Well, with the 5 that lambed yesterday, maybe you are almost done.
I could not get up at 4am! My husband gets up at 4:30 and that is way too early for me, but then again, no matter how long I have been up or how tired I am, I can't fall asleep before midnight. He goes to bed around 10.
As an aside: During the week we keep separate bedrooms because of this. For about the first 6 years or so of our marriage we worked opposite shifts, so we both got very used to sleeping alone during the week and having complete control of when we went to bed, when the tv went off, when we woke up, etc., so when we went back to working similar hours and tried to share the same room, it just made it hard on both of us. Split bedrooms during the week works out perfect for us!
I'm not sure what time my father gets up, but I assume around 5am. The goats are on his property, so the only time we have to do the early morning stuff is when they are gone. However, they built a new house this past year on the property with the condition that my husband and I move into the old house. So, it'll get us back out onto 100 acres with hunting and fishing and our pistol range setup and will get rid of a mortgage once we sell our current home (and probably pay the difference), but it'll get my parents indentured servants! So, I am guessing we will soon be the ones getting up with the goats in the mornings!
Will the huge ewe be able to handle all 3 babies? Once we had a goat that had 5 babies. Crazy stuff. Have had 4 a few times, and seem to have a couple of triplets each kidding, but thankfully only had 5 that one time. They were small, but healthy, and cute as buttons!
ALLISON & DAVID
Bailey - lab mix; Gabby - min pin Nicolas, Mason, Vixen, Peyton, Morgan, & Sealy - the kitty klan Preston - crossed the bridge 7/12/2006, Maddox (6/26/2003 - 7/12/2011)
The ewes that have not lambed at this point are first time mothers. It's not always easy to tell with first time mothers which ones are bred. We think there are 3 more first time mothers to lamb.
The huge ewe (we call her the gray ewe because of her color) has an utter the size of a basketball. She has always been a big milk producer so raising 3 will be no issue for her. Her set brings our triplet count up to 6 sets.
We ended up pulling her second lamb; either the 3rd lamb got in the canal with the 2nd lamb jamming the exit or the 2nd lamb wasn't lined up quite right and the 3rd lamb was preventing rearrangement of the 2nd lamb. In the end all were well and she gave us three large ewe lambs to increase her genetics (strong mothering instincts, large lambs and good milk production for her lambs) in our flock.
Good deal about the gray ewe being able to raise all 3 and being a good milk producer. I know my dad had to pull a few this time. Some of the time, they probably would have been able to have the baby on their own eventually, but often the process either keeps them from cleaning off the first baby properly or either they are too exhausted after the second baby to get to it. If he's home, my dad tries to take a proactive approach if he sees them having trouble.
Goats don't have wool like the sheep do, so it is probably a lot easier to see the changes to their udder and see if their privates are springing as they get closer, but it seems like some of the first timers don't drop their milk until the day they kid.
We have two teaser billies we can use to tell which goats did not get bred and have gone back in heat. They were bottle babies from several years ago and were not good enough, condition wise, to use as club goats. We could tell this from the start, so they were never dehorned or banded. Instead, they got vasectomies, and now act as the teaser billies. We did some embryo transfers and donor nanny stuff last year and they really came in handy in figuring out when each goat was in heat. You just put a marking harness on them. Their names are Carlos and Charlie and they are still pests, but they are gently giants. Just stinky, gently giants.
We keep Katahdin Hair sheep which don't have wool, only a 1' or so thick layer of hair which sheds in the spring. The first time mothers may not develop a bag until right before they lamb and they can carry a single lamb and not really show.
Mountain Jack - Well, it sure IS a pretty llama! If only you could see those long eye lashes in person. All he has to do is bat his eyes a few times and you are under his spell!
I've fallen hard for the little guy. He loves to be scratched on the neck now. His mom still scares the begeezus out of me, though. I'm the only one in the family that hasn't been spit on yet by mama Spitters, and I aim to keep it that way.
On a more somber note, there is more clover growing in the pastures this year than ever before. Some theorize it has something to do with the drought last year. We had one nanny die - probably 24 - 36 hours after noticing something was off. Stumbling around, then she went blind, then she went into a coma. Had two 6 week old kids on her. They will no longer be good enough to make it to the sale, but they will survive fine. We put them in with a heavy producing goat and let them nurse her a few times a day and they are eating a lot of pellets now anyway. But then last week we had another goat start exhibiting the same symptoms. Called the vet since we knew where this was headed. Giving her calcium and thiamine injections now. The clover is causing milk fever. It's odd for it to happen this long after kidding, but since the calcium treatment has almost cured her completely, pretty certain the diagnosis was correct. Something correlating to it all is causing a thiamine deficiency which is causing the blindness, but the thiamine injections are curing that as well.
Here's how a good indication that a goat is recovering - when you see her one afternoon and she can barely stand and is blind and you come out the next morning and she has broken out of the pen she was in and rejoined the herd in another pen! (Sure makes it harder to catch her to give her more medicine now though!)