Aurora's due date of November 30, 2017 will be here soon and she is showing all kinds of signs of being more than ready. Enough so that I have decided to start checking in on her a few more times throughout the day and night. I am keeping fingers crossed that she gets as close as possible to her due date to keep things going smoothly. She still enjoys the company of her herd mates and has a good appetite and overall seems happy and content. A check of her ketone levels again today showed that she is not suffering from pregnancy toxemia but she is getting a little extra grain and lots of extra attention. Her baby belly is dropping giving her hips a hollowed-out look almost making her look skinny. She has "bagged" up with milk significantly these past few days so I feel confident she will have lots of milk for her newborns. She will stay under my watchful eye for the next couple weeks.
So I have been thinking about starting a blog for some time now but have never been able to think of how to start it out. That is me, sometimes making things a little more complicated than they need to be. lol So as the blog bug hit me again today, I thought; why don't I just jump in with today's priorities. So here we are with part of today's chores.
Our kidding season this year will be a little spread out with our first kids due the end of November, the majority due mid January and we will wrap up with a final kidding in March. Our first doe to kid is one of our newest fullblood Boer does, Miss Aurora. Her due date is November 30th so she received her CD&T booster last weekend which will allow her to pass along the vaccine protection to her kids. Here on our farm we vaccinate our breeding does and bucks prior to breeding season and booster does 3-4 weeks prior to kidding. In addition, we check for internal/external parasites and treat if necessary. Everyone also gets a pedicure, whether they need it or not. I don't like to stress our mamas out by needing to do a hoof trimming while pregnant. It's best to get all of this out of the way and let them relax throughout the 5 month term of their pregnancy.
As kidding day approaches the behavior of our girls is watched very closely. Aurora who is a big girl and looks to be carrying at least twins and possibly triplets underwent her first urine test to monitor her for pregnancy toxemia (a build up of excess ketones in the blood (urine & milk), due to the incomplete metabolic breakdown of body fat). I have to admit the first time it was suggested to me by my "goat mentor" to do a urine test for excess ketones, I had all kinds of images popping into my head on how I was going to get a large uncooperative goat to pee on a test strip and yet my mentor acted like it was no big deal! Surprisingly there are lots of tricks to accomplish the task including taping a paper cup to a long stick if they don't like you to get to close to them, or just following them around on a lead with a bucket in hand. Pregnant goats pee a lot so it usually doesn't take more than just a few minutes of walking around to "catch" a sample! :-) Today, Aurora's sample was negative so she is lucky in that I will give her another week before bugging her to repeat the task unless her behavior gives me reason to check before then. As of today she is still quite active grazing the hillsides and hanging out with the rest of the herd. Her udder is getting larger but not full by any means so she looks to be right along schedule for her due date at the end of the month. Stay tuned as I chart her progress right up to and including the big day :-)
As the CEO of Thornhollow Farm, meaning primary egg collector, livestock feeder/caregiver, grounds keeper, barn cleaner, fence mender and wage negotiator for our only employee the livestock guardian dog; I have decided to write a blog about life on our farm including trials and tribulations and of course happy moments. How we do things and what we learn along the way. I hope you all enjoy it and come back often to follow our journey that starts where the pavement ends and the dirt road begins :-)