Tag Archives: Nubian kids

Kids First Day Out

The Nubian doe kids are two weeks old. They run and play, jump up on the gym, the hay trough, the sleeping bench. They want to have a first day out in the big world.

Two weeks old is very young. The herd is going far up the hill pasture hill. The kids will get tired and go to sleep. I won’t be able to find them.

The day dawns cold and frosty, but bright and sunny. The grass is short, easy for kids to see the herd and their mother. The herd wants out even before milking is over.

I could wait until the kids go back in the barn and go to sleep. The frost will melt by that time. If I hide in the house, I won’t hear the goats calling, asking why they aren’t out yet.

goat kids first day out is for exploring

Nubian doe Drucilla doesn’t get much eating done as she tries to keep up with her kids.

Drucilla is a wonderful mother goat. She stayed in almost two weeks with her kids. Most stay in only a week before trying to sneak out the gate. She has a big Nubian voice. Those kids will hear her a quarter of a mile easily. Her kids have big voices too.

If not now, when? How old is old enough? Winter kids have advantages with the short grass and bare branches of bushes.

The goats are calling. They are standing in the barn lot looking at me and at the pasture gate. “It’s a beautiful day to be out,” they seem to say. “Please let us out.”

kids first day out in woods

The goat kids are having a wonderful time going up and down the hills. It’s much more interesting than being stuck in the barn all day.

I’ll snag the kids as they try to go out the gate. I go to the gate with the herd and open it. The herd pours through.

Drucilla has her kids beside her. If I snag them, she will turn around and stay in crying mournfully all day. They are bouncing, so excited at this first day out.

I watch as the three get to the bridge. The kids won’t cross. Drucilla goes back and talks to them. And the three are min the middle of the herd as it winds its way up the hill pasture.

I do want to go out for a walk later today. If I happen to wander up the hill pasture, that’s a good walk.

Mother Goat Care

Winter kids bring special concerns as these small goats need to keep warm. This can overshadow mother goat care.

High Reaches Silk’s Drucilla is a big, healthy mother goat in the prime of her life. She doesn’t look like she needs special care. She would sneer at the notion, if she understood.

Nubian doe High Reaches Silk's Drucilla

High Reaches Silk’s Drucilla is a big Nubian doe, about 140 pounds. Her coat gleams. her milk is good. She seems in good health. Still, raising kids is stressful so I keep an eye on her.

That doesn’t change a thing.

Long ago the standard advice was to deworm a doe just after she had her kids. The sequestered worms would flood her system due to the stress of kidding.

I followed this for years. Drucilla is glad I don’t now. Instead I have a waiting game. If she appears to have an overload problem, she will eat wormer, to her disgust. If her coat remains silky, her droppings normal, she gets to skip the awful stuff.

Nubian doe guarding kids

High Reaches Silk’s Drucilla is a wonderful mother goat. She is constantly on the alert for any threat to her kids. This includes a chicken walking by, a cat chasing mice, me putting on or taking off goat coats and, especially, me picking up a kid to pet it.

One bit of mother goat care I do follow is for milking. Yes, I let my does raise their kids. Years ago I had time for all the bottles and fussing. Now I don’t. Both my does and I are much happier.

That doesn’t mean Drucilla gets to skip milking. Being a Nubian, she would never miss a chance to eat unless she were ill. While she inhales her grain, I check her udder and milk her out every morning and every night.

Nubian doe kids out to play

These Nubian doe kids have their mother well trained. If they want to stay in the barn, so does she. If they want to go outside and play, so does she. If she calls, they ignore her. Sounds like kids, doesn’t it?

The first couple of days, I don’t milk unless the doe’s udder is congested or full. I do take some of the first colostrum and freeze it for emergency use. This precious first milk is produced before the kids arrive and not after. It is important for the kids. I let them have as much as they want.

By the third day, the colostrum is diluted with milk. The kids are still too young to empty a large udder like Drucilla has. I milk the extra out. My barn cats Cloudy, Tyke and Orange Cat are delighted with the bounty.

mother goat and doe kids

This is where Drucilla would enjoy standing to bask in the sun for a time. The kids find this a good place to run and play, for now.

Other mother goat care depends on the doe. Often their hooves need trimming as they were too big to do before the kids arrived. Their kids may need help learning where their meals come from.

My does are kept in a special pen for a few days. this pen is set up with places for the kids to sleep and keep warm. The doe can have extra hay. And the rest of my does are safe from overly protective mother goats.

As soon as the kids are playing, the special pen comes down. There are places for the kids to sleep in peace. And mother goat care becomes general goat care.

What do you do when your new does have kids the same day? Harriet finds out in Capri Capers.

Early Kidding Season

I was annoyed with Violet. She is usually one of my most reliable long term milkers and she went dry. She wasn’t kidding around.

Violet is an easy keeper. She is an old fashioned Nubian meaning she is broad and heavy. She was gaining weight.

Early fall is a great time for the goats out on the hills. Falling leaves, acorns and lots of seeding grasses keep my herd in good shape. Their coats gleam.

The does are cycling. The bucks are stinking. Augustus is finally staying in.

Nubian doe High Reaches Violet

High Reaches Violet is around eight years old now and has been an easy going, good milking doe. She isn’t very tall but has the old fashioned Nubian build.

My big escape artist has been a problem for months. I have repaired and rebuilt fence for months. Perhaps I should have sold him but I like him and he is out of one of my best does.

It’s strange how memory seems to erase problems once they seem to be solved. Violet has reminded me of this.

Since the goats are all putting on weight, I didn’t pay much attention to Violet except to cut back on her grain. She wasn’t getting much anyway as she was no longer milking.

I like breeding my does in the fall. That way all the kids are born in the spring. By fall all the kid related chores are done. The kids are mostly sold.

Fall into winter is a time for cleaning out the barn again. Hay starts appearing in the mangers. Out maneuvering bucks and does in season is the daily challenge.

Violet was definitely gaining weight. The distribution of that weight started looking suspicious. Her udder seemed bigger.

Routine can be blinding. Wrapping up the garden, roofing, winter preparations help keep the blinders on.

Suspicion became unbelief. Unbelief became maybe. Maybe became shaky certainty.

Violet was expecting kids. She wasn’t kidding around. She was serious.

Nubian doe and kids

The herd went out. I went into the barn to put out dishes of food for the bucks. There stood Violet. A couple of hours later two little doe kids were there too.

Augustus must have escaped the end of last April. Nubians do cycle all year in the Ozarks. But no one seemed in season so I noted it and forgot about it.

Violet must have been in season.

I have set up kidding pens in the empty hay section of my barn for several years. It is convenient, warmer and easier to maintain than in the barn proper. My barn is full of hay now.

Violet now has two darling doe kids. She is now a happy mother goat.

The question now is: Who else is not kidding around out there?