All the drama at Gullringstorp, revolve around the goats. Everyone else seems to settle issues without too much drama. But with my ladies in the stable, there can be some dram and I do mean drama!
Ok here we go: Iris has two tiny new babies that are growing like little weeds. Iris’ box is now separated by a fence to give her the comfort and safety she seems to need with her new family. As her babies get bigger and stronger, it occurred to me that this box was a sub-herd within my larger herd. I remembered when I was in London and our little Ivy had a tiny baby girl. There was no fence put up during that period and there was no drama. So I thought that these two new little ones needed to become integrated into the sub-herd ASAP. First step, take down the fence.
All was fine for just about 5 minutes then the bully in iris came out after she cleaned up the grain bowls on the other side of the box. She became the bully that I though would have calmed down once she became a mother. No such luck.. She was a holy terror. She unleashed such anger and singled out one to attack; little Surprise. She had it in her mind that Surprise was going to hurt her babies.So untrue.
Well this wasn’t working and I seemed to have unleashed a real bully on my little girls. Iris decided to add barking to her bully repertoire . That was a new one. She actually threw her head back and growled like a dog, a big dog. So I needed a Plan B. Iris wasn’t being very nice even with the fence up. She would head butt it and scare all the girls on the other side.
I put the fences back up into place and took the evening to come up with a Plan B. Ok so Iris was not so happy behind her fence, because she was no longer in control of the entire box. then the idea hit me; Nanna has a box to herself and she likes the 3 little ladies in Iris’ box. So the next morning when all the other goats were out, I moved Iris and her two babies into Nanna’s box.
All seemed alright , but that was just because iris was enjoying the grain left in Nanna’s food tray. Once she finished her breakfast, the fun of the new home wore off. She yelled and yelled and yelled some more. She’s a yeller. Her babies Florian and Blossom were really having fun and enjoyed the ledge to hop of and on to. It didn’t take long and Florian was up on the ledge with Iris.
When it was time to bring in the goats, I skillfully ushered Nanna in with the other little girls in the first box. She seemed so happy. What made this little piggy happy was all the grain bowls in that box. She ran from one to the next. once that fun wore off and she realized the door was closed, she became a bully.
Well I had seen enough. My Plan B wasn’t working. You are supposed to give any changes some time to settle down, but it was me who could not take the few days needed to see “what would happen”. Iris was not happy in Nanna’s box, but what worried me most was that she seemed not to come down from her perch and her babies needed her down to nurse. I could have handled her yelling but I was worried about her babies’ meals.
Nana was just another bully who I had introduced into the box. My little ladies were once again being attacked. this was not working. I did the only thing I could think of: the fence went back up, Iris and her babies were back in their own home, the three girls were happy on the “other “side of the fence from Iris and Nanna was happily back in her home.
Bottom line, I just worried too much and realized that when the babies are big enough, they will be integrated into that little sub-herd and the balance would be just fine.
I hate to admit it , but my boys are really not as much trouble as my girls. I am not sure if it’s hormonal or what but my girls can really be a challenge and you need to stay alert to all the nuances and be prepared to act, if needed.
How are our new babies and new mommies? Everyone is happy and healthy:
Poppy and her son:
I apologize for the lighting in these videos, not very much natural light available in this box.
Pansy is a very fine mother and her little baby girl Lilly is doing wonderful! :
Iris and her new daughter and son
While her roommates, Petunia, ivy and Surprise are out in the enclosure, I have opened the barrier so they can play in the entire box:
As you can see, all our new babies are doing so well. So far, only one baby has been named; that baby is Pansy’s little girl. For some reason, she looked like a Lilly from the very first day. Names will come for the others.
We are still waiting for Peanut to deliver. She was bred once but went into heat again so she was bred a second time. We have hot seen another heat but she has not delivered.
Was she successfully bred or not? that is the question. Hummmmm
Welcome back for updates from our Maternity Ward with only one doe left, Peanut.
Oh my, what can I say? Our stable here at Gullringstorp is alive with the sounds tiny hooves and sweet sounds from our new babies.
I had a shock last evening on my evening rounds to feed and get everyone ready for bed. When I entered the stable, the very first box holds our first mother to deliver, Iris with her little girl and boy. One peak in said it all; the babies were happy, running and hopping all over the box. Next box, Peanut was relaxing with her mommy Hilda. No baby has come yet, still waiting. All the while I was hearing a sound that I was not so sure was Poppy chatting with her baby boy. I knew it wasn’t Pumpkin, I recognize all their voices. As I peaked in to say hej to Pansy and look through the fence to check on Poppy and her son, I noticed a different look on Pansy’s face as she looked up at me. She looked like, “well…?”I looked down and saw a baby snuggled up against her box door. First thought, Oh no Poppy’s boy got through the barrier ! Then I was afraid that Pansy might injure this little baby. Oh my heart was beating so fast , I can’t tell you. then all of a sudden, Poppy’s baby boy hopped out into view just where he was supposed to be, on his side of the barrier with his mommy, safe and sound.
After the shock wore off and Leif had arrived and we enjoyed the new baby, I continued my trip down the stable and Pumpkin and her daughters were doing very well. Rose was getting more and more used to the barrier. the second half of our stable is now known as the low maintenance wing. Nanna was in heat , but no problem with that, just loud, the boys were out of hay, not at all unusual, Alika, Keriana and her daughter Fiona were just waiting for their dinner. I asked Leif to stay and keep a close eye on baby Lilly and mommy while I took care of the rest.
Pansy had a baby approximately 6:30 pm April 30, 2013 !
