As cold as it was last night, the sun was even warmer in the early morning hours. The sun melted enough of the snow in the goat’s enclosure that they were able to go out!
Oh happy day!!!!
As the goats enjoyed their day out after so long in the stables, we released the chickens :
It was a lovely day for everyone, goats, hens and us! Spring is trying so very hard to make an appearance here at Gullringstorp.
I know I said that I would just do up to Day 3 but I just had to include Day 4. There has been much improvement from Day 1 till Day 4. These improvements need recognition. My does are quick learners and are becoming more and more accustomed to their new routine. I am so proud of them.
Pumpkin now walks very close to my side as we head toward the Milk Stand and hops up directly with ease. She still has a bit of trouble placing her head in the correct place; she gets a little help from me. Once she is in and secured. she stands well and enjoy her breakfast. She has also enjoyed being brushed to help release her winter wool. She has a beautiful shiny black and silver coat with bright white spots.
Pansy and her sister Poppy are doing much better. Pansy goes first on the leash and is walking much calmer with me. She goes up on the Stand with ease now and places her head in with no problem. Pansy goes first while her sister enjoys a taste from the grain bowl. When it’s poppy’s turn, Pansy stands beside her . They have a loving relationship. I am so happy that they have each other and always will.
Peanut missed the first day of Milk Stand training, but has really learned quickly what is expected of her. I don’t use the leash , just hold her collar and she walks with me as I speak calmly to her. Her mother Hilda stays close to her. Just as I would never separate Pansy and Poppy , I will not separate Peanut from her mother Hilda.Peanut stands well on the stand and enjoys her breakfast. Hilda stays close to her. It works out just fine.
Iris was my problem doe in the beginning, but now she walks calmly to the Stand and remembers exactly what to do. I am so proud of my unruly child. She stands really nicely.
We are all holding our thumbs, (crossing our fingers) that Spring finally arrives and melts all the snow. We are quite ready for the day when we can release our goats into the enclosure . They have been in the stable since October! Time to come out and play. But not yet:
As a result of the frigid night temperatures, we have frozen pipe section in the stable. Our water hasn’t frozen so we can still get water for the goats but the drain pipes have frozen so my husband has improvised , just a bit.
Here are a few photos of our Milk Stand and just how it functions. We do all we can to make sure our does are comfortable and not afraid of the process:
All our pregnant does are doing very well and we can hardly wait for our new babies to come.
Things alway seem to be in transition here at Gullringstorp and with those transitions, I have to make some changes. Some are fun and some are a bit heart wrenching. Well this was one of the later ones to deal with.
My two little babies, Phillip and Winston were ready for their move out of their mother’s box , into the buck’s box.
I knew this time was coming, this is a transition that I have had to do several times. this does not make it any easier, however. Around the first of December, I started to introduce my little fellas to the other buck. They were placed in their box, under my close supervision for just a few minutes at first. The time was increased, but always under supervision. They were afraid at first, as expected, but #2 mommy was always there by their side. Mommy #1 Hilda was never happy during the boy’s brief moments away. That was not fun to hear her cries. But, it had to be done.
I have kept a close eye on my little fellas for the signs of maturity. Little bucklings mature quickly and you must really enjoy the “baby” stage because like all babies, theirs is also fleeting. I have enjoyed these two boys tremendously. Hilda has had other babies here at Gullringstorp and they are both still here at Gullringstorp. Peanut is as gentle a doe as her mother and Little Man retains her gentle ways also, even after 1 1/2 years.
These two little ones are my last bucklings to keep here from our breeding. I made a promise that any future bucklings will be up for sale. It pains me to think of this, but it would have pained me even more if I was forced to sell Phillip and Winston.
January 2nd, I looked at my boys and said this is the day. They were moved in with the other bucks. Having had many years of employment in hospital Clinical Laboratories, Emergency Rooms and as a trained Paramedic, I am able to tackle painful or uncomfortable situations with the strength required to get the job done.
The task at hand was completed, and I did cry as I walked away. I cried at my little one’s cries for their mommy and for the cries I heard from Hilda’s box. It was heart wrenching to say the least. I knew it was time for these little “babies” to now become little bucks. My little fellas were born August 11, 2012.
We are so very fortunate here at Gullringstorp, each of our mothers, so far have been able to have an entire box to themselves for labor, delivery and the first 4 months with their babies. It’s wonderful and I am so happy to be able to provide this for them. I have to say, it’s a bit of a luxurious life for my ladies. We have not sold any of our new babies to date, but I will be selling boys, if the come. My mothers are able to feed their babies, have their private nursery and play yards. I don’t take any of this for granted, believe me. My mothers are happy and content playing and feeding and looking after their little ones and I just love watching it all.
