Yesterday morning, Katherine did chores and gave the pregnant does their hay, grain, and water, as usual. Then she walked Trouper, who is in the small barn with the kidding pens. When she brought him back from his walk, she heard a goat scream. That sounds like a goat in labor, she thought. When she went to the kidding pens, there was Carmen with a head sticking out of her back end. Katherine grabbed an armful of towels and dried off the babies as they were born, which happened very quickly.
When Katherine came inside to tell me about the new kids, I was on the computer, editing photos that I'd taken of the three pregnant does the night before. I was planning to have a contest on the blog, asking people to guess which doe would kid first. I actually knew it was going to be Carmen, because the previous night, I had noticed that her ligaments were softer than the other two. I just didn't think it would be so soon! She was at day 143, and 145 to 150 is average, although Carmen does have a history of growing her babies a little faster than most goats.
One of the nice things about Carmen is that she has a habit of throwing a lot of does -- 80 percent, in fact! She is six years old and has only had two bucks.
I just love the white mark on this little doeling's side. I think it looks like a gecko.
It took me quite a while to be able to tell these two girls apart. They look like twins, for sure. So often, siblings look like a patchwork quilt of colors and spots, but these two look just like their mama's babies. Their sire is polled, but one will have horns for sure, because she has little swirls of hair around her horn buds. The other one might be polled, so if one has to be disbudded, it will certainly be easier to tell them apart after that. In the meantime, I have to look at the spots.
Having names will help me remember who's who. I've also decided not to advertise kids this year until they have names. Last year, a couple buyers were upset about not being able to name kids they were purchasing. They were new to goats and didn't understand that most serious goat breeders like to name their goats because we have themes to keep everyone's lineage straight. So, if I see an AOF goat on a show win list or a milk test list, I'll know immediately who the sire and dam were. I also need to add a section to my website about naming goats, but it's one of those things I keep forgetting to do.
Carmen's theme is opera, so I need some opera names. We've already used Mm. Butterfly and Lizzie Borden (yes, there was an opera made about Lizzie Borden), and I think we've used just about every name from the opera Carmen by now. Any ideas?