Tag Archives: kids

Winter Babies

It has been COLD these last few months.  Not just the normal chilly weather we come to expect in December and January, but freezing!  

With temperatures so low, I tend to fret about the new babies, although with fur and feathers, they are much warmer than I am.

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First, our gringa (naked neck) chicken hatched a brood of 4.  

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Then Caramela the Sheep had a little lamb we named Christmas.  We think she was a little early because of her size, but Caramela had slipped off a rock and went into labor, so now Fuzzy, Oreo and Cookie have another little playmate.

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Next Caramela the Goat had a baby.  My husband was disappointed.  She was an only child, though her mother had been a twin, and she was white, no distinctive markings at all.  We named her Snowy.

 

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Then our gallina de pelea (fighting hen–the breed of chicken most often used in cockfights in our area) hatched a brood of 10 chicks.  Some are yellow, some are black and some look like little penguins.  This particular breed isn’t known for its nesting or mothering instincts, but she seems to be doing pretty well so far.  She picked a dense vegetative area up off the ground that gets full sun in the afternoon to have her chicks.  I told my husband he needs to make a ramp because, in a few days, the chicks will figure out how to get down, but won’t be able to get back up.  He said he’d work on that.

Then disaster struck.  Last week, La Blanca, our white goat seemed to be in labor.  After several hours, the labor stopped and we thought perhaps it was a false alarm or like Braxton Hicks contractions or something.  A few days later, I came home from work and my husband said that her water had broken several hours earlier.  This raised some red flags.  She ought to have given birth soon after.  She hadn’t.  She labored on and off throughout the night.  I didn’t hold out much hope for the baby by morning.

Once it was light enough to see, my husband gave her a check-up.  She hollered in pain when he touched her tailbone.  Further examination showed the baby’s head actually in the birth canal.  Extraordinary measures were taken, I won’t get into that, it was horrific. Neighbors were called in to advise.  Finally, the decision was made to end La Blanca’s suffering.  

The baby was removed and examined.  The uterus had detached and strangled the kid as well as preventing the mother from expelling it from her body.  We’ve had birth complications before, but nothing like this from the 100 or so kids, lambs, and foals born here.

My husband was despondent.  There was nothing that could have been done, but he feels responsible for the animals under his care.  It’s really set him against goats, although I’ve pointed out that over the years, we’ve had more problems with sheep births than goats. Then again, someone has a young female Boer goat for sale that he’s interested in taking a look at it, so you never can tell.

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New kids on the block

Our last chiva (goat) finally gave birth this week, and it is with pride that I announce our new kids’ arrivals. We have all sorts of genetic diversity this year. Jason Boer is the daddy to all, but the mommies are rather distinct, giving us a good mix. As a result, we have kids with little bitty ears, some with long ears and others with long, floppy ears. We have kids with campanitas (skin tags under the chin that look like bells) and kids without. We have white, brown, black and a variety of color combinations of the three. We have twins and singletons.

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Los bandidos short ears, Carl and Mel.

In all, 14 kids were born during a month-long birthing extravaganza. The first chiva, Caramela, had twins. She was nearly a week ahead of the other goats because Joey had knocked her over when he was misbehaving, and the fall brought on an early labor. Both male kids, Carl and Mel, were fine, just a little small. We call them los bandidos (the bandits) collectively since we can’t tell the two apart.

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Junior

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Jason Boer

Shortie had an enormous male kid that is the spitting image of dear old dad, only with more brown. We’ve named him Junior. Moya (Blackie) had a huge female kid that is just like Jason Boer but in black and white, like a cow. We’ve named her Bessie.

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Front to back–Bessie, Junior, Clyde, No name royalty, Spot

Queenie presented us with twins, a boy with campanitas and a girl without. No surprise there. Queenie is pretty predictable with her twin births. The boy seems to have something wrong with his front leg. It appears to be slightly longer than the other one, so he walks and jumps and runs with a limp. It hasn’t had much effect on his mobility though and certainly not his sunny disposition. We have yet to come up with fitting royal names for these two. We’ve already used Duke/Duchess, Lord/Lady, Prince/Princess, King/Queen combinations. Any suggestions?

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Coon

Princess had some difficulty. This is her second baby, so we thought she would have less problems however, her baby boy’s head was too large to exit the birth canal unassisted. He’s got a striped tail like a raccoon, so he’s called Coon. He really is monstrous in size.

Princess’s daughter, Princesita surprised us by being pregnant as well. Well, like mother like daughter I suppose. Princess had Princesita when she was less than a year old, so Princesita started in early too. Her little guy, Whitey, is on the small side and tires easily, but otherwise healthy. Junior has taken the role of trainer upon himself and hustles Whitey around the corral to build up his strength and endurance.

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Bunny

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Brownie

La hija de Queenie (Queenie’s Daughter, she never did get a proper name) had a fluffy little girl Bunny. Brownie cloned herself and birthed Brownie 2. She’s become best buddies with Bunny.

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Venada had twins, a boy and a girl. The boy has campanitas and girl doesn’t. These are the second set of los bandidos, Bonnie and Clyde. They are darker brown with floppy ears and like to play Olé with Bunny’s mom. She doesn’t want her daughter playing with the roughnecks and chases them away. Los bandidos think it’s great fun!

Nanny goat was the last to have her babies. She also had twins, a boy and a girl, Spot and Mancha. Mancha was positioned foot first, so delivery was assisted. Good thing my husband was home to lend a hand. They are bigger than all the other kids, but seem a little slow on the uptake, being so much younger.

Right now, when the parents are taken to pasture, the babies stay in the corral. It gives the moms a well-deserved break and allows them to eat without trying to keep track of offspring. The kids love “recess” time and play tag, hide and seek, butt heads, Ring around the Rosie and even tap-dance on an old chest lid. Of course, they all start to holler when the milk trucks come home.

With so many new residents, my husband had to make a new feeding trough. The new trough has become quite the place for our new kids to show their WWF Wrestling skills!

We did get way more machos (boys) than hembras (girls) in this batch. All 5 girls will be kept without question. The 9 boys will be traded or sold as they get bigger. My husband wants to hang on to Junior, Coon, and Spot–but I don’t see how that will be possible. One macho per herd is plenty. Guess we’ll just see what happens.

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