Saturday, January 30, 2010

What Time Is It ?

It's Kidding Time ( almost ) !

The first of this year's kid crop is due to start arriving on Feb. 17th. We've spent the past 2 months processing fiber - lots of fiber. Now that we are just about finished with the 2009 clip of mohair and wool, we'll be shearing the nannies next week and we'll start right in with 2010.
It seems that there really isn't a time when there isn't some fiber to process.
But what we're really doing now is getting ready for baby goats and a bit later lambs ( due April 1st ). Here's what we do to get ready :

-Clean the barn and kidding stalls
-Partition the barn into living areas - we house like sized nannies together to avoid un-sportsman like conduct ( translation - slamming ).
-Check and make sure we have enough buckets for each pen ( food and water )
-Test the heat lamps - our heat lamps are held up by chains and have bulb guards.
-Make sure we have plenty of towels for drying
-Blow dryer ( just like the ones used for drying hair ) - for drying kids fast
-Selenium shots - BoSe - each kid gets 1/4cc - we're in a low selenium area.
-CDT - each kid gets 1cc
-Nutri-drench - each kid gets a couple of squirts
-Ear notch tool - we notch instead of tag kids - tags sometimes rip ears or fall out. We prefer to notch. To see a sample ear notch diagram visit the AAGBA website.
-Feeding tube - in case of chilled kids and a container for the milk from the nanny.
-Prichard Teats - in case we need to supplement nursing kids or for bottle babies
-A couple of plastic soda bottles for the teats ( but no Coca Cola bottles as the threads on the bottle's neck have been changed and no longer accommodate the Pritchard Teats. )
-Worming paste for the nannies - after the stress of kidding we generally evaluate nannies and worm if needed. Stress can cause a decreased resistance to parasites.
-Something on hand for scours - we use a pepto-bismol like liquid.
-Shear the nannies - keeps the fleece clean and gives the kids a nice mohair-free udder to latch onto. After shearing the nannies stay in the barn until mid-March.
-Put the radio in the barn and tune to WAMC - our local Public Radio Station ( this is a plug for the station. Their fund drive starts in a few days. )
-Wait for the kidding to begin.

18 days 'til baby goats
51 days 'til spring

Summer Sheep