April 22, 2015

Milking Again & Baby Goat Naming News

I'm only milking Daphne at present.
It's not a lot but it's welcome.

Why has it taken so long? Well, for a number of reasons.

Once a day milking means being able to share the milk with the kids. Once they are two weeks of age, they are able to spend the night in a pen near to, but separated from, their mother.

"But we don't want to be separated from Mom at night."

At that age they are beginning to eat solids so hay is available to them all night. The morning milking is for the humans and the kids get it for the rest of the day. Their mom learns to not let down all of it, so they still get some for breakfast.

Breakfast at last. Daphne's twins are now 2 and a half weeks old.

Helen's quads presented a concern, however, because I need to make sure they are all getting enough. So far she's managed to feed them all herself without supplementation on my part, but as they get bigger my concern has been that the smallest kids will get pushed out.

Helen's quads, now 6 weeks old

The solution for that is to alternate separating two per night, to make sure all are getting enough. If one looks a little behind, it gets to stay with Helen for as many extra nights as are needed.

Our set-up caused somewhat of a delay on this front, because we only have two stalls in our little goat shed. I had to wait on Daphne to kid before I could start separating any kids at night. Daphne's twins turned 2 weeks over the weekend, so Sunday night they, and Helen's two biggest, had to spend the night next to, but not with, their moms.

"We missed our milk!"

Other goat news is that the kids all have names now. Of the quads,

The only doeling is Jessie



Are you catching on? They're official names are Sheriff Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story Jessie, and 

Dancin' Cowboy

Daphne's twins are

Constellation (Stella for short)


Velma and Woody will be going to new homes toward the end of June. I will keep Jessie and Stella, and maybe one of the other two bucklings. For now, however, everyone is happy and healthy. I couldn't ask for anything more.


PioneerPreppy said...

What no Bullseye?

Mama Pea said...

I'd say keep doing what you're doing! They all look pleasingly plump, happy and healthy. (You have had quite a few kids to shuffle!)

Leigh said...

PP, and no Stinky Pete, LOL

Mama Pea, I'm really pleased with their growth and weight gain. It's a relief because I wouldn't have been able to supplement Helen's quads in the beginning except with powdered milk replacer. So glad it didn't have to come to that. I've read the stuff gives them scours.

Gill - That British Woman said...

they're growing like weeds, so that's good and love all their names.

Farmer Barb said...

What made Velma the choice to go? No stars? Too narrow? Is it a conformation thing?

Woody is a pretty coloration. Are they going to make a new herd somewhere together?

Leigh said...

Gill, thanks! They do grow quickly!

Barb, none of the above. Velma is a trade with another Kinder breeder for one of her doelings. I'm keeping Jessie because she's Helen's only doe. We kept Stella because Dan fell in love with her as soon as he saw her. I confess I leaned toward Velma quite a bit because she's so sweet. Her face is just adorable. She's actually the stockier of the two sisters, which is a good Kinder trait. She has two light colored spots on her dorsal stripe, so the spots gene is still there!

Woody, I sold. He and Velma are going to two different places, however: Velma to Illinois and Woody to Michigan!

Melanie said...

I'm envious. That's just about all I can say. We're not quite ready to get our own, but my husband feels my no-goat pain and he did cheerfully by me a cute softie/stuffed goat to keep me company while we work towards the real ones. We'll get there, and in the mean time, I'll live vicariously through your goat posts!

Mama Mess said...

It's always good when we can start milking. I'm still not milking Star, even though her triplets are 4 weeks old. I just feel like they still need all the milk. She's 7 though, and that's made a difference I think. Anyway, hooray for milk and happy babies!

Renee Nefe said...

If the doe can learn to not let down all her milk for the humans, can she also regulate her milk flow for her kids so that they all get enough?

Leigh said...

Melanie, aw, that was pretty sweet. I have to agree that it's better to take your time and be truly prepared, than to jump the gun and later wish you'd waited.

the Goodwife, yes, the animals' needs always come first. I'm hoping one of my Kinders turns into a doe like Surprise. She was my top milking Nubian who made way more than her kids needed. That was very nice, especially when I needed extra milk to bottle feed a kid or two!

Renee, that's an excellent question. Demand definitely influences supply, but there is genetic potential as well. Some goats are capable of producing more than others, so it's always best to monitor the kids. The other thing that can happen is that the smallest or weakest kids can be consistently pushed out of the way. I've kept an eye on the quads and they each seem to get enough. As they get older I just want to make sure every kid gets a fair share.

Kate said...

