I am so very happy to report that all the babies and new mommies are doing well here at Gullringstorp!
Iris’ little ones are so cute and bouncy and so curious. They eat well, plenty of mommy’s milk and starting to nibble on the hay. They watch mommy and try to do as she does. Iris is a surprise to us both; this wild child has become a wonderful first time mother . I am so proud of her.
Poppy is a wonderful mother as was her own mother, Frida. She is all about her little son and always keeps him under her chin as she rests and he naps. She is constantly chatting to him and licking him all over, even while he sleeps. I am so pleased to see her as great a first time mother as Frida. She had an excellent teacher. Both Poppy and her sister Pansy miss their mother so much, it is evident in their eyes since they lost her. I am so glad they will have their new babies to keep them occupied and happier than I could ever have made them. We are still waiting for Pansy to deliver. Soon we hope.
Pumpkin is doing as well as always with her two daughters. She is a joy to watch as she tends to each little girl with lots of love and conversation. The girls are flourishing in her loving care. Even our little one with the foot issue. She is bouncing around her space and jumping everywhere. We appear to have two healthy little babies and we are just keeping our fingers crossed that the little foot will be the only issue we and Pumpkin have to face.
As with all the new mothers, we have had to place up fences or barriers to keep the other goats away while they bond with their new babies. Pumpkin was no different. As much as Pumpkin loves her adult daughter Rose, she is a new mother and as such is very protective. There was need to take risks that Rose might hurt the babies or Pumpkin become angry with her daughter Rose. I hated to ask Leif after many hours spent cleaning out the boy’s box and stable of old straw, to help and put up a barrier in Pumpkin’s box before we brought the goats in for the evening. He wasn’t happy, I know because he was tired, but we had no choice. It would make Pumpkin feel safe with her babies but it would not be fun for Rose and it wasn’t when she was brought in. She will get used to it. She has already broken down the door area so she can see her mommy. I just think that she gets instructions from Pumpkin to stay put on her side of the fence. So far, so good. She will soon become used to it and won’t be so upset as long as she can see Pumpkin and talk with her.
Leif has been busy with other things as well here at Gullringstorp. We are always fixing and repairing after the winter and oddly enough we are preparing now for the next winter. We have a furnace in the basement where a lot of firewood is brought in from the outdoor storage and burned to heat the entire house including the water:
I hope you have enjoyed some of the updates from Gullringstorp.
Last evening on night rounds, I had a feeling that one or both of my does would deliver, soon. Pumpkin and Peanut are my two does who are due to deliver next. Pumpkin lays down a lot just before she goes into labor. Peanut is a first time fresher so I have no history yet on how she will labor and deliver. Pansy will be the last doe to deliver near toward the first of May.
It was a beautiful sunny morning and we planned for the goats to go out and for Leif to not only clean out a box but take away all the straw that has been accumulating in the corridors on both wings of the stable. The winter has prevented us removing the straw that was pulled out of each box to be able to close the doors. Once the snow melted , we have had either rain or wind that made the removal not possible. Leif went out to let our bucks out first and start on their box when lo and behold there were two new residents in our stable!
Pumpkin had given birth within the hour before we were there in the stable. Sneaky little lady, second time she delivered on her own , in privacy. She looked well and her two babies look nothing like her. They are identical clones to their father Little Man. This is Pumpkin’s second pregnancy and delivery here at Gullringstorp. Her first pregnancy went well with the delivery of a boy and a girl. We unfortunately lost her little boy within a month due to a heart defect. That changed Pumpkin and she became very protective of her remaining baby, Rose.
This morning around 0730 April 28, 2013 our Pumpkin gave birth to 2 baby girls!
I had enjoyed the babies for a bit and made sure that Pumpkin had hay and grain where she was comfortable, then I placed fresh straw in for her and the babies. Leif was putting hay out for the boys so it was time to take them out. I hated to leave the babies but the boys were waiting:
Once the boys were settled in their enclosure, we prepared to take out the girls. I was a bit worried about some of our girls today. Pansy would be out without her sister Poppy for the first time. Petunia, Ivy and Surprise would be out without Iris for the first time. Rose would be out for the very first time without her mother Pumpkin. Each of these young ladies is very close to their box partner. Petunia, Ivy and Surprise make up a sub-herd within our herd because of the number of goats that share the same box.
We were so happy to see them all outside and enjoying themselves in the sunshine!
While the boys and girls enjoyed themselves in the enclosure, Leif began his job of removing straw and cleaning out the boy’s box. All the straw went out to the fields:
I finally had the time to go in and really check on our new babies. They looked so beautiful and so very much like their father Little Man:
On closer inspection of our new baby girls, I noticed that one little one had a turned under foot. I manipulated her foot to make sure it was pliable and it was. It may have been the way she was delivered or she might just need help in straightening that little foot out. My Internet was down , temporarily but I just instinctively knew that if I could straighten the foot, then she just might need a splint. Now to find tiny wood or something else sturdy to use. I found cute tiny emery boards and grabbed the electrical tape. It went very smoothly when I placed the splint on that tiny leg. She was not upset at all. Pumpkin was curious but she trusts me so she was not really worried or concerned.
Once I saw that the little baby could get around with the splint on, I was back to the house to make Pumpkin her birth morning breakfast. I arrived back to the stable with warm water and molasses and a nice bowl of chopped fruit and veggies actually all three new mothers got the same thing):
I went back into the house started this post and had a call from my daughter . She wanted to Skype but I had a strange feeling and had to run back to the stable. I hadn’t remembered seeing both babies nursing. I was worried about the little girl with the splint.
I needn’t have worried:
So there it is, Updates from the Nursery Ward at Gullringstorp and a bit more.
I arrived home from London quite late last night and was just too beat to make it out to the stable. I went to bad feeling like a real bad “goat mamma”. I knew I would see Iris and her babies first thing in the morning. We had no sooner entered the stable when I was able to only get a glimpse of Iris and her two new babies, when things were not quite right in Poppy and Pansy’s box. Well, it was right , actually.
Poppy is a brand new mommy for the very first time!
She had been in labor for the early morning hours and by the time we entered the stable, she was in the last moments of her labor and delivery was just a few moments away. I looked and she was laying down and I knew immediately that our little girl, now an adult doe was about to have a baby. I was in her box in a flash and down on the straw and talking to her to sooth her and massaging her tummy and hips. She was glad to see me and oh was I so glad not to have missed her delivery. As I watched and listened, I saw her mother Frida. I saw her tilt of her head, and listened to her stoic soft moans. She is her mother when she delivers.
I had my iPhone in my pocket and tried to take some photos before the baby was born. Unfortunately, it was not so well , lit due to our overcast day. Leif was kind to run back to the house and get my camera. First photos are a bit dark:
At this point, Poppy got up and labored to a new location and by the time Leif came back, we had a baby!
We had a scary moment when Pansy head butted the new baby. Well that was all we needed to see to realize we needed a fence. Luckily we have lots of items in our workshop and on the property. I decided the box should be split in half and Leif found just the right size piece.
Everyone in the surrounding boxes were really affected by the new baby sounds. Hilda and Peanut were listening as well as Pumpkin. We had a curious doe who was also in heat :
As things were settled in Pansy and Poppy’s box, I turned my attentions on Iris, her babies and her box.
We had placed a temporary fence up for Iris to feel safe and secure, but it was now time for a better fence and one that gave her and her twins a larger area to move around in. So back to the drawing board… what did we have available that would work to keep Iris in and the others from getting to her new babies. We needed length as well as height to make my vision work. We ended up with two fences pieces that work together, quite well. The babies are so happy to have the space to run, jump and spring as they need to.
It was a busy morning here in the Nursery at Gullringstorp. It was not a day for the goats to be out so everyone was made happy and comfy, inside.
