Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spring Is Upon Us!

Spring is here! In Wyoming that means blizzards every week and Interstate shut-downs so that the rest of the country will have to wait for their goods to arrive a few days later than expected.

Goat pens full of a snow drift that makes escape easily done. 04.10.2013

For the first time ever on our homestead, that also means baby livestock born right here on our land. My Toggenburg dairy goat, Tallia, had her twin doelings on April 7th around 7pm. They are both very pretty girls. One resembles Tallia more in the face and personality, the other resembles her goofy dad, Claudius.

Unfortunately, I have had to deal with the heartache of losing Tallia almost 36 hours after giving birth. There are a few things that could have gone wrong, including Milk Fever or a possible tear in the uterus while giving birth... As we didn't have an autopsy done, I will never know for sure. We lost her just as a blizzard blew in from Canada and we found ourselves bringing the kids in the house for almost a week. We couldn't risk losing the kids after already losing Tallia.

Goat kids keeping my 6 year old company while she does school. 04.10.2013

This meant I had to get a replacement dairy goat or we would quickly run out of the milk that I had frozen last fall and winter. I contacted Harmody Alpines, where I got my Toggenburgs last summer. They were looking for a good home for an 8 year old Alpine who had just kidded, so off I went to Colorado. While I was there, I decided to bring home a 3 week old buckling Alpine to breed my doelings with in the winter. I would have preferred to stay with the Toggenburg breed, but her only Togg was a dry doe - and she wasn't for sale anyway.

Nivasha is a great girl. She's very large compared to Tallia, but Tallia was only a yearling when we brought her home. I am getting just over a gallon a day from Nivasha! I was lucky to get just over half a gallon on a good day from Tallia last year. This is not uncommon for a yearling doe. She would have given us more milk this year had she lived. I will miss her dearly. She was not just a goat, but my employee. She provided a service to our family for shelter, food and water. That is how I see the dairy goat.

Claudius, on the other hand... His once-a-year service makes it harder to explain away the cost of feed. We will be attempting to fence in the rest of our acreage this summer, if we get a chance, so that he can browse all summer and cost us less in feed. He will also have a friend, unless we sell Claudius before Prong (the Alpine buckling) gets old enough to join him. I named him Prong because he is the coloring of a Pronghorn Antelope. Very pretty! I think that Prong and the Togg girls will make for some interesting kids next spring.

The doelings are named Ginny and Daisy. My 6 year old daughter named them. I am not sure where she came up with Daisy, but Ginny was shortened from Ginny Weasly. Yes, she is a Harry Potter fan.

Daisy saying hi to Huck. 04.14.2013

Ginny thinks standing on my ottoman trying to eat a burp rag is a good goat maneuver. 04.14.2013

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