Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Some Kidding Essentials

There's very little that we have to do for Rosie and her babies. We make sure that she has a bit of grain, lots of nice green hay, and fresh water each day, and she does the rest. Everything is going just fine!

Because Rosie required no assistance from us in delivering the kids, she naturally chewed off their umbilical cords immediately after giving birth. One of the first things we have to do is cut the cords again, shortening them considerably from what they are, and dip the ends into iodine to sterilize the area.

Here's T.Rube's demonstration of the umbilical region. She named this goat Brownie. S.Rube named the other one Chocolate Chip. Together, they are a sweet treat.

The other more unfortunate thing that has to be done with kids is disbudding them. Not a fun job. These Boer goats would grow horns otherwise (like our billys do) and we would prefer to not have horns on our goats, for their own safety. With horns, goats get caught in fences, and their playful sparring becomes dangerous when they're headbutting one another with a full set of horns. It is general practise to debud a goat, unless the intention is for them to head to the butcher. (as was the case with our billys, although we intercepted their intended destiny and created a new one for them!) And, this horrible job has to be done when they're 3-7 days old, just as the buds are starting to form under the fur on their fuzzy little heads. The unpleasant task is done with a circular debudding iron, and it essentially burns the little buds right out of their heads. It is likely a little uncomfortable as it is happening, but the kids seem to get over it right away afterwards.

Here's what debudding looks like as it is occurring. As you can imagine, the smell is pretty bad.

And here's what our goats look like the following day.


Renee said...

Poor babies! I still love those fuzzy heads though, even with the holes in them.

Yoli said...

Oh my goodness!! That picture!!! Completely understand the reasoning though. Those poor things....

Thelma said...

goat crop circles.

Hiromi said...

Awwww... The rube farm is one of the best farms I've ever seen. Love how you care for the animals so much! I bet the debudding or whatever it's called is harder for you guys than it is for the kiddies ;) PS Love your new background... so springy!!! Makes me smile :)

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