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 :-)