We have learned that Poppy’s new baby is a boy. I can not say how disappointed I am. He is beautiful and I will give all the love he needs , but he will not stay at Gullringstorp. We have 7 buck now and that is way over the normal limit in any goat farm. I just couldn’t part with them. Phillip and Winston are my last baby boys I was allowed to keep. My promise to my husband and myself was that I would bite the bullet and sell any bucklings that come. So now, so far, we have 2 bucklings to 1 doeling. Of course I was hoping for more doelings but I can not control nature. We have 3 more does to deliver , please keep your fingers crossed for ALL doelings!
In spite of the bucklings being born, both mothers and all 3 babies are doing beautifully.
Hej from London !
We enjoyed a bit of euphoria with the birth of our newest babies, here at Gullringstorp.
The biggest hurdles have thankfully come and gone. Iris who is a first time Fresher, had a trouble free delivery. Our two new babies were born without difficulty, stood right away and from the sound I heard, had healthy lungs. Most importantly, they located the milk quickly and Iris shows no difficulties nursing her twins.
All of this allowed us both to sigh a huge sigh of relief and this makes us both happy.
Iris’ roommates, Petunia, Ivy and little Surprise have been kind and given Iris her privacy with her babies. Well that didn’t last long. Iris decided that our youngest, Surprise was now a threat to her babies so a bit if bullying has developed. This is not good for the overall mood in the box where several tiny goats call home and defiantly not good for our sweet little Surprise. What to do?
A barrier to allow Iris to feel secure and unthreatened. She needs to feel calm with her babies and I don’t want feeding issues to develop.
We have had to utilize a barrier a while back to help Hilda bond with her sons on her second delivery here at Gullringstorp. It was a challenge to do a barrier in Iris’ box, but Leif managed.
Here is today’s update via e-mail:
Honey, I fenced off a corner for Iris and the kids this morning. I put up another waterbowl for her only and moved a graincontainer to the other side of the box. See pictures. It seems to work so far. Today is a cold day and it started to drizzle, so it is an indoor day.
This is a way to insure harmony in this box full of touchy females.
Thank you for the update and photos Leif.
Hej from London !
Today was a day of sun, not so cold temperatures and barely any wind .
Today was a day with a bit of challenge. This would be the first day that Iris’ roommates Petunia, Ivy and Surprise went outside to the enclosure, without Iris. I was so worried that they would not go without her, but they did. Then I was afraid they would get outside and realize that Iris had not followed. I was prepared for yelling for Iris from the enclosure as well as yells from Iris to her pals outside.
To my surprise and my husband’s, there was no problem at all ! Iris was even able to enjoy her new mommy meal of chopped carrots. apples and raisins. Iris was so happy to have the box to herself with her new babies.
We have new photos of our new mommy and her beautiful new babies.
Leif says that Iris is an ex excellent new mother.
Thank you so much for the beautiful photos Leif !
Hej from London :
I am getting updates on Iris and her babies throughout the day from Leif.
Iris is a fine mother, very attentive to her two new babies. She is constantly licking and cleaning them as their bond grows stronger. Unlike our Nigerian Dwarf new mothers, who are always heard quite loudly chatting with their babies. Our normally very talkative Iris, who is one of our Pygmy goats, has a very different verbal communication with her babies. Apparently her chatter is low and intimate and for her babies tiny ears only. It is becoming more apparent some differences between the two breeds. As goat owners, with close observation, you are bound to pick up on the tiniest of differences between the breeds and become better prepared for what to expect in any situation.
Leif is enjoying a very important and fun task of handling the babies. They need gentle handling to start their socialization with humans from as early an age as possible. This is not a practice of all goat owners but we believe very strongly in this here at Gullringstorp. We raise our babies to be as comfortable with us as with their mommy.
