Tuesday, July 23, 2013

2013 Kidding Season

As this was our last day to bottle feed for 2013, it seemed like an appropriate time for a short wrap up, by the numbers:

Target number of does I wanted to freshen (kid): 30 to 35
Number of does who kidded: 45
Total number of kids born: 111
Number of bucks: 66
Number of does: 45
Number of first fresheners: 20

Ten single births
Thirteen sets of twins
Fourteen sets of triplets
Six sets of quadruplets
Two sets of quintuplets

First kids born: January
Last kids born: June
Months during which we bottle fed: 7
Hours spent disbudding just our own goat kids: 15
Rough estimate of hours spent bottle feeding: 543 (this translates to approximately 68 full-time eight hour work days, which is equivalent to having a full time job from January 1 through April 4 of just bottle feeding, and no other farm related chores.)

Not counted up: hours spent delivering kids, milk stand training first fresheners, milking the rest of the does, taking pictures of the kids for the web site, e-mailing/talking with potential customers, waiting for people who have made appointments but never show up, filling out paper work, getting health certificates for and shipping out kids, etc.

This is the first kidding season we've had in a really long time that we didn't have some sort of volunteer help (I may write more about this later- I needed some quiet after last year, which included the need for me to talk less, hence, no volunteers) and it is the biggest kidding season we have ever had.  We had far fewer health problems with kids this year, and both of us attribute most of that to being able to have absolute control over how the kids were handled, though I think another contributing factor was our very dry spring.  I also changed up how I fed the dry does this year- far less alfalfa for the last couple of months of pregnancy than usual, and it seemed like the kids were all a pretty good weight, and I had to reposition/pull less kids than in previous years.

This is exactly how I feel during the last half of kidding season
I hope this is the biggest kidding season we ever have.

And I can't believe I start breeding for 2014 in six weeks...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I'm Asking You With My Mind....


Stella!  Are you begging?

What? No! I would never!

I was just, you know, wondering if you were going to finish that?
Who can resist that face?  Not me!  Here you go....


Amazing how quickly she can make food disappear...even she can't seem to believe it.

Mrmph. Are you sure you shared?

By the way, that third picture is typically the expression I get anytime I shift my weight in my chair, make any sort of motion on the couch, walk anywhere in the house, or touch the back door.  Add to it vigorous tail wagging, and it turns into a declaration that clearly something! exciting! is! just! about! to! happen!

I think she's the definition of an eternal optimist.