Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Getting Closer

Felicity is getting closer. We are at T -12 days, but I don't think she will go all the way to her due date. She has dropped and her udder is starting to fill. Not that those necessarily mean that she will go early, but her tail head is raised. That is usually a sign that labor is close. There are two ligaments that run at an angle to her spine that will "disappear" when she is within 12-24 hours of delivery. If you are interested this is a good website to go to (scroll down for ligament info).

I can reach around Felicity's tail, but I can also definitely still feel her ligaments. So we are waiting and watching for those ligaments to go. Her udder should also totally fill, though timing for udder fill is different for every doe, so that isn't really a 100% indicator like the "lost" ligaments are.

Because Felicity is already carrying low when she "dropped" the baby(s) didn't really go anywhere. I am seeing her get wider though. This is the time when the babies will be putting on weight.

Here she is today...

Here you can see how her sides stick out, especially when she tried to turn.

In other farm news, we have moved the fence back and the goats now have the back part of the yard again. We are trying to walk a fine line between giving them access to help keep up the yard and too much access and yard destruction. We were starting to get mud around the front where the fence line was. The current fence is temporary. Our plan are to put up a permanent fence that the chickens can't get through. You can see where I have spread the (now defrosted!) hog fuel. That will be where the new fence will go. The chickens and the goats will share that area. We will still keep the other fence and move it around to give the goats temporary access to some areas of the yard.

I cleaned out the shed yesterday and got it bedded and ready for the delivery. Such excitement!

And lest I start thinking that I can really tell when Felicity will deliver, there is the Doe Code...

Doe Code of Honor (author unknown)

The doe's secret code of honor is as old as goats themselves and is the species best kept secret. No doe shall ever kid before its time. (Its time being determined by the following factors):

1- No kid shall be born until total chaos has been reached by all involved. Your owner's house must be a wreck, their family hungry and desperate for clean clothes, and their social life nonexistent.

2- "Midwives" must reach the babbling fool status before you kid out. Bloodshot eyes, tangled hair and the inability to form a sentence mean the time is getting close.

3- For every bell, beeper, camera or whistle they attach to you, kidding must be delayed by at least one day for each item. If they use an audio monitor, one good yell per hour will keep things interesting.

4- If you hear the words, "She's nowhere near ready. She'll be fine while we're away for the weekend," Wait until they load the car, then begin pushing!

5- Owner stress must be at an all time high! If you are in the care of someone else, ten to fifteen phone calls a day is a sign you're getting close.

6- When you hear the words "I can't take it anymore!" wait at least three more days.

7 -You must keep this waiting game interesting. False alarms are mandatory! Little teasers such as looking at your stomach, pushing your food around in the bucket and then walking away from it, and nesting, are always good for a rise. Be creative and find new things to do to keep the adrenaline pumping in those who wait.

8- The honor of all goats is now in your hands. Use this time to avenge all of your barn mates. Think about your friend who had to wear that silly costume in front of those people. Hang onto that baby for another day. OH, they made him do tricks too! Three more days seems fair. Late feedings, the dreaded diet, bad haircuts, those awful wormings can also be avenged at this time.

9- If you have fulfilled all of the above and are still not sure when to have the kids, listen to the weather forecast on the radio that has been so generously provided by those who wait. Severe storm warning is what you're waiting for. In the heart of the storm jump into action! The power could go out and you could have the last laugh. You have a good chance of those who wait missing the whole thing while searching for a flashlight that works!

10- Make the most of your interrupted nights. Beg for food each time someone comes into the barn to check you. Your barn mates will love you as the extra goodies fall their way too.

Remember, this code of honor was designed to remind man of how truly special goats are. Do your best to reward those who wait with a beautiful doeling to carry on the Doe Code of Honor for the next generation of those who wait.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Wow! I didn't realize that it had been so long since an update. Now you see why I can't grow anything. I take care of plants about as well as I take care of my blog. My plants shrivel up and die before I even notice that they were dry. Good thing blogs don't shrivel. Or die.

What is happening with the goats? Good question. Felicity is two and a half weeks out and is starting to waddle.

Here is a picture from 1/20/13. The picture does not really give a good feel for how big she is. She is carrying the baby(s) deep (more down) instead of wide (sideways). From what I've heard, it is harder to figure out how many babies are in there when they carry deep. We will know soon.

 Here is a picture from 12/31/12 for a comparison.

And just because I happened (read: stalked the breeder's site and eventually found old pics. I also found quite a few pics of various grandparents. Or maybe goatparents. Anyway, kinda fun) to have a baby picture of Felicity I thought I would share. Wasn't she a cutie?!

Penny? She is indeed pregnant! Whoo Hoo! Third time's a charm. Her due date is April 24th. I am starting to see a baby bump on her. Here is a picture from 1/20/13 as a "before" shot to compare to. So far, she is carrying higher. Felicity's beginning baby bump was much lower than where Penny is starting. She might carry higher and more out to the sides. 

The chickens are mostly continuing to be free loaders with one giving me an egg every 2-3 days. I have chosen to not put lights in their coop this year. I'm thinking that I will try the lights next year to keep production up even through the winter. That is, if I can figure out a way to run power out there where the goats can't eat the extension cord. 

Our weather here has been wonky. We had an inversion. Which I had no idea what that even was (and still don't really understand why our sky got turned upside down) until we had day after day of fog and freezing temps. Seriously, I love fog and by the end I was so tired of it. I chalk it up to low vitamin D. Because it surely wasn't PMS, probably, well maybe. 

I got a load of hog fuel to spread in the new goat area. I had to wait until the ground was frozen so I could drive through our yard without seriously messing up the grass (and septic system). Then the inversion came and I could drive across my yard, but then my hog fuel froze and has been sitting in a pile ever since. Oops. 

This is what our backyard looked like for a week...

We are back to sun and I didn't even have to break ice on the goat's water bucket yesterday! Yeah! Though I've worked out a pretty good system. I keep an extra bucket inside at night and run warm water out to them in the morning. Ah, the luxury of the life of a goat in suburbia. 

In the mean time, we are prepping for kids. I will be pulling together my kidding kit this next week. Hopefully all will go well and I won't have to assist this time. *fingers crossed.

I will do my best to post pics as soon as the baby(s) are here.