Kidding Season

Yes – April 1st will be here before you know it, but that isn’t the kind of “kidding” I’m referring to!  We raise ADGA-registered Alpine Dairy Goats on our little farm. Being a European breed, they have their kids in the spring.  We had our first kid of the season born at 3 a.m. on February 17th.  Being a nurse, I felt compelled to spend the night with Nancy Grace (the doe) in case she had problems.  This is the second year that she was bred, and the second time she rejected her kid. Nancy Grace is somewhat of a diva (she won best in show in 2014 at the Vanderburgh County ADGA show) and just really doesn’t want to be a mother, or at least that’s what I think is going on…

I dried off the new kid and brought her into the house to warm her up.  We milked Nancy Grace and fed the new kid her colostrum.  Bottle feeding this baby brought back a lot of memories of my own baby’s midnight feedings.  Getting up every four hours, warming a bottle and traipsing out to the barn (that part I didn’t have to do with my human kids!) left me feeling a bit sleep-deprived, but my wonderful husband and partner stepped up to the plate (as he always does) and  took on more than his share of the feedings.

I decided after a couple of days that it would be much easier to just keep Sam (short for Samantha) in the house at night for her feedings.  I found that baby diapers worked pretty well with her and she seemed content to sleep next to our bed on an old throw rug and my sweatshirt that had my scent on it (we had bonded!). My husband let this go on about as long as he could stand it and finally said to me that people who have farm animals in their homes might be called rednecks…

Sam is now over two weeks old and is living with the adult goats in the barn full time.  She has started doing all the fun things that endear goats to us like running full-speed ahead and jumping straight up in the air is if she had springs in her legs. She has started to nibble on grain and hay, and is down to three bottle feedings a day.  Right now she is the love of my life and has wiggled a special place into my heart.  I love this time of year.  We have four more does to kid this spring, Sandy is next and usually has triplets – let the fun continue!

We use our surplus of fresh goat’s milk to make soap, shampoo, dog shampoo, and goatsmilk lotion.  Please visit our Artisan Homestead Facebook page, or our website at www.artisanhomestead.webs.com for pictures and more goat news!

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Indiana Grown