Above is a picture of Honey's chicks. She is taking care of eleven of them, three of our own Brahma crosses, six black sexlinks that we picked up from the feed store and two Welsummer boys (we think). The Welsummers were just for variety. My friend and chicken expert recommended a variety of chicks so that she will be less particular about who she adopts. We put the Welsummers under her last and sure enough, she could tell they were different and was pecking at them but soon decided they were cute enough she'd keep them. As soon as Honey hears our footsteps on the stairs she starts clucking at the chicks and trying to round them up. They are becoming more adventurous and rebelious. She fluffs herself up and often places herself between us and her babies. She has been showing them how to scratch and find food. She will start scratching and gives a different cluck and they all come running and start scratching in the same spot and pecking for food. In other news, new baby goats!
Here is Rose cleaning off her brand new babies. On Friday night Rose kidded to a white buckling and black and tan doeling. They are both healthy and strong. They were trying to nurse and stand before I even had them dried off all the way. I have yet to weigh them but I'm guessing they are in the seven pound range. Both Noah and Avery have been sick the last few days with a gnarley cold. On Friday night they were just miserable, to ill to be attending a goat birth. My mom came out and cared for them for several hours while I sat with Rose and helped dry her kids off and get them to nurse. I panicked unnecessarily and lubed up and went in early because I was worried that her kids were breached. I thought I felt a head first and it was challenging trying to stay in there with my right hand while holding Rose's colar with my left hand. So I tried calling the vet. When I didn't get ahold of her I called Dustin to see if he could get off work an hour early. I took a break to make calls, nurse a very fussy Avery and think about my options. I was hoping that there would just be a baby on the ground when I returned and save me anymore worry and as I walked up the hill I saw Rose leaning over to look at something. As I reached the doe pen there she was outside licking her son. I started drying him off and within a couple minutes she pushed out her doeling. It was the first night of horrific mosquitos. Luckily I had just made up a spray bottle of essential oil repellent and rubbed it allover Rose, especially her udder which had twenty or more mosquitos on it. Dustin arrived in time to help get the kids to nurse.
Rose is an awesome mom. She has will not leave them for a minute. They have been staying in a small pen with water and fresh hay. Yestereday we made it up about four times to let them out and watch them. It is pretty crucial that we see the kids nursing well. They are still learning and it helps for us to angle the teats for them to get a good grip on. Rose is very patient with them. She stands still for them to nurse. Zen, our three week old buckling is very eager to play with the new kids but Rose won't let him near them, yet. I don't blame her, he is pretty rowdy.
We are so thankful that we have a doeling out of Rose. Rose has a lovely round wide udder. It has really matured over the last year and has the same shape but is larger, it is just huge. She doesn't have a name yet, but something with a Z (unfortunately). Zinnia, Zephyr, Zahara??? Maggie is due to kid in the next couple days so we will probably wait to see if there are any more doelings to name. I think the buckling would make a nice Buck if anyone was interested. We were talking about keeping one intact buck in case anyone calls midsummer wanting a buck. So we will see...