Technically breeding season started back at the start of fall but since we decided not to breed the sheep this year, and Lilac is still too young to be bred, that just left Ivy. I put off breeding her until December because I wanted to have kids later in the spring this year than usual. Our winters aren’t terribly severe so the babies would probably be fine being born earlier in the spring but its a lot easier on me if they are born a bit later. Kidding later means that the weather is better and I’m spending more time out in the pasture and barn with the animals, keeping an eye on the pregnant momma to make sure she is healthy and to take notice of any signs of impending labor. I’m much more likely to notice that labor is imminent if I’m spending more time out there and not just running to the barn in the snow and ice to toss out hay bales and then retreating back to the warm house. Plus, since Ivy is a dairy goat kidding means the start of milking. Maybe I’m a wimp, but I much prefer milking in May than in March!
So, over the weekend Ivy went to stay at the farm of our neighbor, Jim Savage. Mr. Savage has a flock of dairy goats (mostly nubian but some boer blood is mixed in and he has a saanen or two) and usually has a buck on hand. This is the flock where Ivy was born, though her daddy is no longer there (he switches bucks every year or two), and where she was bred last year.
I recorded some video on my new camera so you can watch as Ivy is welcomed into the flock (very politely, I must say! There was hardly any head butting or clashing or horns) and then discovered the handsome young buck in the middle of the group. Apparently, it was love at first sight. I expect to see kids around May 6th! In the video, Ivy is the one with the lime green collar.
p.s. if you hadn’t figured this out already from the topic of this blog post, the video is a bit graphic. Don’t watch with your young children unless you are ready for a conversation about the bird and the bees!