When Bubba said he was going to put the buck in with the does around Thanksgiving last year, my mouth dropped. Boer goat gestation is about 5 months. Somehow, having me waddling around hugely pregnant at the same time as the mama goats were waddling around hugely pregnant just didn't seem like a good idea. Bubba explained how cranky and crazy the buck had been, and that he'd calm down a lot if he could just...well..."visit" with the females for a while. I mean, doesn't he look cheery now?
Despite my hesitation in the timing, Bubba let the buck fulfill his manly urges. Bubba decided to try a more hands off approach to kidding this year by letting mama's do it on their own wherever they felt comfortable. The kids that were born without our help last year did better than the ones that we tried to pen up and supervise.
The first kids showed up a few days ago.Then, they disappeared. The donkey that lives with the goats (and thinks she is one) has the job of protecting the kids from feral dogs and coyotes. (Dogs are a much bigger issue than native predators, but I am committing farmer's wife sacrilege by saying that.) While he was cursing the donkey for not doing her job, he was also searching EVERYWHERE for the babies. He didn't see them for two days. Then, yesterday, he found them. They'd wandered out of the field, through the electric fence, and were bleating angrily under a broken down car near the field. All six babies and three mamas are now locked in part of the barn for Bubba's sanity as much as their safety. (Remember Frog
? She is a first time mama of twins this year! I'm so proud!)
Thus far, the hands off approach seems to be serving us well. (Except for the mystery of the missing babies.) With six down and who knows how many to go, I feel like the goats look about as huge as I feel!