Maizey, our almost-yearling doe

Kidding Season: 2018 Preview

I don’t know about you, but I have some serious spring fever. Northwestern Pennsylvania had a pretty harsh winter this year with record breaking snowfall.  Recent days have been mercifully milder though. Our snow has melted and temperatures are gradually climbing.

Add to that the distinct sounds of peeping when you walk into the local feed store or Tractor Supply, and you know spring is finally around the corner!

Springtime on our farm means kidding season for goats, and I can’t wait! This will be the first year we own both the buck and doe in all our breedings, and first year all the kids that will be registered under our ADGA farm name, Sundaze Farm. We’re super excited!

Shaggy Nigerian Dwarf bucks

Planned Nigerian Dwarf Kiddings

Hills of Highland Dornish Sun x Maplewood Hill Top Candy
(see planned pedigree for this pair)
This will be Candy’s third freshening. In her first two freshenings, she had one doeling an one buckling each time. Candy is always very obvious when she’s pregnant; she is positively enormous, so I’m very confident in this breeding. She’s also a good kidder, so I have high hopes all will go well for her. Candy should be due the first week of April.

Hills of Highland Dornish Sun x Maplewood Hill Top Reese
(see planned pedigree for this pair)
Originally I had hoped to breed Reese to our other buck, Hills of Highland Eyrie Moon, but unfortunately he’s small and has not been up to the task. (As a matter of fact, I’m considering wethering him an removing him from our breeding program to just be a pet instead. But that’s a whole other topic.) Reese’s due date should be only about 4 or 5 days after Candy’s but she’s not nearly as large as Candy is, which is making me question if the pregnancy took or not. She never came back into heat in the fall after having been with the buck though, so I am hopeful. I’m also hoping she’ll have a smooth delivery, as this will be her first time.

Our LaMancha girls

Planned Mini-LaMancha Kiddings

Breeding Mini-LaManchas did not go as planned last fall. Our bucks were simply too young and too small to get the job done. One of our LaMancha does, Misty did come in heat on Valentine’s Day (ha!) so I let her spend some time in the buck pen. I don’t think Sunny was able to breed her, but I’m keeping an eye on her to see if she comes into heat again later this month.

In the meantime, I’m trying to improve the body condition on our LaManchas a bit. I’ve always felt they were slightly under weight, so I’m focusing on conditioning them so that if/when they do come into heat again, they’ll be in good shape to be bred. I’m considering taking them to visit a friend’s Alpine buck just to get them in milk if we have the opportunity. LaMancha bucks are hard to come by around here it seems, and though I’ve had my eye on a few, I feel like we don’t have the space for a full size buck right now. (Someday, though…!)

Once the kids arrive…

I’m still up in the air on bottle feeding this year. Last year, we pulled Maizey and Britches when they were a few days old (after they had gotten all the colostrum from their mother) and bottle fed them. I was very pleased with how friendly they turned out. At this time last year though, Mike was working a part time job with a flexible schedule, so bottle feeding throughout the day and night was much easier. This year we don’t have that same flexibility, so we may have to keep the kids on their mothers for at least 8 weeks.

We bred this year simply to get our girls in milk and don’t plan to retain any of the kids, so if you’re interested in possibly purchasing a goat from us, you can check out our farm page and fill out the reservation form!

Amanda lives with her family on a little red farmstead in northwestern Pennsylvania. By day she's a web developer specializing in WordPress and in her off time she enjoys working with goats and other livestock on the farm, canning, knitting, and crocheting.