Phillip and Winston made the big move January 2nd to the boy’s box:
Well as you can imagine, I didn’t really sleep very well with my “babies” having their first full night with the big boys. When I arrived in the stable the next morning, they were yelling so loudly and so was Hilda. I mistook the screaming for the boys missing mommy and mommy missing her boys. To my wonderful surprise, it was to let me know they were ready for their morning grain.
As with all my baby boys, they are allowed to have grain for at least a month after they have been transferred to the boy’s box. Since they are still babies, they can still have some in the morning only. As bucks become older, they can no longer have the beloved grain because it can cause urinary stones.
January 3rd, I mistook Hilda’s cries once again and brought her boys down for a short visit. to my utter surprise, I was actually in rhythm with Hilda’s cycle. She did not want her boys anywhere near her now. My instincts on the morning of Jan. 2nd were correct. She was ready for her babies to become bucks and she knew that couldn’t happen in her box.
Well today, Jan. 4th, I got the idea that poor Hilda might be lonely with her boys gone now. What to do??? Ok , Nanna lives alone, and they seem to get along well, so I tried to bring Nanna to Hilda’s box. things seemed to go well for a bit but then on careful inspection, although there were no real clashes, Hilda was afraid of Nanna and Nanna was afraid of all the sounds coming from the two boxes on either side. I sat with them for a while and decided it was not going to work. Hilda will be fine actually until her box is once again filled with the patter of tiny hooves and Nanna loves her home.
Overall, the boys are just fine, Hilda will be fine and Nanna as always is happy.
Just a few of the changes and challenges with a small goat herd at Gullringstorp in 2013.
We have had lots of rain lately so our goats are not really going out. I have heard of people who had goats that enjoyed or didn’t mind the rain, but not Gullringstorp goats. They really hate the rain, so we have indoor activities instead.
Our chickens, on the other hand seem to love the rain. Our Brahma chickens really like the rain and stay out till they are soaking wet. I always worry that they may get sick or something, but I think chickens can take it. No one has gotten sick yet and they really do get soaked.
Here are chickens, goats and a dog:
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I took a quick trip to New York to spend time with my daughter for her birthday. It was, as always, a tug of war with my emotions. I looked so much forward to being in the Big Apple while at the same time not wanting to leave my farm with all the day-to-day happenings. I left my husband to take care of all including the milking of our ladies and tending to the needs of the babies. I knew he would take care of everyone, but I still worried about the babies.
Just before I was due to fly , Hilda decided to stop feeding her boys Winston and Phillip. I scoured all my books to find a solution and contacting my great sources on the goat forum. I received lots of really good suggestions. The problem was. when a mother goat refuses to feed her babies, she rejects them completely. This was the confusing part with Hilda. She knew her boys, called them and cleaned them and continued her conversations with them. We needed to consider the fact that she might have an issue with her udder. We placed her on the milk stand and allowed the boys to drink. Thankfully there was no problem with her udder. We massaged and examined her udder only to see that they were in good condition. We decided that maybe the boys had bitten her and she was shy now. After some time, she allowed Winston and Phillip to resume nursing. Knowing this, really made my trip to NY easier.
New York has so much to offer to both the residents and visitors alike. I have tried to capture the essence of New York from the Metropolitan Museum to Central Park to the many dogs one sees on the sidewalks of every neighborhood you visit.
Take a walk with me through New York :
We went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art twice. We went to see all our favorites the first time. The second time we wanted to see the Armor display and Whistler paintings. This is when I took photos.
Welcome back to Part II of New York City…
Hilda has become a real good mother during this her second delivery here at Gullringstorp. With her previous babies, she had a difficult time bonding and tending to them.We reached out to other who had many more years experience with goats and learned that it was up to us to help her with the bonding process. My husband put up a fence that limited the space for Hilda and her two babies. She still had some trouble so we just made the space even smaller. It nay have looked cruel to have her in such a tiny space, but it worked. She was able to get the scent of new babies, which was all she needed. Hilda fed her babies and licked them and tended to them like no there.
Now Hilda has two new babies, two sons. There was no need for a fence or a smaller space for her to do what she needed to do. She knew and she acted right from the very beginning. Hilda is there to give those babies what they need, before they even know they need it!
Welcome back for more updates from Gullringstorp!
