The nannies have started to kid and this seasons baby goats have slowly been arriving one by one. Gigi is so excited by the kids, every time we go out to look at them or feed the mothers, she tells me "I love the baby goats Mumma". At first she was a little confused about where they had come from, she kept asking me if Poppa had bought them. I explained that they grew in their Mumma's tummy and then they were born. She now picks the kids up and tells them "You are so cute, you were in your Mummas tummy".
The nannies and kids were isolated in the 'nursery pen' for a few days to ensure the babies were feeding correctly and that the mothers were looking after their offspring. In past years, the mothers (especially first time mothers) have the kid, then walk away. Other times, they've had the kid, looked after it for a week or so, then just given up. After loosing a few kids over the years, I have learnt the importance of separating out the mothers. If you don't keep the nannies and kids in a separate and smaller paddock to the main herd, it is harder to keep an eye on them and identify problems as they arise. Also, in a small pen, the kids are easy to catch and pick up for cuddles. By about four days old, they are very fast and hard to catch.
So far we have had four kids born to four nannies. One female kid and three males. The males will be castrated to be whethers, which I will write about in a future post, at the time. Whethers are much easier to handle, don't smell and are much easier to sell on to others. Also, with a small herd its important limit the number of billy's' to prevent fighting between themselves and also to prevent inbreeding in the herd.
There are another three nannies due to kid sometime in the next two or three weeks. Two of the nannies usually have twins, so I'm expecting twins from them again this year. The other nanny is pregnant, but looks small, so I think she will only have a single kid.