I have been expecting my new job to show up since Monday. My friend that hired me to raise a slew of goat kids has bought out a goat dairy and it has taken him longer than he thought it would to get things straightened out there. He called me last night to give me the good news that it passed inspection and is up and running again. He should deliver my new babies late this afternoon.
Since I was expecting them earlier, I only have a few things left to do to get ready for them...... I think!! LOL!!
While it is bitter cold and they are small, I have pens and bedding inside the barn. When they get a little more size on them, I have pens and huts outside for them. I really prefer to get them outside as quickly as I can because they are just healthier outside in the fresh air and sunshine. If the weather should change or a blizzard head our way, I can always haul them back inside.
The main issue is that I have to keep them totally separate from my herd and the kids that I am expecting in February. I worked many years to get to a CAE free status and I intend to keep it that way.
I got quite a surprise yesterday. Amos, the Boer buck that I bottle raised last year revealed his darker side. The plan all along was to breed several of my Saanen does to him in order to start a small meat goat herd. I can't just go out and buy Boer does because it is very difficult and expensive to get any that meet our high health standards. I used him on a few older does earlier in the breeding season. I have four young does that have just reached the proper age and weight to be bred. It is very late in the breeding season but I thought that I would still pen them together just in case the girls might cycle one more time. When I went to move him and his new harem out in to a larger paddock, he attacked me. He lost the battle but it set a bad precedent. Amos has proven himself too aggressive for this farm and will be leaving here for the sale barn on the first Tuesday in March. That should give him enough time to do his job if the girls are cycling.
On the milking side of the barn, Bambi and Bertha are gaining weight every day since their feet are almost well. They are looking so much better and their milk production is really coming up. Good thing with all these bottle babies coming......
All my does are looking lush and very pregnant. Expect them to start kidding mid-February. The Ewes, Catherine and Elizabeth are almost completely round, wool covered balls on skinny little legs. They could have their lambs any time after the last week in January. I have been teasing Seth that since they are East Friesan dairy sheep, we will have to milk them, too. I don't really plan to but it fun to see the look on his face......
Noelle will also calve mid February. Do you remember what she looked like when I brought them home for Christmas 2011??? We called her an Ethiopian milk cow. Totally different creature these days. She can't decide just where she belongs. Some days, she wants to stay up with the milk cows and some days she wants to roam out with the beef cows. She usually walks to the gate and bellows for me to let her in or out. Of course, I open it for her and let her decide where she is spending the day. She is still not a pet and is not comfortable letting me pet her but we are making progress. She will never be Holly but..... we are working on something else.
My old friend/enemy, Brindle, is due to have a calf at anytime. Despite my threats to haul her to the sale barn, this will be her third calf for us. That is quite remarkable given that she is very old. I think that this will actually be her last one for us...... and I mean it this time! She did not breed back within the allotted time and this calf is late. If it had not been for the heat and drought from last year and our desperate need for the cash flow from the sale of this calf, she would already have been gone.
The sun is up and the barn chores are calling me.......