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Farmette 1769

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Abbigail, daughter of Olivia, fathered by black and white pygmy – name unknown, is about to have kids of her own. Pygmies don’t commonly come with papers, being non-dairy type mini goats. They can have pedigrees and do produce milk, but are not really bred for any of that.

I am impatiently waiting for the birth. With my health off kilter leading to surgery this past Fall 2011, keeping track of breeding for our goats and chickens just got completely off track. So, I can only guess as to her due date.

At the end of January, Abbey began to “bag up”, meaning that her milk had started to come in. I was not even sure she was bred until this happened. This process can start about a month ahead of the birth, but it is now February 24th and nothing has happened.ย 

We can feel the baby(ies) kicking. Our guess is that she will have twins. Goats can have 1 to 4 kids, averaging 2 and rarely 5. Last year was a bust as our only available nanny goat Olivia, delivered about a month early to one little buck kid that never took a breath. He looked like a little rubber goat with no hair but little hooves and horn buds and all. It was sad. He is buried in the flower garden.

This is Abbey on the 21st. Her kid(s) have been hanging low, so I thought maybe they’d be here by now. No luck…

Abbey modeling her big belly.

Cute Abbey, our little pregnant doe. She looks so much like a dairy cow that we almost named her Bessy.

So, I am extra excited about Abbey’s upcoming kidding since it has been so long since we had little goats here. They are extremely cute! If there is a girl, we will keep one. The boys must go since Jeffrey is now our herd sire.

We added a dairy goat to the mix recently. She is a Nubian goat, bigger than our dogs. Her papers name her as Katie Jeanne, but we call her Beatrice or BB for short. You could not have a more cooperative, friendly goat. Apparently this comes with the breed, but she is especially awesome. BB will walk on a leash, do what you ask of her and stay right at your side if you are out in the fenced area.

Beatrice and her new pink collar

I wish that BB had horns. She was disbudded as a kid . Our pygmies did not have this done and therefore pick on her. She holds her own since she is big, but it is certainly a disadvantage. I like to keep the horns on so that they can protect themselves. We have two watch dogs outside and an electric fence, but I still worry a little about the coyotes. They wander in to scoop up poultry if they can get away with it.

She is bred to a moon-spotted buck named Picasso. Nubian goats come in lots of colors and you never know what you’ll get, although with the spots in the mix, the probability of spotted is higher. Depending on what we get from her, there may be selling or trading involved. We’ll need a Nubian sire for her. A good way to get one may be to trade a buckling for an unrelated buckling.

The big deal with BB will be the milk, which we can make into cheese, yogurt, butter and soap. She is not “freshened” right now. That means that she has given birth and is therefore producing milk. Beatrice is so easy to handle. It seems as if she will make a great milking goat. That is good since I have no idea what I am doing. I’ll figure it out.ย 

As with everything on the farmette, practice makes perfect, or at least manageable…

P.S. You’ll be sure to get an update when Abbey’s baby(ies) arrive!

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