Part of a baby goat’s happiness and health involves giving them a proper space to live in. Baby goats need a space that is both warm and dry. They can get sick if they are too cold or damp. Provide plenty of warm bedding, such as hay or pine chips and change as needed to keep it fresh and dry.
The goat kidding season has begun. We were not expecting any of our goats to kid for at least 3 or 4 more days, but Brownie got a head start. This is only our second year of experience with goat kidding. There are several signs to look for like the udder freshening and looking hard or glossy, pelvic ligaments loosening at the tail head, a mucous discharge, swollen vulva, doe is very vocal, doe’s loss of appetite, pawing, sunken sides and sagging of stomach, unusual behavior, restlessness, or seeking solitude. Because we are still learning how to identify when a doe is going into labor, we were a little surprised. Brownie had bagged up, but the udders did not appear hard or glossy. Brownie has always been a little less social than the other does so seeing her by herself isn’t a huge alarm. But once we noticed her by herself for a prolonged period of time way out in the back part of the pasture, we thought we better go check on her.
If you want your does in milk, first they need to have baby goats. To have baby goats the does must be bred first. To breed a buck is needed. Sounds simple, right? The options to impregnate a doe are artificial insemination, rent or borrow a buck, or own a buck to use for breeding.
First, let’s clarify a buck is an intact male goat over one year old. You may have heard them referred to in laymen’s terms as a billy goat. A buckling is an intact young male goat less than a year old. And a wether is a castrated male goat.
Before buying a buck goat there are a few things you should know.
Although we have had 3 Nigerian Dwarf does for a couple of years now, this year was our first experience with kidding goats. In the early morning hours of February 22nd, we welcomed our first newborn doeling and buckling into our world. We only “participated” shortly after Strawberry, the mama goat, had already delivered both. Exactly one week later on February 29th, we were blessed with our second and last batch of baby goats for this kidding season. This time two of our pregnant does began birthing within just a few minutes of each other while I was home by myself. I had a brief “mini panic attack” because Jon was supposed to be here and I was NOT supposed to be here by myself! I quickly called him to get home from work, gathered my wits, and proceeded.
|Mulberry (Buckling) Resting After All of the Excitement|
We would like to introduce the newest members of the family that were born this morning. Strawberry, the mama and both newborn kids are doing well. Mama was quite hungry and thirsty, quite strong. Both babies are walking (wobbly at first) and nursed. We have a doeling and a buckling. We will post more later. I just wanted to share our news!
|Mama Goat and Newborn Kids|
|Mama Goat Eating and Newborn Kids Nuzzling|
We have been wanting goats for some time now. We did a lot of research on what breed we wanted for milking. Then there was the question of the age. Do we buy a doe already in milk, a pregnant doe, a doe that has been bread and possibly pregnant, or simply go with doelings and raise them until they are of age? Then there was the question of horns or no horns!
There was so much to consider. Based on our research and personal preferences, we were back and forth between Nubians and Nigerian Dwarfs. We liked the idea of having milk sooner than later, but those in milk or pregnant carried a higher price tag and babies are just so blame adorable! Finally we decided that either breed would be fine and we would simply base our decision on what we found available at a reasonable price in our area. We knew we wanted two because goats are herd animals and do so much better with a friend to keep them out of trouble. So, we decided any combination of two female goats of various maturity (doe or doelings) of the same breed (Nubian or Nigerian Dwarf) with no horns would be acceptable. We would see what we could find in our neck of the woods for a good price.
Finally, back in August we bought three baby Nigerian Dwarf Goats. From back left to front right, Brownie, Blueberry (being bashful), and Strawberry.
|3 Month Old Nigerian Dwarf Doelings (Day We Brought Them Home)|