We have had a few more losses here at Alba Ranch. It seems like a lot lately but the reality is the entire pack was aging and all approximately the same age as well so it was a flood of them leaving one after the other as they have finished their lives over these last few years. I knew that it was coming but that doesn’t make it any easier. Read more…
We have had some new Nigerian Dwarf Dairy goat kids born 11 days ago. This is from our new doe, Meg’s Mini Rachelle, and our new buck, Amasanti BB California Gold (aka Fred).
I in particular was looking forward to this breeding with great anticipation because Rachelle is a Swiss marked Nigerian and I have never had one of those before. Fred is a Gold and I haven’t had that one before either. I have had a cream, possibly a gold but never in a buck. Fred is from a buck recently imported from California and Rachelle is also from lines totally new to my herd. I researched the lines and have brought in some pretty goats but only after making sure they are from very milk producing lines.
I bought several new bucks this year and a few does as well. The bucks specifically are from proven milk lines and should be of the quality that my does are. In the past, I believe my bucks were more neutral when it came to milk production and now I have bucks that are as high or higher in milk production than my already high producing does. I am hoping that it will breed my does, who are already high producers, up even farther.
My goal is to have my does and their daughters all be half gallon or 4 lb a day milkers or better….always. I don’t want average milk production or low production that so many Nigerian breeders seem to think is standard. I am not focused on only pretty faces or eye colors. I have pretty faces and fabulous eyes but not at any expense in the milk pail. Dashing colors and sparkling eyes do NOT put milk in the pail. Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats are just that….DAIRY GOATS!
I have been a closed herd since moving back from Colorado to Michigan. We did our testing and with the herd negative on their tests, it is now time to close the herd back up.
I have a few photos of these lovely little darlings. We were lucky and right there when mama went into labor because she went EARLY! and she had triplets and if we had gone into the house even for that hour or so before coming back out to do evening chores, I have no doubts that we would have lost two of the kids. She popped number 2 and 3 our in about 30 seconds total at once after having had kid 1 about 15 minutes prior. She was a bit dazed, I would have been also with two kids popping out in 30 seconds, so she couldn’t react quick enough to get the sacks off their heads. That left me with towels in hand to help her. I was her labor and delivery nurse. Kid 2 was the only doe in the lot. 1 and 3 are gorgeous bucks.
Kid 1 is a black and tan Swiss marked boy. He was the smallest of them all. I think he might have only been a pound and so tiny. But he was strong and up and nursing about 3 minutes after she had his sack off before he was even dry. And 11 days after, he is one of the bounciest of the three!
Kid 2 is the doe. She appeared white. But a couple of days ago, I realized she is not all white. She is a Cou Blanc!! I am so excited. I have one Cou Blanc in my herd currently, but Sweet Pea is 13 years old and has never thrown a Cou Blanc herself. This little darling is white head, white neck and white shoulder area and color on the rump. I can see the distinct line mid back where a buck skin pattern would break except her color placements are the opposite of a buckskin. Where a traditional Cou Blanc has white on front and black on rump, this little gal has white on front and pale gold on rump. So I am guessing that Gold is her color family and Cou Blanc is her pattern. She has the little gold strips in the same spots on her nose and face as Sweet Pea has her black strips. The only thing that Sweet Pea has that this little one does not have is any gold strips visible yet on her legs. Her legs currently just appear all white. Oh and she doesn’t have Sweet Pea’s wattles.
So after three hours of unplanned goat midwifery, we returned to our normal lives….minus the hours lost playing with the new kids over the last 11 days. but…..Aren’t they all just so cute?
Kizy ( ?- July 15, 2016)
We got Kizy, our Great Pyr, in 2009 while out in Colorado. She was $50 off a Craig list ad. We were her third and final home. She has been a joy to have for years.
This huge puff ball of fur could have dragged me all over creation, but she was one of the most gentle dogs I have ever seen. I attached my lead around my waist and put the other end on her collar and she would walk at my side with the lead limp. She has always done that with me.
Don’t get me wrong…she was also stubborn as a mule!! I remember one day when she was sitting on our two seat settee in the cabin in Colorado, and she was taking up the ENTIRE settee…I told her to get down. She refused. I tried to push her down and she sat up and growled at me. I told her not to growl at me and pushed her again. She took my entire arm in her mouth and closed with pressure. She didn’t bite but she was telling me that she wasn’t moving. I, on the other hand, told her that she WAS moving, threw her down, yelled at her and tossed her butt out of the cabin. I didn’t speak to her for 2 solid weeks straight. I acted as if she didn’t even exist. She was crushed…..we talked at the end of the two weeks and it never happened again. Even up to the day that we had to lay her to rest, if I spoke of that day, she hung her head because she remembered well. But just to be clear, I did catch her on the new settee about a week or two before she passed. She saw me coming and hopped down as fast as possible as if to say you didn’t see me do that. So stubborn……
After moving to MI, I fell a couple of times from the kitchen down the two steps into the living room. The last time that happened, it was a complete fall, flat on my back, two steps down on the concrete. I was in so much pain I had my eyes shut, and was yelling. Charlie wanted to help me up but I said don’t move me. I had to let that pain subside a bit before I could even open my eyes, let alone move. When I was able to open my eyes, imagine my surprise to see Kizy’s concerned face about 1.5 inches from the end of my nose!! I wrapped my arms around her and pulled myself up off the floor with her help. I adore my border collies, but I could not have done that with one of them.
Kizy adored children. Even small afraid ones. Those were her favorites, and she was very gentle with them. The cats also fascinated her, the smaller the cat the more interest. It was her innate protection for anything small. That is part of being a LGD, Livestock Guardian Dog. She guarded our stock in CO even though she wasn’t bonded with stock like a LGD from birth. She guarded in the pens that surrounded the small livestock pens. She was a bit more bonded with humans than stock but since they were MY stock she guarded them with joy.
When Bj passed on in Colorado, I was heart broken and sitting in the barn yard. Kizy came to me and I wrapped myself around her and her fur and just sobbed. That happened a few years prior when Chaz’s Father passed and a few years before that when Chaz’s Mother passed. Each of these passings was super hard on me and sobbing in the barnyard wrapped around Kizy hugging her was one of the few things that helped. Every time one of those important people had passed, it worked out that Chaz was offshore. So Kizy was my furry Chaz to help me through it all.
After moving to MI, she retired to the house. Our pens were not set up in a fashion that she could roam around them, and she was getting old. We reckon she was about 3-3.5 years when we got her so at her passing last Friday, I do believe she was 10.5-11 years old. She had greatly gone down hill in the last six months with her hind quarters not getting proper brain stimuli and this was causing her great pain and making it difficult for her to control her feet to stand or walk. It was hard letting her go because even to the end she was worried about who would guard me. We lost Rowan about a month ago and he was another LGD that has always fixated on guarding me. She knows that Broch is the only LGD in the house left that guards me and he is only a year younger than her. But I assured her that Broch would protect me as well as our border collie Cinnamon, who has stepped up and taken her mother Abbey’s place as pack leader and lead guard border collie. Kizy saw the spot that was to be her final fur resting place and I asked her if she wanted me to plant flowers on her head like I did Abbey or on her heart like I did Rowan, and she laughed and said I could do what I wanted because she would just dig them up anyways. Defiant and stubborn to the end! You will be missed my darling puff ball….sniff.