Kid-watch - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 04-12-2016, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Kid-watch

Our goats are in the final stages of gestation at present, and what with all the foaling threads at this time of year, I thought why not have a kidding thread too?

The most advanced of them are at that stage when they resemble zeppelins on legs and spend most of their time lying down and groaning quietly, looking like beached whales. We put the males in at the beginning of December, meaning that they aren't due until the end of this month, but I reckon we could see an early kid by this weekend. The goats that have multiple gestations (most of them) kid earlier than the single mothers (ie: carrying one kid, they're all single as in unmarried lol).

To add another variable to the equation, this year we crossbred forty of our goats with males of a larger breed. Our goats are all Murcianas, a small dairy breed, and we have crossbred with Florida males (not from Florida, literally means "flowery" because of their splashy markings). So the unfortunate forty are carrying XXL kids which means they are even heavier and clumsier than in normal circumstances. The goats with yellow collars in the pics are the Florida wives. Spot the extra big bellies!

So, who will kid first?? (Out of nearly two hundred candidates).


Will it be 54811? (or her friend who looks as if she's got a wasp in her mouth)


Or pretty blonde 72985?


30844 has a spectacular belly on her.


But 76382 is even wider.


76404 is not amused....


and she waddles for cover.


While these three pregnant beauties compare bellies and udders. The two on the right (both Florida girls) are already showing udder development and starting to produce colostrum.

Place your bets everyone! Sorry about the lack of names for identifying them. We only have pet names for a few of our 300 goats - and some of the names aren't suitable for a family forum.... let's just say that not all of the goats stand out because of their GOOD qualities.

Nearly forgot to include the flowery guys


Here they are doing their job back in December.
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Last edited by Bondre; 04-12-2016 at 11:54 AM.
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post #2 of 36 Old 04-12-2016, 12:21 PM
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Whoa, you weren't kidding (pun intended ) about them looking like zeppelins!

I'd be standing waaaaaay back when they start to give birth, those babies may just pop out explosively!

Are you present for the birth of all the kids? Sounds like a lot of lost sleep.
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post #3 of 36 Old 04-12-2016, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Seen a lot of kids being born but they normally just slither to the ground. Nothing explosive. The emissions after kidding can be explosive though; if the goat coughs when you're milking her you don't want to be in the way of the icky brown gunk that she might shoot out.

The goats are quite considerate and mostly kid between 10am and 9pm. There's always a few that kid early or late but we don't have to be on top of them unless they look like they're having problems. The vast majority do the job just fine on their own. We only intervene if there's a goat that's obviously in labour but hasn't produced anything. Could be twins that are jostling to be first into the birth canal, or a breech birth, or just a lazy goat that doesn't want to push because she knows it's going to be painful.

The worst thing that can happen when a bunch of goats kid behind your back is that they all mix their kids up. Some goats will look for a quiet corner, but others search out someone else's newborn kids when they feel the contractions, and start licking them clean while they're waiting to give birth themselves. Then you have a huge muddle of who belongs to whom, some kids with two or three mothers and others with none.
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post #4 of 36 Old 04-12-2016, 05:48 PM
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Subbing as I just LOVE goats.....and am thinking, with a shorter gestation, this may be the cure for those of us who are more impatient.......
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post #5 of 36 Old 04-13-2016, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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Theoretically a goat could kid twice in the time it takes for a mare to produce; and if 150 days is too long for anyone, there's always rabbits.....
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post #6 of 36 Old 04-13-2016, 12:43 PM
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What are the harness-like things on some of the goats?
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post #7 of 36 Old 04-13-2016, 01:07 PM
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Subbing! Our does just had kids a few weeks ago!

Hoping for a successful and safe kidding year for you!
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post #8 of 36 Old 04-13-2016, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, CrossCountry! The two weeks before the due date are always the worst. Some of them have serious problems with keeping all their innards inside when the kids are occupying all that space. We have to sow up a few rear orifices every year to help the mothers keep all their private bits inside where they belong. It's a huge relief for us when those goats deliver safely - and even more of a relief for them, I'm sure.

Natisha, the harness things are to stop them suckling from their own udders. Goats that drink their own milk are a problem when they are stabled, like ours, and don't have a very active lifestyle. They start by chance, when they're scratching their teats, and once they've tasted the milk they're hooked.
Unfortunately they also seem to learn the trick by example, so if you've got a couple of goats that know the secret, soon you'll have a couple of dozen.

With the harnesses, they can't bend so far round to reach their teats but otherwise they can lead a fairly normal life.
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post #9 of 36 Old 04-13-2016, 03:44 PM
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Wow-those are some very large ladies! Can't wait to see the little ones.

Do the babies stay in your herd or head on to greener pastures?
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post #10 of 36 Old 04-13-2016, 04:46 PM
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I don't even want to take a guess, unless I can say they are all going see earth within minutes or hours of each other, lol

There was a "goat blurp" on the local news about a family who had 100 kids born and they were asking for volunteers to come and handle/imprint the kids every day.

They raise milk goats and make cheese. They said it's a lot easier to milk if the goats have been handled from birth but with 100 new kids even their regular employees can't keep up.

That wasn't you was it, lollol

EDITED to add:

I like the one sticking her tongue out.

When on earth do you have time to ride! The goats are your money makers, so I know you've got to be keeping a diligent eye on them, even if they do the bulk of the birthing without you. That is a LOT of butts to check for needing stitches <where's the passing out emoticon>

I tip my hat to you ----- and I thought dairy cattle were a handful-------
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A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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