Sweet Pea’s Twins

Sweet Pea had her kids today.   The darker one is male, the lighter is female…the opposite coloration Olive gave us.  No names until later.  Don’t want to become attached and get bad news.  You know, we have fought and fought to keep sick animals alive and it almost always ends in tears.  Last year it was a goat we named Shivers.  Poor Shivers.  I made her a sweater then buried her in it.  Nope.  No names yet.

I came home from work and my breathless son ran up to the house to tell me what was going on.  “Sweet Pea is having kids!  There’s a big problem!  The back feet are coming out first!”  Then he was off.

It was a problem.  She labored a long time with the darker one coming out breech.  Wife assisted with both as Sweet Pea was tuckered out when the second came around.

“Dad!  The second one came out!  There was a weird bag then the bag popped and we saw a head!”

What did your kids learn in school today?

Olive had Twins

We’ll be dairying again soon.  Thank goodness she waited for good weather this year.

Here’s the little female, still damp.  She appears to be polled (hornless) and has lovely goat jewelry.  And look at those ears!

Here’s the little male, still a bit messy.

We believe they got a good bite to eat but haven’t seen them nurse on their own.  We’ll hold off on naming them until we’re more certain they are nursing and healthy.

Here’s a quick video:

My Friend Olive…the goat

In a few short days we’ll be enjoying fresh goat milk again.  I love goat milk.  It makes the best ice cream, the cream doesn’t separate and it is easily digestible.  I have heard a lot of people tell me that they think goat milk tastes bad but I think it depends mainly on the goat’s diet.  Our goat milk tastes great but our goats are offered a wide variety of forages.

Let me introduce you to our goat herd, headed up by Olive.  We bought Olive on Craig’s List some years back.  She came from a farm about an hour to the North.  I believe she is rounding out her sixth year.  She’s a gallon milker and is at least mostly nubian.  Isn’t she pretty?

Olive arrived with her twins (Sweet Pea and Popeye (Supper)) two summers ago then gave us quadruplets last year.  That’s a pretty strong mark against her as it is a trait we want to select against.  We were able to keep two of the four.  I made an attempt at a family photo but..well, goats are goats.  From the back left Olive, Sweet Pea, Pixie and Honey.  Honey wanted to eat my pant leg and refused to pose.

What we like best about the goats is they aren’t much of a threat to our children’s safety.  They may love you to death but that’s the worst they’ll do. Billy goats are a little different story…

Olive and Sweet Pea are days away from freshening…from kidding…from having babies.  We’ll keep a close eye on them as we believe Olive was bred on Dec. 10th and Sweet Pea was bred a few days later.  When Olive was carrying quads last year she developed a limp…you would too.  So far she’s getting around normally but you can tell she isn’t comfortable laying down.

This will be Sweet Pea’s first freshening.  She’s developing an udder and you can tell she’s not comfortable with any part of this arrangement.  She’ll be a handful on the milking stand.  Should make for good times though.

Anyone have any tips on breaking a goat to milk?