Sunday, April 19, 2009


Rose is a sweetheart. She is due to kid on May fifth. Last year she kidded on her 147th day of gestation and I'm guessing that she will kid early this year as well. By the looks of her I'm thinking two or three kids. I think we are due for some doelings. Rose has taken to laying around quite a bit. I've never seen anyone lay right next to the feeder like this, but I'm guessing she thinks she is pretty clever being able to reach up for mouthfuls while laying down. When our nights started warming up a bit we noticed that Rose was sleeping outside, a sign that perhaps our doe stall isn't big enough. She decided she'd rather have a peaceful nights sleep outside than get picked on, pushed around and have to put up with the general mayhem that goes on inside the stall. I was worried about her sleeping outdoors as she seems vulnerable at night time, white against the dark night.

A couple days ago we moved Xan, Yin and Maggie next door so that the little guy (Zen) could be out and about for the afternoons and hopefully start bonding with his mom. We left Rose in with them because we knew she'd be a non-issue. Rose is the only doe that is not picking on Xoe, nor does she go out of her way to harass Zen. We had to seperate Yin from her mother because Yin was emptying her mother's udder! Imagine! It took me a couple days to figure out what was going on. I was thinking I was going to need to buy some fennel, dill and fenugreek (all lactation stimulation herbs). I thought that maybe her production had slowed down to meet his consumption, and then his demands had grown more rapidly than she could keep up with. Then right before my very eyes I saw Yin duck her head under and start nursing. Tsk tsk. Well I moved Yin next door that very moment. The irony that Xoe will not nurse her baby willingly (when we are actually letting our does raise their young unlike so many goat owners due to disease issues) but she will stand patiently for her yearling is frustrating to say the least.

About midnight last night I crawled in thru the goat door to let Zen have one more nursing session for the night and Rose was sprawled out snoring in one of the stalls. I was so happy to see her enjoying some peace and warmth indoors during her final days of awkward pregnancy. The other three does are irate with me for moving them from their usual quarters but I don't feel bad at all. Giving Xoe and her son time together and giving Rose some peace are necessary.

Rose's real name is Xara. She and Xanadu were shipped up from the same farm in a kennel together and they had been born on the same day. I'm guessing they'd been in a kid pen together since birth and have always had a strong bond. They have stuck together since day one and have been the only goats that would eat out of the same dish without pushing eachother away. Recently Xan has moved up in the herd and tends to push everyone around including Rose. This last year we milked Rose up until early February. She is an awesome milker, gentle and easy going in her disposition, eager to please, has a lovely high wide udder. She really kept up the production level all winter. Her milk quality is high in fat. The last couple months of milking Rose and Maggie, I felt guilty putting milk on my cold cereal because it seemed more like half n half than whole milk. If Rose has a doeling we will be keeping her. With a daughter by her side I think Rose may have a more comfortable niche in the herd.

No comments: