Thursday, June 30, 2011

Quick Post

I hope all is well with everyone!

My sister's wedding was this past weekend and it was fantastic, many congratulations to her and her new husband! It was alot of fun to see family members I haven't seen in years and to celebrate such a joyous occasion. Their wedding will certainly be one to top!

I'm getting back into the swing of things on the farm after being gone for a few days for the wedding, the goat kids continue to grow like weeds, in a few weeks they'll all be weaned and ready to go to new homes. I'll be updating the website with their photos and posting most of them for sale sometime very soon.

A few of the kids playing on the milking stand

All 6 kids together!

Athena is the last goat left to kid, she is due tomorrow but I suspect she'll be kidding late based on her ligaments and udder development. She's huge and looks very uncomfortable so hopefully it won't be too long of a wait. I'll be watching her closely and will post here when the kids finally arrive.

I have ALOT of bunny stuff to do. Blues, Confetti and Pumpkins' litters all need to be sorted through, they're already weaned just need to be separated into pairs/trios in their own cages for grow out. I did a bunch of culling earlier this week and will have more to do once the unshowables reach processesing weight. A few of the showables that won't work for my program will also be for sale, photos and more info to come soon.

I have my last 4 ARBA Convention litters due this weekend. Nutmeg has been busy nesting and Sage looks like she's about to burst, hopefully these litters will provide me with some nicely typed, colored and marked juniors to show in Indianapolis this fall. Its hard to believe we're only a few months away from Convention again, even though there's still a good amount of time left, its never too early to get final plans underway. The hotel is already booked and I'm starting to figure out how much space/holes my travel companions and I will have for the big trip.

More updates will be added sometime soon, with the wedding over and working only a few nights a week at the moment I don't have any excuses when it comes to keeping the website and blog up to date. :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Joy Kidded - Its TWINS!

And the goat posts continue!

Almond Joy decided to kid a little early which was a welcomed surprise for me. Her ligaments loosened on Monday and I actually took her into the emergency vet I work at on Monday night because I didn't want her to progress into labor alone as a first freshner. Joy is my tiniest doe and was a bottle baby so I worried her mothering instincts might be a little lacking without human encouragement.

She held out to kid until around 6:30 on Tuesday evening, she required major assistance, much more than Dixie and Wind Chime. Her first baby a beautiful almost completely solid black buckling presented breech with one leg tucked back - sparing the details I was able to rearrange him and deliver him succesfully. Fifteen minutes later her next little baby an almost solid dark brown (chocolate) buckling presented head first with no legs - once again with assistance he was rearranged and delivered.

Joy did really well and immediately started cleaning off her two healthy, big boys.

Joy with her two new kids, the chocolate buckling in the back and the black buckling in the front

Joy doing a great job of cleaning her kids off

The nosey pit bulls were right there to help too.. not that their help was needed..

The solid black buckling - he has a bit of white on his ankles, the chocolate buckling has a small amount of white on one of his flanks.

These two cuties have such different colors/markings then my other Dude kids, its so interesting to see the range in markings/colors you can get from different parents - genetics are fascinating.

These two little fellows will be available as pet wethers in about 2 months. Future bucklings from Joy almost certainly will be able to be kept as intact bucks, her FF udder is gorgeous! I can't wait to get her on the milkstand.

With Joy having succesfully kidded, there will be a short break til my last doe of the year, Athena kids around July 1st. I'm looking forward to the end of kidding season 2011, its time to milk and enjoy the babies and not worry about all that could go wrong with delivery!

I'm headed to my sister's WEDDING this weekend! (Yes the BIG day is almost here) so there won't be time for blog updates/website updates but I will have lots to post next week, and I promise to have some rabbit news/photos to add at that time too.

Until then I wish you all well and ask you to please keep Kristen of Keep's Rabbitry in your thoughts/prayers; she sufferred a tragic loss of many beautiful rabbits due to heat stroke. Kristen is a beloved bunny friend and I can only imagine the pain she is in at the moment - I know had it been my bunnies I would be just as devastated and lost.

