Our babies are growing bigger everyday and are just too cute for words. they are still allocated to the baby play yards, but will soon be ready to go into the large enclosure with all the other goats. In the meantime, its our job to make their play yard experience as fun as possible. Because our mothers are unable to browse or graze, I need to forage for them and bring them all back buckets of yummy greens. They get their greens either outside of their boxes or in, all depending where they are when I decide to go foraging.
We have had a major change and I am so very happy with the success of it. I have moved Rose out from her box and into Nanna’s. This way Pumpkin and her two long-legged baby girls can enjoy the entire box. The fence is down! What’s even better is that this is the only goat that Nanna has accepted into her little private suite. Nanna always gives the impression that she is happy alone in her box but I also have gotten the feeling from time to time that she needed company. We have tried several different combinations and in the end Nanna was never happy with any of my choices. Nanna and Rose are doing so well together and it’s been a week now. I am so happy! Pumpkin and her daughters Violet and Willow are really enjoying the extra room in their box.
Our babies have even been introduced to each other, under supervision. I have no issues with the babies, but the mothers are not ready to be nice to the other babies or mothers yet. It will come. Anyway, the babies were happy to see and meet other babies.
I am so pleased with the development of out wee ones. They are growing and inquisitive just as they should be. All are happy and energetic.
Welcome back for m,ore updates from Gullringstorp!
After winter temperatures, we had a day when the sun came out and boy did it come out. I had rotated mommies and babies and for some time I had Poppy, Pansy and their babies out in the front yard. When they went out, we were still over cast with clouds and it felt like rain. I had no worry about sun. I came out to do my regular check in and saw the ladies resting against the wall with the babies. They looked idyllic, until I took a closer look. Pansy was breathing really hard and I got really worried. I immediately took them all inside the cool stable. Once in their boxes I examined them all very closely. Poppy was panting slightly, but Pansy was really panting hard. When you have goats or any animal for that manner, you have to think on your feet. there is no time to run into the house to check your books; you have to use your head and any previous experience, fast. Cold water!!! Ok I know goats don’t like getting wet but I didn’t care. Cold water was the answer. First on her cheeks , then her neck, then on the rump. She loved it and waited for more. Then of course the cold water bucket held up to her where she stood. I did all I felt was needed to cool my dear Pansy down. It worked. Two cooling down session 15 minutes apart did the trick. We have a shelter wall to protect our goats from the sun, but it’s being used as a fence in Pumpkin’s box, temporarily. Leif will have to find another way to separate her box and place that sun shelter back where it belongs. The sun snuck up on us all and I was not prepared and the sun in Sweden is HOT, even 10 minutes of it. Pansy is fine and so is little Lilly!
This was only possible because of a wonderful development in Poppy and Pansy’s box. Because they are sisters and because they have been out together in the stable corridor with their babies, they have a great tolerance of each other. their separating fence came down and was moved to Pumpkin’s box. Pumpkin is still not very calm with having others near her babies except us.
Meanwhile, it is a real delight watching Poppy Pansy and their little ones, Lilly and Huckleberry in peaceful coexistence.
With our sun and heat worry over, the clouds and rain have come back. Oh well, we are ready for the next time the Arctic sun shines again.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
After being sick for so long, many of my daily chores here at Gullringstorp have been passed on to my husband. I have been taking care of all the animals in the house and small tasks. I am happy to know that the goats have been so well taken care of by my husband, in my absence.
Last night I struggled with the fact that my pregnant ladies should have already started their Milk Stand training. I could not decide if I should start this morning or wait till Monday . Well I decided that this would be the morning I would start.
We bred 5 does but I have a big question mark over one young lady, Peanut. shortly after she was bred, I did witness what I thought was a heat. We just need to keep an eye on her. I think I may start her on the stand as well.
My first doe was Pumpkin. She was not so happy , but I expected that. She is a strong goat and it took both of us to get her up on the stand.
