Duke and Meyla

Duke and Meyla

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

2018 Kidding Schedule, Ultrasounds, Puppies, Freemartin?

A whole post on reproduction...

So first, our 2018 kidding schedule.

Molly is bred to Mr. Black and due January 31st.
Marion is bred to Sam and due February 27th.
Simcoe is bred to Serrano and due February 28th.
Izzy is bred to Sam and due March 1st.
The others are not confirmed bred yet, but are as follows
Sonnet bred to Black and Serrano(stupid fence jumper) and possibly due March 15th.
Bunny bred AI to Willow-Run Chevalier Riposte and possibly due March 29th.
Clare bred AI to Iron-Rod Sullivan Advance and possibly due March 31st.
(Sonnet, Bunny, and Clare's kids will have to be DNA'd thanks to Serrano.)
That leaves Jazzy to be bred to Serrano in a week or so, and Li* to be bred to Sam or Serrano when she finally decides to come into heat.
We don't have any clue about Desi.


Mom recently invested in an ultrasound machine and we've been having loads of fun with it. Below are some of the results we've gotten from it.

Molly's kid at 66 days. We couldn't count how many kids she has because they are too big to fit into the monitor screen at the same time.

 

Marion, Izzy, and Simcoe all have 2 for sure, and possibly more that we missed.

Marion baby #1, already very distinguishable as a baby goat.


Marion baby #2 It's head on in this image and a little distorted. It was very hard to find and was doing flips so we didn't have a chance to get a good picture.



This blog post was written, added to, and edited, over the course of 8 days. I vowed that I wasn't going to put this post up until I knew for sure whether or not Kate was pregnant. I was almost positive she was, but wanted to know beyond all doubt before saying anything, lest I have to eat my words. You can't even believe how hard it was, and how many times I almost just posted what I had already written, without the latest details!

I bred Kate to a stud here in Goldendale. He's almost 11 years old, and is a tri color, and a very strong worker. The fellow told Lucas that that dog'll grab a cow by the nose and flip it. I'm not sure what he meant by that-like, if the cow in running away at full blast, the dog will latch onto to nose and the momentum will cause the cow to flip? I'm really not quite sure. But anyway, he keeps reiterating how hard of a worker that dog is/was before both he and the dog got too old to go out helping on the local ranchers' cattle gathers and drives. When I saw the dog, I was immediately impressed with his temperament-he seemed very level headed and friendly, but not overly friendly or excited. How much of that is genetics and how much is due to the fact that he's getting kinda elderly is anybody's guess. 

I originally wanted her bred to their younger dog, because I was worried that this dog was too old to be fertile, but the younger dog didn't know what he was doing and never ended up getting the job done. 
So, I've been waiting impatiently, keeping a hawk eye on Kate, looking for any signs of pregnancy. I was quite positive that her belly started filling out, and got excited, because at 19 days from the first breeding, I thought her gums were getting white, which is a sure sign of pregnancy. However, it was just the fact that she had just gotten out of bed and her circulation wasn't going yet, as the other dogs looked the same and they pinked up in a few minutes. 
After two attempts at finding puppies on an ultrasound, we finally found them today! We think we counted five, but they are still small and hard to see. We're gonna ultrasound again in a week to get a more sure count.



All pups will be for sale, and should be great working dogs and wonderful pets too. Kate is touchy around other dogs, but has never shown anything other than submissiveness and affection for humans. Contact me if interested in buying one. 

Oh, and Bonny is currently in heat too, so she's been bred to Kimber and should be due mid-late January with 3/4 Golden Retriever and 1/4 Border Collie pups.


*So, onto the freemartin part, and the asterisk next to Li's name in the kidding list. I typed up the kidding list last week, before I knew the below information.
Li was born last November, and has never come into heat. Her teats have also always been very small, and she looks a little odd "back there." I started thinking about it on Saturday, and wondered if she could be a freemartin like 99% of bull/heifer twins are-the heifer, not the bull. Though it's more uncommon in goats than in cows, and extremely common for goats to have buck/doe mixed litters with no issues, it's not rare to get a freemartin out of a mixed litter. More often than producing a freemartin, certain lines and especially breeding polled/polled goats will result in hermaphrodite kids-basically the kid is half buck half doe, and, depending on the severity, cannot function as either. That animal generally looks and acts very bucky, i.e. big beard, masculine, etc. Li is not showing any of those signs-she looks, acts, and sounds like a doe, which is indicative of a freemartin.
Anyway, Mom suggested that I see if I can put an AI speculum in her. In the case of a freemartin, the tract is extremely short and the speculum probably won't go in more than an inch. I couldn't get the speculum in for anything. Finally, I decided to "go in" like I would to help a doe kid, and didn't get one finger in more than 2 inches before hitting a solid wall. I contacted the breeder and she offered me my money back, or I can apply that money to a kid to buy from her. I'll take the kid option-I don't  yet know if it'll be a kid from this fall, or next spring. 
Needless to say, I'm extremely disappointed, but I'll probably keep her around as a pet because I love her too much to sell at this point. For a long time I've talked about doing an experiment to see if goats can be trained like dogs and learn tricks and such. I never really followed through with it, because I needed an animal that wouldn't need break from training(i.e. pregnancy, kidding and trying to keep weight on while milking) and wouldn't have a big udder always getting in the way of, say, jumping over things. I could have saved back a wether, but I never really wanted that for some reason. Well, now I have that animal. Maybe I'll train her for cart and pack too, while I'm at it. 