Our two new babies are a girl and a boy . The little brown and grey one who is the spitting image of mommy Iris is our new little boy. As promised, because we have already exceeded our number of bucks, this little fellow will be available for sale. I must stick to my promise made to my husband when I was allowed to keep Phillip and Winston. This little fella will receive all our love and care while with us and will be a gentle loving buckling when sold to a new family. I will not lie and say that when the time comes for him to leave that I will not be a wreck because I will. It will be a sad day for us at Gullringstorp while at the same time we will be happy with the new family we have chosen for him.
Our new little girl will remain with Iris and her extended family within the box in our stable where she was born . She will be welcomed onto the herd as time continues and she is introduced to each goat, one by one.
This is a very happy time for all of us at Gullringstorp!! Here are some photos sent to me yesterday :
Thank you Leif for the beautiful updated photos of our new family at Gullringstorp. I am so happy and worry free while here in London. Please give Iris a kiss from me and give our new babies a kiss and a hug each from me.
More updates as I receive them.
Hej from London!!!!
It’s has become increasingly more difficult to make any trips away from Gullringstorp. It is important to keep your marriage strong to weather the separations and you must be able to leave knowing all will be taken care of in your absence. With my miscalculation on the approximate date for Iris to deliver, I had planned my travel to be after her delivery. When I realized my error, tickets were booked . I have been in London since the 16th and have received daily reports on our does .
Yesterday was a very cold windy and rainy day so the goats were not out. I received a call from Leif that Iris had her babies as close as he can figure around 6:30 last evening April 18, 2013 !!!! Leif went to check everyone and saw that our Iris was laying in the straw each time he went to check so he remembered me saying , we must be observant to see where our mothers, nest and that is where must place new straw. He did that. He came to check her around 6;45 and there they were, two lively little babies, only minutes old, wet, on their feet and hungry!!!
Here is the e-mail I received:
Honey, we have two beautiful babies and they seem just fine. Cleaned up by Iris and they had their first milk. I gave Iris water with plenty of syrup and she drank it very fast, so I made some more for her. I tried to send a picture from my phone, but I think I was not successful.
I was just going into a movie when I spoke to Leif and could not contain my overwhelming joy! Amidst my euphoria I remember Leif saying the babies were up on their feet while iris was still laying down. Them it hit me…. Iris should be on her feet also! I began to worry…. Was she ok? Why wasn’t she up? Was she just exhausted ? Every possibility of what can go wrong flooded into my head.
I found out later that she did get up and cleaned her new babies and fed them. My husband also remembered to give her what every new mother at Gullringstorp gets right after delivery, warm water and molasses. Iris loved it!
I look forward to updates on our little Iris and her new babies. I will do my best to keep you posted from London.
Thank you Leif for taking such good care of everyone, Iris especially, in my absence and thank you so much for the beautiful photos !!
On a more somber note, my heart goes out to you, Boston…
After a couple of days of wind, snow and rain, the goats were let out this morning. the conditions were not ideal but our goats were getting cabin fever. You can always tell on morning rounds just what the mood is when you enter the stable.We have most of the girls in the first section of the stable so when you enter there, quite often the ladies are all still “in bed”. They look so cute all snuggled up together. There are two to a box except our 4 tiniest ladies share a very large box.
Entering the next section of the stable is another story completely. We have had the occasion to enter and fine everyone still “in bed”. But usually as I stop and say good morning Pumpkin and Rose who are in the last box in the first section, I can hear the commotion in the next section of the stable. Nanna, if not in heat is usually relaxing on her “perch”. The boys have been “in bed” on some mornings but that is not always the case. Like this morning, they were up and spunky! Alika is head butting her door making quite a noise.
After all my mothers to-be , have been on the Milk Stand, Max our dog and I go out and walk the enclosure to access the condition after the last two days. It is still wet in some sections, but overall it would not be a day that the goats were forced to remain indoors. I grab my wheel barrel and Max and start to fill the boys hay rack and then take the boys out first. Boy are they ever happy to be out. I just hope it doesn’t rain. But if it does, we have two wonderful deep outdoor shelters for all the goats to get in and stay out of the rain. Most of my goats do not like the rain. Fingers crossed. There was a time in our goat raising that we would run out of the house at the first drop of rain and run the goats in. I soon realized that our goats cold withstand the elements to a degree and they did have more than adequate shelter from the elements.