My next twi does are Pansy and Poppy. These are Frieda’s last babies born here at Gullringstorp. Their mother Frida passed away just about a year ago. I still miss her terribly but thankfully, I have 4 of her children and one granddaughter. I see her in all of them.
Here is the last doe of the morning, Iris. She gave us the most trouble. She was not having it! She refused to walk up the ramp and when she did move up, it was inch by inch. Iris is a Pygmy goat and is quite a bit smaller than my Nigerians Dwarf goats.
Overall, the first experience for my does was pretty good. They will soon come to learn that the Milk Stand will be the only place to get their breakfast and dinner. The process works. I have several does who have been through the Milk Stand training and are very comfortable on the stand. It takes time and patience and lots of love. You can never just yank and pull a doe up on a stand. You must take as long as she needs to walk that ramp and then to actually place her head in to be locked in. It takes time. This is nothing to be rushed.
My does will not be milked for some time, but when the time is right, they will be ready. As with my other does, these new mothers-to-be will have their babies with them when they are on the Milk Stand. This way they will help with any possible separation issues that may come up. It’s always fun for the babies to run and play and get used to the ramp and stand.
Oh I love being back with my goats. I have missed them terribly. It’s like being away from your young children. So much happens and you miss so much. I know they are my goats and not my children, but in a sense they are and I am the goat mommy. This has to be the relationship when you own goats. they need all that you can give them, not just hay, straw, grain and water. They need and require your love and attention, individually.
Our goats are West African miniature dairy goats. Both Nigerian Dwarf goats and our Pygmy goats can be bred year round. This means that our doelings and does come into heat once every month. Most of the world’s goats are seasonal breeders,which means they come into heat once a year. Since ours come into heat every month, we have the wonderful advantage to be able to breed our does when it suits us.
They give us clues when “heats” are on the way. They become very affectionate, much more than usual. Their tails flick and wag like a dog which is known as “flagging”. And last but not least, our does have a lot to say when they are in heat. With 17 females, we have a lot of “heat” sounds in our stable. A doe in heat make a very loud cry in addition to other vocalizations when in heat. When we have a quiet day in the stable, it actually sounds strange to us.
Here Pansy lets us know that she is in heat:
In this next video, Pansy is in what we refer to as a “standing heat”. This means she is now ready to be bred.
Poppy, Pansy’s sister was also bred with Balder
Little Man and Baby Boy exchange some “words”.
This morning was a perfect day for the goats to be out. No wind, no rain, no snow. It will be a short day however, due to the darkness coming at 3 pm. That’s ok because the ladies were getting cabin fever and even a short day out is better than no time out at all.
The ladies got to get out but not the boys. I know, I know what about the boys? Well it’s just not that easy and it requires some time and attention outdoors which was not on my schedule today. You see the issue is, my baby boys. I will give my babies more time in the boy’s box so they feel a part of their new little herd. I have several sub-herds within my complete herd. Once I feel Phillip and Winston have been accepted completely by the others, then I will feel comfortable letting them out with the others. In addition to that aspect of buck life, my little fellas have no previous knowledge of the electric fence which surrounds their enclosure. This will be a day that requires both of our attentions. The boys will have to be “introduced” to the fence. This is a ritual that I can not do. This is my husband’s job to place the tiny noses to the fence for what will be hopefully the one and only time their noses come into contact with it.
Well today was the day for the little girls and my ladies to go out and kick up their heels a bit:
After setting the electric fence, I walked into the stable. What a strange sensation to see my empty stable. It was so quiet and empty.
It was great fun watching all my goats out and running and literally kicking up their cute little heels. With the cold temperatures we have been having, our ground feels like concrete. It feels great to walk on it and the sound of my goat’s hooves as they run is just a wonder. They sound like a herd of galloping horses.
Well my ladies didn’t make it to 3 this afternoon. The sun has not set yet, a few minutes more and it will, but, it started snowing!
My ladies had a wonderful time out today the 7th day of January in the New Year 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:
Welcome back for more activities at Gullringstorp !