Saturday, May 7, 2011

Doelings and decisions

Xoe kidded last night to two handsome black and tan bucklings. Pictures coming. That wraps up our 2011 kidding season. We now have five milking does, four doelings and five bucklings. One buckling is sold as a registered buck for breeding. We are planning on keeping two doelings and two doelings are reserved - but I haven't decided which to sell. We've been putting much thought into the decision. Above is Bella, (Belladonna). Her sister, Blue (Bluebell), is below. They are twin doelings out of first time freshener Zinnia and our new buck Zanzibar. Zinnia is Rose's first and only daughter until this year's Bramble. Rose is our biggest producer, milking close to a gallon twice a day. She put's everything she has into making milk, and as a result is looking rather shabby at the moment, but we are trying to help her out by feeding her extra grain, alfalfa and extra calcium. Both Rose and Zinnia have lovely wide round udders. They have good teat size and placement as well as udder attachment. Rose's weakness has been that we bred her young and as she is on the petite side, her feet have rolled inwards a bit and need trimmed often. We didn't breed Zinnia until her second fall, so she didn't have the same problem as her dam. She does look like she is following in her mother's footsteps putting all she has into making milk.

Her daughter's are our biggest, strongest doelings. They are tall, long and level. They are very pretty. We haven't bonded with them as much as the other kids, because their dam is so over protective over them and steers them away from us if she can. I feel like I should keep one of them, in part because they such big handsome girls, two, because it will break Zin's heart if I sell both her daughters, and three which should have been first, because of how great Zinnia is looking and how lovely her udder has turned out.

Above is Xanadu's doeling. She doesn't look like much yet as she is just three weeks old and the runt of triplets. I love her coloring. She is very spunky, curious and affectionate. I've handled her a bunch and would love to keep her. Reasons why I may sell her are one: I kept Xanadu's first doeling Avalon from last year, so Xan has a young daughter in the herd. Two, the other doelings look more impressive as they are older, so I really just need to give her a few weeks to grow into herself, and three, I'm thinking of repeating the same breeding next year - although that would be the year to get triplet bucklings out of Xan. With Zanzibar and Zoro both being new bucks, I'd like to keep a daughter out of each of them.

Bramble Rose is the kid's favorite. She has been a lovable friendly doeling from the get go and that means a lot. I am generally tempted to keep the friendliest doelings and not just the handsomest. Bramble is Rose's daughter and Zinnia's half sister, so I'm expecting big things from her, a big producer with a large wide lovely udder for starters. If Rose has a white, cream colored or flashy pinto doeling I will have to keep her, and as I'm thinking of breeding Rose to Zanzibar this fall, there is a likely chance of that. So I almost feel as though I should sell Bramble and keep a Rose doeling next year. But on the other hand Bramble is our first doeling out of Zoro. Zoro was out of one of our best does Maggie, who came to us from Lucky Star farms and was a beautiful doe who out produced Rose, and also had a lovely wide round udder with great teat shape and size - who on top of all that continued to gain weight and look great while increasing her milk production throughout the season. So, when I think of putting Maggie's granddaughter together with Rose, I think: keeper.
Taking pictures of these girls is impossible, as all they want to do is climb and play on us and not stand still.

Above, Bramble, looking a little furry and stout. Below, Blue and Bella. Zuri, back right.

Xanadu's doeling again. Still not named. Brazil? Bali? Suggestions anyone? Mythical or exotic B place names?

                                               Noah, playing with the goats.

                             Me, playing with the goats. Goofy pictures.

Decisions, decisions. We are trying to keep our number of does around eight. Eight is a great number. Five to six does, kidding each year and being milked is a reasonable number.  This year we are selling Xoe, one of our first does. Which will leave us with Rose and Xan, both strong milkers with great udders, Zuri and Zinnia, both impressive and lovely first timers we are excited about. We've got Asia and Avalon, both one and a half year olds ready to be bred first thing this fall. Which gives us six milkers for next spring. With room for two doelings to grow. I don't even want to think about who I'm going to have to sell next spring if we want to keep doelings- which of course we will. I've wanted all the does to get to keep their first daughter, but we can only do that for so long. This is the problem with goats, you can't just have one, or two, or a dozen, or I suppose a more disciplined individual can.


Miranda said...

They are all so beautiful! Bramble's name is my favorite. For Xanadu's sweet little girl, I

I like the meaning of Bijou...Webster defines 'bijou' as 'something small, delicate and exquisitely sought'

For Mythical names: Bhadra or Brja

What tough decisions you have to make. That would be so hard!

Buttons said...

Emily aahh goat love. Very cute. You are doing a great job. I love the names you pick. B

Joel's Place said...

Bijou is very pretty. Bali is a nice too.

Plickety Cat said...

Adorable kids, I'm so jealous!

B place names, eh? how about Babylon, Byzantium, Bangladesh, Bangalore, Britannia, Badajoz, Beijing....

Mythical/Historic: Bia, Benthesikyme, Brunhilda, Brizo, Bouddica, Boginki, Briseis

Emily said...

Bijou is adorable. I forgot to mention at first that it was suppose to be a place name as well - but I'm thinking about forgetting about all the silly guidelines. I also like Beijing and Bia. I wish I'd named someone Bree, as that is one of my favorite B names ever. Thanks for the ideas ladies.

Keren said...

What nice kids! I have sold almost all of my goats. I am so glad that they have all gone to good homes and if I want I can visit them. Only have 3 goats to find good homes for. I am sad but am looking forward to getting married and moving to Alaska! Emily, I am going to be interested in maybe buying a doe in milk and one of your doe kids in the coming spring. I am interested in high producing goats. Hopefully I can help you with a good home for the goats you are having trouble thinking about selling. I know how hard it is! When do I need to give you a deposit for the goats? Hope every thing is going well for you and your family.

Emily said...

Keren, I am looking forward to meeting you. You must be so excited. Possibly, I will have a milker for sale and hopefully plenty of doelings next spring. I'm planning on breeding five maybe six does this fall. I love having responsible individuals excited and interested in our goats. Deposits a month or so before kidding season should reserve your pick. Take care and happy travels.

Denise said...


I love the girls, Emily - they are all beautiful!