Leigh, have you ever had trouble with a goat who won't let her milk down? I'm an experienced milker, and I've tried everything: warm compress, massage, gentle bumping, having her kids with her - nothing works! I can only get a cup or so from her. This is her second kidding; I had similar trouble last year but put it down to it being her first freshening. Her two kids are growing vigorously, so I know she has plenty of milk! Any suggestions?

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Hi! I will never be able to have goats so enjoy reading about yours. Love that you named them. Do you drink the milk too? Nancy

The Cranky said...

If I ever have enough space, I'm getting a goat from you! In the meantime, I'll enjoy learning through your Kinder adventures.

Mark said...

That is a passel of kids! Clever solution on dealing with the quads. I wondered how that was going to work.

Frank and Fern said...

I have to ask how loud the the does holler for their babies while you are milking and the babies are waiting for breakfast? (-:
We started penning our second set of babies off from their moms Sunday evening, as well. They are starting to calm down some what, but we have one young doe that insists, rather loudly, that she wants her babies as soon as she gets off the milk stand.
Your pictures are great and the kids look very healthy and happy. Good for you.


Leah said...

Oh my goodness are they cute! Sounds like that's a real musical stall thing you got going on. Well at least they are all growing happy and healthy that's what's important. And looking adorable doing it too!

Karen@ onthebanksofsaltcreek.com said...

Love the names.
Our Woody is the dad of the babies and since his doeling looks just like him we named her Jessie (both Toy Story names). So we have kids with the same names :-)

Quinn said...

A good year for you - and how great to have homes lined up already!
Tsuga had her first kids Saturday, and that's the Cloud Harvest Cashmere kidding season complete. Two nice doe-babies :)

Leigh said...

Kate, I have heard of that but never experienced it. However, it was a discussion on the Holistic Goats group recently, so I went back to look at that thread. The best suggestions was to massage her udder with warm peppermint oil, as peppermint is supposed to help with milk let-down. Recipe is to or 3 drops peppermint essential oil to 1/4 cup olive oil. Also it was suggested to bring the kids into the milking room too plus persist. Several folks agreed that a "meaty" udder can look full but is not. The person who asked the question never reported back so I don't know if it worked. I'd be interested in how it works for you!

Nancy, thanks! Mostly I use the milk for kefir, cheese, ice cream, and cooking because Dan and I aren't milk drinkers. I do have an occasional glass with cookies. :)

Jacqueline, I love my Kinders! I've had Nubians, Toggenburgs, Nigerian Dwarfs, Pygmies, and Kikos, but I love the Kinders best. :)

Mark, that idea was passed on to me by the Kinder Goat Group . Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it?

Fern, wow, that would be annoying. I've not had that problem, mine has been more that they start hollering for their feed ration way before it's time to get it (also holler for their favorite hay in the evening before I'm ready to give it.). I've had other goats holler as well, but have never figured out how to break them of that.

Leah, yes, the healthy and happy are job one!

Karen, how funny. Good names! My Jessie has the personality to match the Toy Story character, does yours?

Quinn, sounds like a perfect kidding season for you! Congrats on the doelings. :)

Sandy Livesay said...


Your setup is working well every little one is getting the appropriate nutrients.

They're just so adorable. I love looking at your pictures knowing their names. It puts a smile on my face!!!

The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

Woody will love Michigan! It's nice there. :)

tpals said...

Clever arrangement. And adorable kids. :)

Leigh said...

Sandy, thanks. Now I just have to make sure Mama Helen gets enough nutrients. Feeding four is a big job!

Cloud, I hope so!

tpals, thanks!

Sarah said...

Velma will love Illinois as long as she understands that winters are brutal and from late March until late May the weather changes about every 10 minutes! :)

Chris said...

Great names and boy they grow fast! We're a fan of Toy Story movies, so really do love the names.

Constellation, is because of the spots?

I think the smaller flock and knowing what kind of breeds you want, is all working in your favour. Things are going a little more smoothly. :)

Harry Flashman said...

Your goats are truly beautiful. I can see why people keep them here. There's an old man who has a meadow on a hillside, and it has a little flock of goats in it. I like to drive by there.

My sojourn with my two big Black Nubian bucks didn't work out like I planned, but I found them a "forever" home with a good person, so they made out alright. If only they hadn't eaten on my house and my truck.....

Leigh said...

Sarah, the poor things aren't used to that kind of cold!

Chris, thanks! Yes, Constellation because of all of the spots. The key is going to be not keeping more goats than our land can support. It's a lot of fun having kids, and also watching for breed improvement. But we need to keep that balance for all our sakes.

Harry, I have to say that bucks are more of a handful than does or wethers. Think Mrs. Harry would go for that???

Cherry said...

Great names!! All the kids look like they are doing great. Love Stella's markings!