Hilda had a full day of slow gentle labor in her newly cleaned box on August 11, 2012. We watched her carefully for the hard labor with strong contraction. They didn’t begin until the evening. Everyone was in and feed and ready to go to bed when she started having really strong contraction . this was about 9 pm.
We had a bit of a problem. What to do with her grown daughter who shares her box, Peanut. I had noticed Poppy and Pansy attaching themselves to Hilda and her daughter; almost forming a new family unit. Poppy , Pansy and Peanut had become very close. We thought it might have been an issue leaving Peanut in with Hilda as she labored, so we moved her in the box right next door with the other girls. They were so happy to have her company but Peanut still wanted her mother, who was busy at the moment.
Around 10 pm my husband went back to the house with his walkie-talkie and I remained in the box with Hilda. Peanut was yelling for her mother and I was not sure if Hilda was answering her or just responding to her contractions. Then I remembered, I had read somewhere quite some time ago, that it was not a good idea to change the new mother’s environment and that the slightest change could cause stress for her. ALthough we thought it was a good thing to move Peanut, it was not actually. I brought her back and of course Poppy and Pansy woke up and were not happy, but Hilda and Peanut were together again. Hilda relaxed as her contractions came closer and closer together. Peanut was not sure what to make of the sounds coming from Hilda and was a bit frightened and stayed by my side. I reassured her as well as trying to help Hilda. Peanut would eventually walk to Hilda to lend her own support. I knew that Hilda felt very much better having Peanut back. Peanut was there when her siblings were born. I think this was a more natural environment for this little family.
I was so happy when the delivery was complete. Hilda is the loudest of all our does and makes me feel really bad for he when the strong contractions come. It is always a relief when the babies are born safe and sound and Hilda is fine at the end of it all.
Hilda had the same combination of colors with her last delivery. Only difference was last time the little black baby was a girl, Peanut. This time we have 2 boys. My husband says we should think about selling these two. I know he is right, but…
This will not be easy, let me tell you!
Hilda is a very kind and gentle goat and passes on those particular traits to her babies. They have just the same temperament as Hilda. Hilda has hereditary “bad” feet , under the long nails you see is actually, foot. We could never attempt to clip her only a professional who is very familiar with her feet.We have been really lucky that it has not been passed on to any of her babies. We were told that this trait can be so severe that most owners would consider culling. We have not though to do this.This is her second delivery here and her babies are just fine and have only her wonderful traits and sweet little goat hooves. They will make wonderful little bucks and pets.
Well, we got Hilda back into her clean box just in time for her to have a clean and comfortable labor. She was brought back into her box around 2 pm while the others remained in the enclosure. Hilda’s absence was noticed immediately. It took some time before all the goats, boys included, to resume their activities of eating grass, playing and relaxing.
Everyone eventually resumed their normal activities while Hilda was busy at her job at hand.
I wonder if they knew?
Silly question, of course they did!
Welcome back for Updates From the Nursery at Gullringstorp…
Yesterday Leif and I decided that today would be the day cleaned out Hilda’s box prior to her delivering her babies. Goat babies are just like human babies, they come when they are ready. For the last week I have been watching Hilda for early labor signs. She didn’t show anything for this past week.
We had so much rain yesterday , the ground was still sopping wet this morning. Everyone got fed in their boxes this morning as we hoped and waited for the sun to come out to dry up the enclosures.
As soon as all the goats were out, Leif started on Hilda’s box. It normally takes about 45 minutes to do one box, but not today. The goats were out no more than 10 minutes and as I stood in the enclosure watching everyone, I noticed Hilda. She was not a happy goat. She definitely wanted to be back in her box. Poor husband had to shift into overdrive to get that box done in time.
I wanted to both help with the box and stay and keep an eye on Hilda. I stayed with her as long as I could stand it before I left to help with the preparations of her box.
I got the new bales of straw as Leif brought out the old straw.
As soon as the last of the new straw had gone down, I went out to collect Hilda. I knew that she wouldn’t go without her daughter Peanut. That wouldn’t be a problem, but I worried that Pansy and Poppy would try to follow. They have started an attachment to Hilda as a new mommy. Thank goodness they were busy eating when I went to get Hilda. and Peanut. Hilda was so happy to get back in her box.
Hilda is in early labor. We may have new babies this evening or in the morning. Hilda is happy and she has her daughter with her in her new box. She can make her nest and comfortably deliver beautiful, healthy babies.
We will keep you posted on developments. Please check back later for updates.