Heat related incidents can happen to ANYONE, Kristen's tragic loss made me think about my bunnies and the heat. I know that if my bunnies were still in their old barn (now the dog kennel) if I lost power and the A/C failed without a doubt I would lose many rabbits to heat stroke if I were not home as the barn's temperature would soar without A/C. My current setup does expose the rabbits to warmer temperatures but it is open aired which keeps them cooler from the cross breezes and fans. Most importantly the bunnies in the new open air setup are safe from the dangers of an enclosed barn but this is far from perfect and there is a very REAL and scary chance that any bunny could overheat and die on warm days even in an open air barn...

With that said, I'd like to tell Kristen that I'm sending kind thoughts to you and your bunnies and I am certain all of your bunny friends world-wide are wishing you well. <3

Friday, June 17, 2011

Caddy Kidded - Its TWINS!!

Seems like every post lately has been goat related!

I'm happy to announce that Caddy kidded this morning to a pair of beautiful buckling/doeling twins!

Caddy kidded right before I got off from work, the babies were still damp when I got home. Both were active, nursing and doing really well as was momma Caddy. She did great, had them on her own without assistance and was doing as well if not better than she did with her triplet bucklings last year. She has a tiny udder that hasn't developed much from last year but we'll see how it fills out in the next few weeks when she starts getting milked.

The two kids are super cute, a black and white doeling and another tan(red) and white buckling that looks just like the buckling born about 2 weeks ago to Wind Chime.

Both kids are really big so its a good thing that she didn't have any trouble delivering them. They are super sweet little babies and will be alot of fun to raise these next few weeks.


Only about an hour old in this photo

The little buckling with momma Caddy

What a sweet face, already a lap baby!

The doeling, she's got cute markings

Momma Caddy nursing her twins

Siblings, such cute baby goats

And Gigantor and Dudette born earlier this month are doing well, they've both been disbudded and are growing like weeds.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dixie Kidded It's a GIRL!!!

Since I had been keeping my Nigerian Dwarf goat buck - Cornestone Farm Almon *S ("Dude") free with my does since January I was doing something rather taboo in the goat world. Running a buck with your does can mean you miss breedings and then not know when to expect the kids. Since I have a small goat herd of only 5 does I felt pretty confident that I would see all the breedings and not run into the issue of not knowing when a doe would be due.

While I was able to have certainty about 4 of the goat does' due dates, I never figured out when Dixie would be due. I knew she had settled so I figured I'd watch her closely and be prepared in the June-July time frame.

Sure enough yesterday Dixie's udder had filled and she was looking very close to kidding.

Here's a photo of Dixie yesterday, spending time with her daughter Chime (pink collar) and grandson "Lil Dude," aka "Gigantor."

Yesterday she was very interested in eating her hay, she didn't seem super close to kidding until late at night. Since last year she kidded while I was working an overnight and one of her twins passed away - I made certain to either be home or have another "goat professional," on the farm for every goat's kidding this year to help prevent losses.

This morning at 9:30 am she kidded a beautiful, BIG single doeling that just like Gigantor born on Sunday looks alot like her daddy Dude!

Just minutes old..

Dixie is such a good mommy, the dogs are being super nosey in the background..

She was up and standing on her wobbly legs very quickly

Walking is a challenge when you're just a newborn

She has 3 brown legs and 1 white leg, so cute!

She started nursing right away, she is just precious!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Website is up to date!

I posted a bunch of photos of "Mini Dude," aka "Gigantor" the cute new baby goat arrival on the kids page in the goat section.

Individual photos are up of the Rhinelander kits in the current litters.

Sales page is the only page not up to date, I will try and get it updated later this week.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Wind Chime Kidded - Its a BOY!

Go figure that Wind Chime would decide to kid after a long night working at the ER vet!

I came home to discover Chime on day 149 of her pregnancy with a very full udder with a tight glossy appearance. I felt for her ligaments and they were gone which usually means kidding will happen within 24 hours. She also had a wide eyed look and her tail was arching all signs of prelabor.

I moved her into the "kidding pen," AKA Reuben's dog kennel (he is kenneled the least of all my dogs so his kennel is the perfect choice.) The kennels are near enough to the paddocks that Chime can still "talk," to her herd and see them.

Here's Chime in the kidding pen

Here she is just before she started to enter serious labor. She had a difficult labor and I ended up having to go internally and assist by pulling the kid out. After the kid was out, Chime took her parenting role very seriously by assisting me with cleaning her little buckling off .

Moments after birth a proud momma Chime cleans her baby boy off. If you look closely beneath the dog door into the barn (to the left) in this photo you will see Pepper under the barn looking into the pen.. I have such nosey dogs!

