Monday, November 24, 2008

Kidding is coming to an end.

I have been hip deep dealing with Athena, a 100% Boer doe who just kidded Friday night, in the 24 degree weather and 18 degree wind chill factor. Athena is an embryo transfer baby I purchased a few years ago. Athena has been bred twice by Bubba, a Nigerian and she kidded without problems, but much to my dismay. The first accident was forgiven. She is an expensive registered doe. The second accident, Bubba bred Athena under the nose of Cane, our 100% Boer Buck, who is a monster 300 pounder. I almost had a heart attack when I saw her last kidding, which was triplets and one look told me they were Bubba Brats once more! The mix of Nigerian and Boer produces offspring with airplane ears. The long ears of the Boer and the small upright ears of the Nigerian cross into goofy looking airplane ears. So, one look and you know, HE DID IT AGAIN!!! Athena raised her kids without any problems and I kept one doe to see how she grew out. She is short and wide and is two teated.

The Boer goats are usually 4 teated, which freaks out a lot of goat folks. Dairy goats have 2 teats, but the Boer is different and 2 or 4 teats are accepted in the show ring. In reality, most have 3, 5 or 6 teats. Fisher teats (two webbed together teats) are common and I have been trying to breed good udders and teats. The fishers are hard for young to nurse and sometimes do not have openings, which can lead to mastitis.

This last breeding I hand bred Conan to Athena and then Conan was injured and you all know he ended up in sausage. So I was hoping to get some nice kids. Well, things do not always work out as one hopes. Athena was bred by Conan and it was a hard pregnancy. Toward the end, she was looking pretty tough and unthrifty. She kidded in the field and had Quints. I found 5 babies spread around the field, all dead. Athena looked terrible and I checked her udder and could see she had mastitis in one half. Athena has 4 teats and 4 quarters, the two small front teats are separate and do not produce the milk the back two teats do.

Oh boy, I lost one Boer doe this spring, who was fine at kidding and then crashed the next day with mastitis in one half of her udder. By the 3rd day she was down and died that evening.

I was not going to let this happen again and hit her hard with antibiotics, milked out her udder and used cow udder infusion tubes to put antibiotics directly into her udder. Of course she gets sick on the weekend and the vet who knows anything about goats is off for the weekend. I get her through the weekend and contact the vet Monday. He suggests another antibiotic regimen and I treat her according to his suggestions. By this evening, the heat and swelling are out of the udder and she is responding wonderfully. She is still pretty skinny (the five babies really burned the weight off of her.), I wormed her, gave her B complex, but have kept the grain to a minimum. Grain makes milk and we need to keep milk production down to treat and heal the udder. She is eating well and wants out of her pen, a good sign. I will keep everyone posted on how she does. I do not want to loose this beautiful doe and can always breed her back to The Rock.

I do have bad news to share with everyone about the little bottle baby from the Nigerian, Sugar. He did not make it. I think he was a bit pre mature. His size and lung function did not seem to go along with his age. This happens every so often. I hate loosing babies, but it happens and if one can not deal with it, farming and animals is not the place to be involved. I gave him the college try, but sometimes nature has its own plans.

We had named the little fella "Little Bit". I have a picture of him to the right. I buried his tiny, little body in my garden next to the house. He will help the Day Lillies bloom next summer.

We have one more doe to kid, Daisy. She is a Nubian who was bred to Cane, a Boer. She was to have kidded Saturday and did not, which makes me think, she was bred later and may have been bred by a Nigerian, which produces Mini Nubians, which is OK as well. I will keep everyone posted.

Take care and I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. My son Tim is in the Military and coming home to mom for the Holiday. I look forward to seeing him and will have a really special meal waiting for him.

God Bless and more later...