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.
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.
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.
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.
Pumpkin was bred with our Little Man who was born right here at Gullringstorp. She was bred Dec. 1, 2012 and will deliver in the first week of April. She is not a first time fresher, she has had 2 little ones over a year ago . She had been bred with our Rent-A-Buck Emil and had a buckling and a doeling. Unfortunately, her son, Little Miracle left us way too soon due to a bad heart. It was an awful time here at Gullringstorp. We were so sad and never thought we would get over it. Pumpkin was upset and sad. She couldn’t stop looking for Miracle and then became over protective of her daughter Rose. Poor Rose was all alone now without her brother. We had several other new mothers in the stable at the same time and each one had twins, so each had the other to snuggle up with. Rosie didn’t really have mommy because her mommy was just too preoccupied with trying to find Miracle in their stall and in the stable. That was when I decide to give Rosie a stuffed animal to snuggle up with at night when Pumpkin paced the stall.
We can only hope with all our hearts that this time around will be a much better experience for Pumpkin. She had been so changed by this experience. Now she has calmed down considerably and is just now getting back to her old self. I want her to have a happy experience, all around.
Please send your good thoughts and wishes to Pumpkin.
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.