Monday, November 13, 2017

Random Ramblings, Basically


It's fall, alright. The leaves are gone, it's cold, windy, and gray, and things are getting muddy. We did get a spattering of snow last week that was thick and slushy, which lasted for 24 hours. I'm looking forward to snow again, even if it makes my chores a lot harder to do. 
I asked Brittany to take a new "animal and me" photo, for my YouTube channel and because I like to get one every year. Here are a few samples, but first, a little backstory. Minx, Hassie, and Eclipse have been locked in the barn for weeks because Serrano is inhabiting the doe pen and won't stay home. Minx actually was bred by him, but I aborted the pregnancy because she's too little for that. (Eclipse was also bred by him before we could get them locked up, and she needs the hormone to abort her pregnancy anytime.) Anyway, whenever Minx and Li are separated for more than a few hours, they fight when put back together. I don't know why it's only those two(maybe because they know they rank in my favorites and are fighting for top place), but it is.  Anyway, I wanted a picture with Minx, Li, and Molly in it, so I locked them in the barn together, while I went to clean church, hoping they'd be done fighting by the time I got back. No such luck. Over an hour later, they were still going at it, while Molly just wanted out of the barn. I decided to try for some pictures anyway, even though Molly decided they wouldn't include her in them, and headed out as soon as I opened the barn door. 
Then my cat, Polly, wandered along and got in on the shot too. 


The jerks.


Brittany wanted a picture of the dogs, but they wouldn't look for nothin'. Jinger was watching the goats fight, and Kate couldn't keep her eyes off of the cows. I tried, I really did! 


Then I got behind the camera and got gruff with them and they knew they'd better pay attention to me for a few seconds.


This one turned out okay too, if you don't take the bad lighting into consideration.

 

Because the YouTube channel banner zooms the photos way in, this is the picture I chose to use for it. I think it turned out okay.


I could make this next into a long story, but I will just stick to the rudimentary details.
Last week, Kate was tied on the deck, eating her breakfast, when Copper came along to investigate. Shortly after, one unhappy cat ended up in the hospital with a punctured eye and fractured upper and lower jaws. He'll be fine, but may never have sight in that eye again. 
 I'm not excusing what Kate did, because she has an issue with these new kittens anyway, but I can understand why a dog that is eating, and tied up, therefore not able to leave the area, would get defensive. 
In the below picture, you can see that his right eye is pretty odd looking, to say the least.


Eclipse has healed up from her torn lip better than we or the vet imagined she would. You can hardly tell anything ever happened to her.

 


My flock of ducks. Three of these are drakes and the rest are hens. 


Brittany with her kitten, Star, aka Flash. 


Brittany's other cat, Dove, hanging out on the post and intriguing Mr. Black.


Then he say something more interesting and came to tell me hi, but lost his composure and gave me this silly look instead. 


See my cowdogs in the back of the above picture? Jinger has really started turning on, and Kate is actually starting to be useful. I took this video on Friday-it was Kate's first time solely listening to my directions, and not bringing the calves to me, but pushing them in the opposite direction, without my help other than directions. It wasn't very smooth, but I am both impressed and more knowledgable about what I need to work on more. We are both newbies at working cows and training cowdogs, so are both having to learn as we go. 



I'll be doing another very exciting(hopefully anyway) blog post late this week or early next, that will include next year's kidding schedule! I just need to get more information for it and verify that they are pregnant before doing it. Keep posted! 