The girls were also eager to be outside. They ran for the enclosure while kicking up their cute little heels! It’s always a sight that gives me immense pleasure.
Remember when it was time to place my two little boys in with the big boys and I was so upset?
Here they were as bucklings just before they made the transition:
Now by little babies are no longer bucklings,, they are bucks ready to spar at any given moment for dominance :
The boys settled in and enjoyed being outside. The girls soon followed:
We are continually making improvements around Gullringstorp and many of them are goat related. One of the biggest issues facing goat owners is wasted hay supplies. So often it falls through large hay racks that have large openings between the bars. You see, they don’t make hay racks for these small livestock. All of us have to improvise or try at building our own. We have a two-sided wooden rack that Leif built that fits one in Pumpkin and Rose’s box and the other side fits the sister’s Pansy and Poppy’s box. They have been working well except some waste in the sister’s box. The boys have the conventional horse hay rack which works fine ever since Leif had some bars welded on to help keep the hay in. That was a good idea. The problem in this box is 7 bucks. They can’t all eat at one hay rack and I don’t like to make situations that could prove volatile. So we tried horse hay bags. They worked fine for a while until the boys decided to sharpen their horns on them and rip them causing the hay to fall out. Alika, Keriana and Fiona have bags; they are not without their issues. Alika’s is always turned around. You see there is a nice round opening for the goat to stick their nose in to eat. This means she has to stand up and stick her head in from the top and eat. Keriana and her daughter Fiona have ripped he side of their bag loosing hay .
We bought 5 new hay racks and my husband has welded the bars on all of them. We won’t be placing them in the boxes until the weather gets better and our road gets better to be able to drive the tractor with the hay from the boxes. They still have the winter full level of hay and straw that keeps the goats warm during the winter. With the level up so high we can’t place them in till the level is where it should be, much lower.
These hay racks are not complete yet. There will be a fencing material with smaller openings fit inside each rack. These are just the beginning of repairs and improvements that will need to be done here at Gullringstorp after the long cold winter.
I have been at my desk working really hard preparing to take my Lil Sis Goat Milk Soaps to a local festival. Our local feed and grain farm, StallMagasinet is having a Djur Dagen ( Animal Day) on their grounds. It will be a big day for people of all the surrounding communities to come and enjoy. I was hoping to be able to bring one of my best behaved young ladies but was asked if I could present and sell my new Li’l Sis Goat Milk Soaps. This event is not until May but I am traveling soon to visit my daughter in London so I am getting as much done now, as possible.
While I work wrapping soaps and preparing paperwork at my desk, I have on YouTube and just let my 384 Favorites play. I had to stop my work to either sing along with a music video or listen to a motivational speaker. This particular video is so touching, I had to stop and watch as if it were the very first time. I have always had an interest in puppets and have a large hand puppet collection all of which I enjoy bringing to life. It is a dream of mine to learn how to operate a marionette.
It’s just so beautiful and sad, at the same time.
Yesterday was not a day for our goats to go outside. After a couple of beautiful , warm and sunny days, our goats were not able to come outside. It’s always a shame when we start new routines like the new hay rack for the boys. They really need to have consistency with their routine. I wanted them to get used to the new location for the hay. Oh well, we can only wait for the good days to come. For now they relax in the stable:
Hilda and her daughter, mother-to-be-Peanut live in box which doesn’t get much light from the light fixtures. It was just too dark to photograph., but they were resting close together as usual.
Nanna was NOT resting at all. She was in heat. This was a relatively mild heat so far, because her cries are not nearly as loud as normal, for her. Notice he flicking of her tail, this is called “flagging”.
We hope for better weather so our goats can be out for more than one or two days at a time.