Wednesday, March 9, 2011
It is kidding season around these parts, mine starts (possibly) on saturday though that means could be a few days before/after that date. My first 5 does go from March 12-16. Then we have 2 more does to go at a later date. I have several unbred does that we are selling, our herd is a bit large for a family hobby herd. Financially its not the best decision, they are not breaking our pocket books for sure but why have an overly large number if not needed?
Also, in bad news, we ended up with a doe and her 2 daughtes that are (possibly) all infected with a goat illness that isnt desirable. It wont kill them, likely wont affect them but transfers in milk. I say possibly, because I had the one daughter tested and she was positive, its possible that she got it from some other dam and her mother/sister dont have it. We are going on the assumption that they do, and thus our herd could be affected by this. They have been exposed, though its unlikely that that have it due to it transfering in milk. All the same, my friend's from Hutchinson, Ks came up this wkend and helped me with blood draw which I so appreciate. Its a 2 adult job. Not to mention the fabulous hoof trimming Amanda gave the bucks, once again a 2 adult job and my saanen buck has hard, miserable hooves. Amanda has more hand strength than I and she did a wonderful job trimming and holding while I also held. I much appreciate their help... They provided some much needed household things as well, removal of mirror/light fixture in bathroom and helped check fluids in vehicles.
Due to this possible herd infection, we are testing herd wide but we also now have to pull all doelings and bottle feed. They must not nurse from their mamas, and preferably not be with them at all. We plan to deliver and bring all doelings up to the house and bottle feed, and then put them in a barn/fenced yard separate from the rest of the herd until we have 2 negative tests on them. Assuming they are negative... If they are positive then we sell off the herd (with honest test results being given) and start over.
In preparation, we are cleaning out everything and preparing kidding stalls and putting up a new gate at the weaning barn to give a separate yard and house for the bottle does. We mucked out the girls barn fully as well as the chicken barn on monday. I am very grateful for my friend called the tractor.
The waste hay gets spread and builds up outside the barn, and its matted and smelly. I can either muck it up with a pitchfork, carry it off or redistribute it in the area to let it break down and fertilize, or I can scrape it! I mostly scrape. It leaves the area looking raw and stripped for a few days, but then a bit of straw ends up scattered over it and the spread out stuff doesnt stay lumpy and ugly, it gets spread and worked in by the chickens. It fertilizes and helps the brome to grow well there.
I park the tractor here after scraping a large part of the barn, which makes the stuff come up nicely. We load the bucket and I dump it on the garden, or other areas that grew poorly last yr. Previously we mucked by hand, loaded the truck, then unloaded it by hand. Its very nice to have scraping, hauling and dumping done for us.
When we were done, we went about cleaning up things that were broken or just trash IE empty feed bags, and loaded them into the empty bucket. When we were done, I drove up to our trailer that we use as our dump trailer, raised the bucket, and dumped it! We have to do a dump run as soon as I gut the rest of the bathroom and I will just scrape it off the trailer bed. Its always nice to do things in 1 step rather than 4.
The kidding stalls are now clean and filled with good straw, and my medical supplies are set up neatly on the shelves ready to go. As girls get close they will get locked into these stalls and I will spend my hrs checking on them and watching in order to catch kids as they drop. I missed only 1 kidding last yr, but this yr is more stressful as I cannot let any of them stay with their mamas. We will leave the bucks on purpose, simply because they will be for meat and the illness in question doesnt hurt humans at all through milk or meat.
Other than that, we are crazy busy, never get anywhere near the end of our list but enjoying life, school, goats, learning french, and we are ready for spring. We are all 3 looking forward to gardening, warm days and Frank's 2 wk visit home this spring.