A closer view of the new baby and mom. (Yes Pep's in the backgroud of this photo too!)

He's a strong, smart little baby that was up on his feet in minutes and ready to nurse within about 10 minutes. Here he is trying to nurse for the first time.

What an adorable little buckling Chime gave birth to, he looks an awful lot like his daddy Dude!

Chime being a good momma and bonding with her baby.

Lots more photos of this cutie are to come, kidding season is officially here and now I'm going to go get some much needed rest, I'm exhausted!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Not too much longer now

Its hard to believe its less than a week til the first due date for one of the goats this year. First Freshner, and last year's only doe kid Wind Chime will be at day 150 on Monday. Last year her momma Dixie kidded pretty much right on time, it should be interesting to see if Chime follows in her momma's footsteps.

There's alot of construction going on in the goat paddocks at the moment so its hard to get good photos but here are a few around the new hayrack that was made using a modified horse hay rack and cattle feeder.

Tambourine sticks his head through the rack

Dude, I have a zillion photos just like this one because he is so curious about the camera and if it is edible or not..

A posterior shot.. Joy is due around June 25th, her little first freshner udder is filling nicely.

Wind Chime has filled out nicely. Her horns have fallen off and in the fall her scurs will be reburned. She is such a shy, gentle goat.

Caddy is the goat with the next due date here she is in the hayrack, her first possible due date is the 16th of June but her udder hasn't filled in much so she may be due later. Chime's little udder can be seen in the background.

I'm so excited for goat kids!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

History Repeats Itself

This past Memorial weekend was insanely busy. My sister celebrated her Bachelorette on Saturday night and her Bridal shower on Monday. I worked most of the weekend too so it was a challenge to go from down south up 95 to Washington DC and then do it all over again all while very sleep deprived.. I work nights after all. Despite being completely exhausted it was a great time!

On the farm things are continuing as normal, its unbelievably hot for the first week in June and so the baby pools are full to the brim for the dogs and pig to lounge in and for the goats/chickens to drink from. The rabbits have fans in their barns and frozen water bottles to keep cool, so far they seem to be taking this awful weather okay, the worst part of the heat is the reality that this is just the begining.. Virginia summers are relentlessly hot and humid.. here's hoping we make it through okay.

I was sorting through the baby bunnies today and made a horrible discovery.. last year I had a strange seemingly genetic disorder pop up in two of my Rhinelander kits. Basically the rabbits suffered from skeletal deformaties, muscle atrophy, ataxia, stunted growth (dwarfism?), malocclusions (due to skeletal deformity) and both eventually became acutely paralyzed. Popeye lived to be about 7 months before he had to be euthanized, his sibling lived to be 4 weeks of age.

Two of Confetti's kits have the same symptoms that Popeye had. Confetti was bred to Theo who was the same sire to the previous litter that had the issue. The dam to that litter was Sage. Last time I thought it was a fluke and repeated the Sage/Theo cross and had no issues (Dream and Wish below are offspring from that cross.) But, now that I have a different doe (granted Confetti is from very similar lines to Sage/Theo) its clear that I will have to cull Theo since he is the carrier. Unfortunately I had already bred him to Sage before I sorted through the kits so I'll have to see what his next and last litter looks like in a month's time...

For those who weren't reading my blog back when Popeye was around feel free to read here, here and here about him.

Affected kit is up front on the left, notice its compact box like shape compared to its normal sibling hopping in the background.

The two abnormal kits, their eyes already have the distinct bugged out shape..

The kittens are growing like weeds, here they are in their large dog crate, I installed an old towel as a hammock, they love playing in it and wrestling. I put collars with bells on them the other day which makes rounding them up after they're allowed out in the house to play much easier. The bells give away their hiding positions!

Here's a not so great unposed photo of Wish at 5 months of age, when she poses nicely she looks really great. She's a pretty gal!

Here's Surf a jr. buck, he's very playful and zooms down the running board

Here's Summer, she's dark but I love her spots!

This is Splash, nice spots on her too, I'm worried her stray spots will end up as a DQ shoulder spot as she ages which is such a shame..

Dream, she is such a pretty rabbit, 5 month old her right side which is not pictured is much nicer marked then her left.

Beach another cute jr. doe!