Pansy showed absolutely no signs she was going into labor so in between our checks on the goats throughout the day, she decided to have a baby. Her baby was still wet and she was busy cleaning up the after birth. Of course I went to the stable without my camera. Once I caught my breath, I ran back to the house to grab my camera. When I returned, I panicked. The baby was laying flat as a pancake while Pansy was frantically licking the baby. I was so afraid that the baby hadn’t made it. I was alone so I called my husband in the house. In the meanwhile, I couldn’t wait for him so I went in and lifted up that tiny head and up the baby got. Oh be still my heart. this baby was up on those tiny legs and began talking to mommy. By t he time Leif made it down to the stable the baby was actually walking around and exploring . When I aroused the baby, I picked the baby up and did a quick inspection. A GIRL !!!!! Oh happy day! I named her right away.
Meet Lilly and happy proud mother Pansy:
I went to bed last night with joy and trepidation in my heart. I hoped that what I saw in Lilly and her mother was just temporary. I was so afraid that we had a weak baby and a mother who may not have survived her delivery. I woke up this morning and sat on the edge of my bed a bit terrified to dress and make my way top the stable. For the first time, I was actually afraid of what I might find.
We are still blessed…. Lilly was fine and happy this morning as was her beautiful loving mother Pansy.
Thank you, Thank you from the bottom of my heart…
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.
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…
With a bit of disappointment I must report that our little Iris did not have her babies last night. It just goes to show you, no matter how you may want babies to be born, they will always come when they are ready .
We checked Iris several times last night and again this morning. I can say that she is due quite soon, just when, only Mother Nature knows for certain.
We had yet another lovely Spring day and all our goats were out till nearly 8 pm this evening.
Here are our mothers-to-be :
Here are four of our five mothers-to-be :
I will keep you updated with post from the Maternity Ward at Gullringstorp and share all the news.
Sorry no babies yet, but, they are coming!!
I have several ladies who are due to deliver during the first week of April, by my calculations. Nature always has the upper hand in the situation, but I like to think I can pin point the tim frame of deliveries. What I do is watch and keep a very close eye on my ladies. I know them all intimately; how they sound, how they eat, how they drink, how they interact with others and even how they go down to rest. I look for any subtle changes to let me know that she may be getting close to labor.
The feelings came over me yesterday with our little Pygmy doe Iris. I knew she would be the first of my 4 does or maybe 5. She is quite wide and he baby bump is very pronounced. I watched her and how she was out in the enclosure. She was licking at her teats, and looking at her rear end. I said to myself, hummm, looks like she will be any day now. We checked her often out in the enclosure and during the night even when she and the others were back in the stable. She was resting easy. I had placed a large amount of fresh clean straw in one corner for her just in case. Nothing happened during the night and she was quite eager to hop up on that Milk Stand for her grain this morning. I massaged her as she ate and kissed he baby bump and had a bit of a chat with her babies. I love my goats and am always so excited when they are due to deliver. it’s a special time in our stable.
Iris is out in the enclosure on this beautiful Spring day. I sat with them for some time, as always, but kept a particularly close eye on iris to see subtle changes in he behaviour. There were some changes:
- a bit of a discharge
- I could see she was a bit uncomfortable when she went down to rest
- Unable to decide where to lay down
- Other goats came to sniff her
- Her pals who share her large box came to stay by her side
With all these developments, my husband decided that today was the day to clean out her box and place all clean straw down for he delivery. We have been lucky and been able to change boxes for all our pregnant does. We have just come into Spring and our boxes have not been cleaned out for 6 months. Let me explain: we clean up poopies in every box everyday, but we do allow the hay and straw to build up during the winter months. This is very important in providing our goats with a really warm bed to sleep the night in. All the urine and poopies that fall through the straw will ferment and help keep them warm. Spring time is a busy time here at Gullringstorp with box cleaning.
Iris’s box is done and when she comes in she will have a clean house to deliver in, today or tomorrow.
While I am out with the goats, Leif has started on Iris’ box. There is much to remove, but he has the procedure down. It is a big job and I always ask if I may help him. The answer is always a flat NO and he means NO. I have asthma and not only this, but when I got my first goats several years ago, I was having trouble breathing and felt quite winded as I would walk back to the house. I eventually went in to have a check up and I wasn’t just winded, I was having real trouble but didn’t realize it. I was sent in for allergy testing. I felt like a kid! I was tested for so many things and I was so afraid that I would be told that I had an allergy to my beloved goats. Well time for celebration !!! I had allergies, but NOT to my goats. Boy was I relieved ! I did get some difficult news. I have allergies to both hay and straw! Lord, what kind of farmer could I be. Well I soon learned from my doctor at the Lung Clinic that I was required to wear masks when I am in the stable and handling hay or straw. No problem!! Nothing stops this country gal!
I wear 3M filter masks when I am dealing with hay and straw both indoors and outdoors. I have done so for nearly 5 years now and no more problems. When we have visitors to Gullringstorp to visit our goats, I don’t wear my mask because I am not handling straw or hay, just talking. My masks get quite expensive because they only come in boxes of 10, and they are not included in the national prescription plan. It is a bit of a problem, but a necessity. So now you can understand why my husband says NO to the cleaning up of boxes. I can however, lay down the calcium on the box floor and fresh straw, with my filter mask on.
I can’t help clear the box, but I can prepare a nice lunch for my husband for when he is finished.
It will be my pleasure to keep you updated on Iris and our other does who are in the Maternity Ward at Gullringstorp!
So don’t forget to check back for updates!
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.