Friday, February 18, 2011

The Waiting Game

First, a goatie haiku:

Flopsy is pretty,
but she's as big as a house!
Kids are coming soon.

We are playing the usual early spring waiting game. Some of the goats have stopped giving milk, and some are still giving a little. Goats can give milk for 10 months of the year, but stop the last two months before they have babies again.

We had trouble this year getting everyone bred for spring babies. While some breeding sessions looked convincing, and all the best conditions were met, it seemed like nothing was working. We could have ordered expensive tests to know for sure, or just wait and see. So, we're waiting.

Coco Puff bit her date on the tail, so we're pretty sure there will be no babies from her. Jelly went to see a nice Toggenburg buck twice, but since she's giving more milk, not less, she's probably not bred either.

Ol' Mimzy waited until the last minute of breeding season to show any interest, and saw both a Nubian buck and a Boer buck. She's giving less milk, so that's a good sign, but we won't know more for another month.

Flopsy is simply huge! And, huge early. She went to visit a Nubian buck in October, then insisted she needed to go again in late November. She stopped giving milk as if the earlier session was a success. Maybe she just wanted to say "Hi" on the second visit. When Flopsy is this huge, she is resistant to getting up for anything, and sits under the feeder. The other goats know this and use her as a step stool or pillow.

Betty was our surprise this year. After two years of a cystic condition and no success with bucks, she seems to have gotten better, and had a successful breeding with a very nice Toggenburg buck. She stopped giving her mystery milk, and her sides are starting to show signs of life.

We think Flopsy's babies should arrive in March, followed by Betty's in April, and Mimzy in May. All this waiting and rubbing round tummies.