From time to time friends and family tell me to lighten up, it’s “just a goat” or, that’s a lot of time and money you spend on “just a goat” but they really just don’t understand.While the following aren’t our words – they do reflect our sentiments.
Many hours have passed and my only company was “just a goat”. Some of my proudest moments have come about through “just a goat” and some my saddest moments have been brought about by “just a goat”. But in those times of darkness the gentle touch of “just a goat” gave me comfort and reason to overcome the moment.
“Just a goat” brings into my life friendship, trust and just a lot of joy. “Just a goat” brings out compassion and patience that make me a better person. Because of “just a goat” I rise early every morning rain, hail or shine, take lots of exercise and look longingly into the future. So, for me and other people with goats, it’s not “just a goat”, but all the hope and dreams, many fond memories and the pure joy of the moment.
There is NO Such thing as “Just a Goat”
“Just a goat” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day. If you too think it’s “just a goat”, I hope that someday you can understand that it is the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “just a person”. If you understand that it is not “just a goat’, next time your hear that phrase, just smile because they really just don’t understand.
Written by: Leslie McDowell, reproduced from Australian Goat World 2006
Spring has sprung and your does are getting wider by the minute…
She’s moaning with fullness and her udder is starting to fill out.. Your back is aching from all the bending you have been doing checking her time and time again- Just to make sure…It’s Kidding Season!
At last, the time of year comes when you are ready for babies
OR ARE YOU?
The Time is Near:
Ok.. So now you are looking at your calendar and you DID write down the date of breeding right?.. I know you think you will remember what date who bred who.. But believe me .. You won’t be sure as the times nears. So I hope you did write down not only every time you bred but also any time the buck may have gotten out of his pen and with the girls, this is why we have surprise babies. And yes.. I have had my share!
Time to keep an eye on tail ligaments and other signs of oncoming labor.
Typical Signs of Early Labor (Not necessarily in order):
Appears restless, shys away from herd
Eyes glossy or luminous
Paying much attention to her sides and smelling the ground
Pawing at bedding or dirt
Looking behind her and talking to her sides (typically in a voice you have never heard=”mama talk”)
Talks to you alot as if she is telling you she is getting ready (she is, so listen)
Gets dreamy eyed or star-gazy (euphoric)
Looks less pregnant than she did before-sides have hollowed out, under-belly is full
Lifts tail frequently and urinates frequently, usually not much urine at a time
Lays down and gets up more than usual-figidty
Udder begins to fill more-looks tight and shiny-teats get full
Vulva becomes flabby then looks flat and opening looks longer
White discharge (this may or may not happen) changing to an egg-white looking discharge, sometimes may have some blood streaking in it.
And when the babies are all on the ground and you can take a deep breath FINALLY- have a cup of coffee or tea in your favorite Kidding Season Mug
I just read a post from my friend on Facebook and she put it perfectly:
Kidding season… what it means to most is adorable baby goats to play and laugh at antics. To goat breeders it means this and more.
Sleepless nights watching your doe for slightest moves , worry about multiple kids getting tangled and the horrors of difficult births, giving doe proper meds prior too and after kidding to reduce risk of milk fever, ketosis, infection, weak kids who won’t thrive and no matter what you do they pass in your arms, a favorite doe that loses the battle after a difficult kidding and passes away in your arms, work of multiple bottles made everyday for hungry littl monsters.
The list of worries go on and on, but regardless of all of these things the wonderful, playful kids , the miracle of attending the birth of every new life on my farm and the amount of love I receive every day is worth every freezing night and worry imaginable!
God Bless ALL of my goat friends and may you have a safe kidding season , if you don’t you can always call your goat mentor, they are happy to help.