Friday, 28 February 2014

Only days to go before kidding


Goat pregnancies take 150 days plus or minus five. For Hebe day 150 is Sunday 7th March so its possible there could be some action this Sunday 2nd! Preparations have to be made, pens cleaned and disinfected, kit such as iodine, vets disposable plastic gloves, lambing ropes got together. lubricant and an old clean towel.

The ligaments are either side of the tail
Hebe looks relaxed. I had a look at her tail ligaments all the same. Normally a goat's rump is flat or slightly sloping but towards the end of pregnancy things change. The tail bone rises up and the ligaments connecting it to the pelvis loosen. In a doe where birth isn't imminent the ligaments are very firm.  A day of giving birth the ligaments soften and then vanish. Hebe isn't there yet neither is Acorn who's due on the 8th.

They've both had a trim around the rear end. This is so that the kids can find the teats but also because lambing can be a messy business 
Still a bit hairy around the udder
and we need them to easily cleaned for milking. The plan is for the kids to suckle their mother for up to two weeks so they not only get colostrum but a really good nutritional start in life.

By about day 10 or 12 they will still be suckling but only for about 15 hours a day. At night the kids will be penned separately next to their mothers who will then be milked in the morning only. No milk to heat, no bottles to fill and no midnight feeding.

This is slightly irrelevant but I thought I'd share it with you.... Many years ago when I worked on a farm in Ontario there was an advertising jingle for Carnation Milk that went something like this......." No tits to pull, no hay to pitch, just punch a hole in the sonofabitch...I like Carnation Milk".

Once heard never forgotten, perhaps Canadian readers over 70 will remember it?

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