We hope everyone is having a lovely Easter ! We actually have a beautiful Spring day here at Gullringstorp!! No wind, rain or snow!! A great day for the goats to come out. The boys can even come out today.
After Milk Stand training, the ladies were out in the enclosure:
Wishing everyone a lovely and Happy Easter Sunday!
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.
March 22nd was the first day of Milk Stand training for my does who are expecting. It went exactly as I had expected. I expected that Pumpkin would resist when she realized she wasn’t leading the herd out to the enclosure. She did just that.
Our sisters Pansy and Poppy can never be separated, this was no exception. As long as they were together and could see each other, they were fine.
Iris was the biggest surprise. She has a bit of history that needs to be explained. She was born at the same farm as our other Pygmy goats. At this particular farm , they do not believe in hands on especially with the babies, so they are not socialized at all. They all arrive at Gullringstorp very timid and it has taken a couple of years to gain their trust. Iris is a bit of a special case. Someone bought her mother at the same time that Iris was nursing. This meant that Iris had to move with her mother until she was ready to come to us at Gullringstorp. Her second mother absolutely spoiled her. Not so sure what she did, but Iris is pushy and expects to be first all the time. It has taken us nearly 2 years to try to calm her down. She will rush in front of the others for grain or even jump into the bucket of hay when I bring hay in her box. She is learning to be a bit more kind and not so pushy. I love Iris , but oh my goodness, sometimes she can be a handful.
Our problem with Iris is the leash. When she is on it she decided she would crawl through the stable , past 5 boxes toward the Milk Stand. Once we arrive at the Milk Stand, she decides to crawl up. I look forward to the day Iris actually walks up the ramp on all 4 cute little feet. Once she is on the stand she is just fine.
Since I am still getting stronger every day from the flu, I had our ladies on the stand just inn the mornings, for now. I will soon be up to full speed and then the ladies will have both breakfast and dinner on the Milk Stand. Because they are not really that comfortable on the Milk Stand yet, I do put grain in their boxes after they have been on the Stand. As they become more accustomed to the routine, they will only have grain on the Milk Stand. It takes time and I will give them the time they need.
We have one young lady who was bred the same time the others were, but went into heat the very next month. I have been under the assumption that her breeding was not successful. With all that down time in bed with the flu, it occurred to me that I hadn’t heard her in heat again after that. So….Peanut went on the Milk Stand this morning. She was accompanied for a short while by her mother Hilda.
You probably never imagined that someone could write so much about Milk Stand training. Well it might just be me , but then again, I don’t think so. Goat owners are always so fanatical about their beloved goats. I am just no different.
Here is Day 2 March 23rd of Milk Stand training:
I must tell you that when my goats are out of their boxes for indoor activities due to weather conditions, each and every one of them finds their way onto the Milk Stand. The difference here is that they are being directed there. they are all familiar with it and know that there is grain in the bucket. They willingly slip their heads through the opening and enjoy the grain at their leisure.
To have me come into their box with a leash is not acceptable to any of the goats except Pumpkin who leads our herd our to the enclosure. She is quite comfortable with the leash; in fact, she has her very own leash, a powder blue one and that’s the one she expects.
It’s all about repetition and consistency. Goats thrive on consistency , so it is up to me to continue with them.
I will post Day 3 then I will return when they have mastered the Milk Stand. the idea is that I will one day not need to use a leash. I will only need to open t heir box and they will run straight to the Milk Stand and place their head in to be secured in place. This will happen. I have done it before so I know it will happen. I will return when they are at that point. It will be a pleasure to post on their success.
Every now and again, my ladies , especially, outgrow their collars. This happens for several reasons; either they are still growing or their winter fur becomes too thick under their collar making them a bit too snug.
No matter the reason, when it’s time, it’s just time.
Here is pumpkin in her new collar:
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.