Monday, October 30, 2017

ADGA Convention 2017-Atlanta, GA

Mom and I took a 6 day trip to Georgia for the annual goat convention. I didn't get out my camera as much as I should have, but hey, it's better than nothing!  
It was cold-I think I wore my sweatshirt the entire time. There was one evening, when we walked to a restaurant, that it was nice, warm and sunny, but otherwise it was overcast, windy and cold. On Saturday is was pouring rain and some thunderstorms all day. Yesterday, it was warmer at home than it was in GA. So much for going south for the winter!

A lot of the breed groups had booths with information on their breeds. The Oberhasli booth also had a youth essay. I thought the parts about the Nubians were funny, and I relate to her 100%. Down with Nubians! 


I liked to stand and watch the airport from the elevator area. It was super busy-Atlanta is actually the busiest airport in the world! Planes were taking off every 2 minutes, and often 2-4 were taking off at the same time. From our room window,  if I craned my neck hard enough to the right, I could just see where the planes were coming in to land. I must have checked that window around 50 times during our stay, and only twice there was not a plane landing when I looked. Often-and they were especially visible at night-I could see three or four more planes coming in a circle behind the landing one, waiting their turn to land.


 I got a kick out of this common site-using the baggage carts for nitrogen tank transport in the fancy hotel!
 
 
The vendor room-this was during classes so not much business at the moment.

 
I didn't like that the hotel was so much like a maze. There wasn't really any areas where you could just look across and go to your destination-you had to follow all the signs down through the hallways or the Grand Promenade. 


I also got a kick out of the goat sale being held inside the Grand Ballroom/Salon, in the fancy hotel. I mean, I knew they had it inside, but it was just funny to see it, especially the stinky bucks and made the place reek. Fortunately, they took the smell with them again when they left.

This Toggenburg doe sold for $3200


 The Nubian buck sold for $3000 and is coming back to WA with his new owners.

 
The unhappy little Nigerian doeling sold for $1800


The Saanen doeling was so dainty and pretty. She brought $2200


 I really liked the bloodlines and dam of the Alpine buck. Unfortunately, he brought the lowest at $750.

 
I loved both of the Lamancha does-this one sold for $2050.


 Oberhasli doe #1, who spent more time on her back legs than all four, $1100.



The zebra striped Sable buck sold for $2000. 

 
The first milking doe in the sale for 15? years was a Saanen who sold for $1900.


 I liked this pretty little Toggenburg too. She sold for $2600.

 
This Nubian doe, full sibling to the Nubian buck, sold for $2300.



This little Nigerian buck, the smallest goat in the sale, sold for $10400!! And most of my family thinks I'm crazy when I spend more than $200 on a critter! 



 Oops, I guess I didn't get a picture of the 2nd Lamancha doe. I was too busy still swooning over someone spending so much money, I guess! The doe was a very pretty Sundgau, and sold for $2900.

Then came this pretty Sable, who was very grumpy about being there and said so with her posture and facial expression the whole time. Poutiness and all, she sold for $1700

 
This Oberhasli was better behaved than the last one, and sold for $2600.


 The second milking doe in the sale in ages, brought by the same person as the Saanen milker, was this beautiful Alpine. I loved her, and she sold for second highest(tied with the Saanen buck) at $3700

 
The pretty calico Nigerian doe sold for $3500


 This Lamancha buck is an April kid, and man he's huge! He sold for $2000.


 And the last goat, a feisty Saanen buck, sold for $3700 also. 


After the sale ended, we went back to our room and sacked-you know, ate popcorn out of a sack. Mom had to make two bags because half of it didn't pop, because the microwave wouldn't spin. Oh well, it still tasted good.  


 We flew out Sunday morning. I thought it would be cool if I took a picture, from the plane, of the elevator "shaft" where I liked watching planes take off. I thought I had done it in this picture, but later realized that this is the front of the hotel, and the elevators were on the left side. 


Georgia was covered by a thick layer of clouds, and when we got above them, it was a really neat view.


I try to get a window seat whenever possible, because I love seeing the scenery. Just south of Kennewick, there are lots of these rounds fields. The shape comes from the irrigation being based in the middle of the field, and they just move the irrigation sprinklers around the base in a circle. I liked the PacMan in the lower portion of this picture.
The visibility was not great, so the pictures aren't very clear.

 
As we flew down the Columbia river, I was able to locate our farm.


 Mt. Adams is the close one, and Rainier is barely visible in the back.


 This was just to the west of Hood River, so I assume that it is part of that old fire, still burning a little bit.

 
You can kinda see how the fire burned on the west facing slopes, and can maybe see the contrast between the green and brown(burnt) areas. It wasn't as bad as I expected it to look.


I had lots of fun and learned a ton. I hope to go again when it comes back to Boise in 2019!