On December 4, it will be 150 days since the does were put with a buck. Some does kid a couple of days early, so we are now officially on baby goat watch!! Kids from the first round of breeding could come as late as January 11, but we figure most will come by the beginning of the year (total of 21 does). Our embryo transfer recipients and does that were artificially inseminated will kid on January 13, give or take a day (total of 7). The last set will be here about February 10 (total of 4). That means we should have about 64 kids this year!!
I am always a little anxious, pre-kidding. The annual farm profit or loss begins when doelings or bucklings are prancing in the pastures. So, your number at kidding is the max number of kids you will have to sell or keep for the entire year, and the number cannot increase. Some kids will fail to thrive, be lost to a predator, or be lost from the herd for other reasons. The number you wean is almost always less than the number born. That’s your weaning rate, the number that matters.
We seldom need to be involved in the kidding, but we sure like to be there. Kikos are typically easy kidders. Ours tend to have kids 6-7.5 pounds. The does get the kids up to nurse within minutes of birth. That’s one of the selection factors we really value. Another maternal trait is the ability to produce milk which is determined by the pounds of kids weaned. This year, I think the pregnant does are in excellent condition, so the anxiety builds!
Yesterday, we moved the does to the Maternity Ward, a pasture with a few trees and a 20 x 20 goat barn. The pasture was empty of goats since August and we planted a variety of winter forages and forbs. Fresh and nutritious!
I am impatient to see the caliber of kids born this year. We follow the does around, gauging the size of their udder, how tight it is, whether their tail ligaments are ‘gone’ and guessing who will go first! Of course, The Doe Code of Honor always comes into play.
” No doe shall ever kid before its time. “
This year, I think that Baby Mel and Peppy will be first. I’m probably WRONG, but that’s my prediction. Gertrude is running a close third. We will try to post kid pics on our facebook page, so stay tuned!
PS: If you know what you are looking for, let me know and I’ll put you on the email list!