barn, and she cleaned them all off before we even got there as well as delivering the placenta and commencing the work of chewing at said object. [goats do that - get used to it! It gives them hormones that they need to recover from labor] (The fact that Violet delivered the placenta was encouraging to me because we almost lost her last year due to metritis from retained placenta. Raspberrie still hasn't delivered hers and I'm getting pretty worried, especially since Dad shot a possum last night who was trying to get at that foul mess!) In addition, she actually has enough milk to feed them all - a very good thing, but I'm wondering how long it will last: these kids eat like pigs!

These triplets are HEALTHY KIDS! Goodness! Hunky, chunky, loudmouthed, noisy, hungry, nosing, sucking, kicking kids they are. They were almost walking by the time we reached them and they couldn't have been out more than 10 minutes or so. Two bucklings and a doeling.

And joy of joys, they have EARS! True, all goats have ears, but mostly we keep LaMancha milkers who don't have ears longer than 2 inches. Our two Boer (meat) dams do have ears, but their kids seldom do because the buck we use for breeding has a small percentage of LaMancha in him which seems to dominate our kids' genetic makeup.

The doe has floppy black ears to match the rest of her chocolate body, while both bucks have a carmel head and white body in conformance with the typical Boer color pattern. One buck has nice long ears, but the other has short Elf ears. [again, an "elf ear" is a technical term meaning that the ear is longer tha 1/2 inch. Shorter ears are termed "gopher ears"]

Elle, Anna and I each named one. Match the name with the namer:

Robin Hood


Update on Cherry: That tiny midget sucked well for the first time today. After spitting up the feeding tube all over me last night, I figured that she would. I just hope she can take in enough nutrition that way. Mom put her in a larger carboard box which I don't exactly care for since cardboard is absorbent and leaky.......(you finish the thought). Plastic with bedding towels is much easier to clean up.

Cherry should have an opportunity to meet her half brothers and sister in the next few days as she gets a little bigger. Right now they would just run her over!

Now we only have two more does due this week

Photos coming soon to a blog near you!

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